Coping with the Menopause

PHYLLIS LOGIE By PHYLLIS LOGIE, 20th Apr 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Women's Health

Many women approach the menopause with trepidation, without any real cause or reason. The menopaues is a perfectly natural porcess experienced by every female who live long enough to go through it.

Menopause is a perfectly natural process

The menopause is not a disease, nor is it an illness; it is the female body signalling that it has reached the end of the child bearing period of a woman’s life, which is a pefectly natural process. There is no definitive cure or treatment that can be prescribed, however it can be successfully managed, provided that the right steps are taken.

Baby girls are born with between 1-3 million eggs, in fact all eggs she will need during the child-bearing stage of her life. Throughout her life eggs die and by the time she reaches puberty around 400,000 eggs are left to see her through the child-bearing period of her life. From puberty to the menopause one or two eggs are selected every twenty eight days for released in readiness to be fertilised by the male sperm and under normal circumstance the only time this is interrupted is during pregnancy.

As the woman age the supply of viable eggs within her ovaries gradually decline and by the time she reaches the peri-menopause stage which is around 40 to 43 years of age, approximately eight years before the actual menopause the 1-3 million eggs would have reduced to around 25,000. During the following eight years and by the time she reaches 51, the number of eggs would have declined to 1000, which is not enough to secrete the high levels of hormones necessary for menstruation.

The peri-menopausal stage brings with it irregular and often scant periods that can either be shorter or longer than normal, or heavier and lighter than normal. At this stage hot flashes, is the most common symptom occurring in 75% of women. These last on average 2 years, in some cases 5, however in a very small numbers of cases it can last for as long as 15 years.

Sleep disturbances, night sweats, tenderness in the breasts, loss of libido (sex drive), mood swings and poor concentration are all part of the experience. It must be remembered that where a woman is still ovulating, regardless of how irregular, if she is still sexually active, she is likely to become pregnant; therefore the proper precautions need to be taken to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

By the time she reaches 51 years the menopausal period has fully arrived, after which importance change in the health of the individual begin to occur. These include osteoporosis, making the individual vulnerable to fractures, Palpitations, heart disease, high LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol, virginal dryness due to the reduction in oestrogen levels, which in turn causes friction pains during sexual intercourse. It must however be said that symptoms vary for person to person.

Self-care during the menopausal period is important and can help to keep the uncomfortable symptoms at bay. There are several non-prescriptions, over-the-counter treatment available, whilst some people find exercise helpful. Hot spicy food, foods with high levels of caffeine and alcohol should be avoided as much as possible. The cholesterol and fat levels in the diet should also be controlled with regular exercise, whilst a diet rich in calcium and supported by calcium supplements is considered a very good idea for strengthening bones that are becoming increasingly fragile.

Oestrogen therapy is a well established option which may be considered by the physician to alleviate the symptoms of hot flashes, build bone mass, improve cholesterol levels and relieve the symptoms of virginal dryness. However, there are risks attached such as the increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).

Alternative medicine has its place. Herbs such as Black Cohosh, Soy protein, evening primrose oil, red clover, dong quai, chasteberry and Yam cream have all been used with varying degrees of success. Also approved by the National Centre for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine are other non-prescriptive treatments including meditation, hypnosis, acupuncture and biofeedback, which is a treatment method used to feedback psychological information to patients about their bodily processes they may not aware of.

The menopause cannot be prevented; however steps can be taken as demonstrated to make it as comfortable as possible whilst helping to reduce the associated risk factors.

Tags

Child-Bearing Age, Lost Libido, Menopause, Menstrual Cycle, Ovulation, Peri-Menopausal, Period

Meet the author

author avatar PHYLLIS LOGIE
I am a retired female who has been writing for the past five years. My favorite topics are history and biographies.

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Comments

author avatar Delicia Powers
20th Apr 2011 (#)

Thanks for this outstanding article Phyllis.

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author avatar PHYLLIS LOGIE
20th Apr 2011 (#)

I am so glad you liked it. Thank you for your positive response.

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author avatar Songbird B
20th Apr 2011 (#)

Phyllis...Thank you so much for this...Your way of writing cuts through so much psycho babble when it comes to the menopause....Great share, as I knew that it would be...Thank you my friend.

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author avatar PHYLLIS LOGIE
20th Apr 2011 (#)

Thanks as always songbird B. Your comments alway inspire me.

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author avatar vpaulose
21st Apr 2011 (#)

Thank you for this information Phyllis Logie

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author avatar ppruel
21st Apr 2011 (#)

Thanks for the info friend.

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author avatar D in The Darling
3rd May 2011 (#)

Great article. A single zero needs to be edited to leave the number at 400, 000 and not four million.

I guess a lot of women dread menopause coz it signals the end of their natural break and continuous bedroom frowns.

There are men that rock the bed on a daily basis till a period comes to her rescue.

When menopause comes, such men welcome it with open arms.

Once again, great article and thanks for sharing.

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author avatar J A Ridley
9th May 2011 (#)

Useful info as my wife turns 40 this year, thanks for the well presented info

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