Docstoc

Understanding_Menopause

Document Sample
Understanding_Menopause Powered By Docstoc
					Understanding Menopause

Word Count:
782

Summary:
Menopause refers to a stage in woman’s life characterized by a permanent
cessation of her menstrual activities. It implies that a woman stops
having her monthly menstrual periods for the rest of her life, after she
achieves the menopause. A normal healthy woman reaches the menopause
between the ages of 40-50. Menopause marks the end of a woman’s fertility
and reproductive years. During the menopause, production of the estrogen
hormone reduces drastically in a woman and her ov...


Keywords:



Article Body:
Menopause refers to a stage in woman’s life characterized by a permanent
cessation of her menstrual activities. It implies that a woman stops
having her monthly menstrual periods for the rest of her life, after she
achieves the menopause. A normal healthy woman reaches the menopause
between the ages of 40-50. Menopause marks the end of a woman’s fertility
and reproductive years. During the menopause, production of the estrogen
hormone reduces drastically in a woman and her ovaries stop producing
eggs.

It can take 5 years for a woman to achieve the final menopause stage. If
a woman has not experienced any menstrual periods for a year, the
condition is known as menopause. When a woman is in her puberty stage or
childbearing years, her ovaries release an egg every month. This release
is known as ovulation. Ovaries also produce the hormone estrogen. This
hormone instructs the uterus to build up a lining. This lining allows the
implant and growth of the fertilized egg.

As the women nears her menopause years, the production of estrogen
decreases. As a result, she will experience irregular menstrual cycles.
The irregularities include skipped periods, light or heavy menstrual
flow. A woman could also experience random bleeding as well.

Symptoms of Menopause
Menopause is a natural and biological process. It is not a disease. It is
just a transition period of a woman’s life. 75% of women experience some
or all of the troublesome symptoms during the menopause. There are no
common symptoms as every woman’s body would react in a unique way towards
the menopause. Here are some of the common symptoms that women show
during the phase of menopause.

Hot flashes are landmark signs of menopause. As the level of estrogen
drops in a woman, her blood vessels expand rapidly. This causes her skin
temperature to rise. This can further cause hot flashes or a sudden
spread of warmth to her shoulders, head and neck, starting from her
chest. This sudden gush of warmth causes a woman to sweat, and when the
sweat evaporates from her skin, she feels chilled, and slightly faint.
Women also experience raid heart beating and a feeling of anxiety. The
face of a woman looks flushed. She might experience red blotches on her
neck, arms and chest area.

These hot flashes usually last up to 30 seconds and in some cases up to
several minutes. There is no common frequency or duration of hot flashes
as they vary from a woman to woman. Women often experience hot flashes
during the initial years after their menopause.

Hot flashes affect the life of a woman directly. If they happen during
night, they can disrupt the sleep. They cause night sweats. A woman can
often wake up and have trouble getting back to sleep again. This results
in lack of restful and refreshing sleep, which can have a knock on effect
in the morning.

Irregular periods
As a woman approaches her menopause stage, she experiences irregularity
in the menstrual periods. Periods become either long or short. Menstrual
bleeding becomes heavier or lighter. A woman might experience skipping of
periods. These symptoms mark the onset of menopause.

Vaginal thinning
As a result of menopause the production of estrogen decreases. As a
result of it the organs such as urinary bladder, vagina, uterus, and
urethra become weak and shrink. When bladder and urethra become weak and
shrink, they can lead to infection, leakage of urine and painful
urination.

As the tissue lining of vagina shrinks a woman experiences pain during
intercourse. A woman might also suffer from vaginal dryness, irritation
and itching.

Changes in appearance
During the menopause transition, a woman on an average gains 5 pounds of
weight. Initially this weight was believed to get concentrated on hips
and thighs of a woman. New researches have shown that the weight might
settle in a woman’s abdomen too.
A woman might experience wrinkling of the skin, fullness in breasts, and
thinning hair.

Behavioral and emotional changes
A woman might experience fatigue, irritability and frustration during
menopause. She might experience decreased concentration and memory loss.
These changes are a direct result of hormonal fluctuations in her body
during menopause.

Weak bones
As a result of menopause the density of bones in a woman’s body tends to
decrease. She starts losing calcium from her bones following the drop in
estrogen levels. This can lead to a condition of weak bones known as
osteoporosis. A woman also becomes susceptible to fractures.
The menopause is completely a natural phenomenon marking the end of a
woman’s reproductive term, but not the end of her life. It is a
transition time, the symptoms of which can be effectively managed.