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Menopause Tips

Menopause - What Is The Right Way To Manage?

DGO, MBBS, Diploma in Reproductive Medicine (Germany)
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Menopause - What Is The Right Way To Manage?

Menopause is the time in your life when you naturally stop having menstrual periods. Menopause happens when the ovaries stop making hormones. Menopause marks the end of the reproductive years. The average age that women go through menopause is 51 years.

The years leading up to menopause are called perimenopause. Cycles may become longer than usual for you or become shorter. You may begin to skip periods. The amount of flow may become lighter or heavier. Although changes in menstrual bleeding are normal during perimenopause, you still should report them to your doctor. Abnormal bleeding may be a sign of a problem.

What are the other signs and symptoms of menopause?

Some women do not have any symptoms of perimenopause or have only a few mild symptoms. Others have many symptoms that can be severe. Common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Hot flashes - A hot flash is a sudden feeling of heat that rushes to the upper body and face. It may last from a few seconds to several minutes or longer. Some women have hot flashes a few times a month. Others have them several times a day. Hot flashes that happen at night (night sweats) may wake you up and cause you to feel tired and sluggish during the day.

  • Sleep problems - You may have insomnia (trouble falling asleep), or you may wake up long before your usual time. Night sweats may disrupt your sleep.

  • Vaginal and urinary tract changes - As estrogen levels decrease, the lining of the vagina may become thinner, dryer, and less elastic. Vaginal dryness may cause pain during sex. Vaginal infections also may occur more often. The urethra can become dry, inflamed, or irritated. This can cause more frequent urination and increase the risk of urinary tract infections.

What types of bone changes can occur after menopause?

During the first 4–8 years after menopause, women lose bone more rapidly. This rapid loss occurs because of the decreased levels of estrogen. If too much bone is lost, it can increase the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis increases the risk of bone fracture. The bones of the hip, wrist, and spine are affected most often.

What do other health risks increase during perimenopause and menopause?

The estrogen produced by women’s ovaries before menopause protects against heart attacks and stroke. When less estrogen is made after menopause, women lose much of this protection. Midlife also is the time when risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and being physically inactive, are more common. All of these combined factors increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in menopausal women.

What is hormone therapy?

Hormone therapy can help relieve the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Hormone therapy means taking estrogen and, if you have never had a hysterectomy and still have a uterus, a hormone called progestin. Estrogen plus progestin sometimes is called “combined hormone therapy” or simply “hormone therapy.” Taking progestin helps reduce the risk of cancer of the uterus that occurs when estrogen is used alone. If you do not have a uterus, estrogen is given without progestin. Estrogen-only therapy sometimes is called “estrogen therapy.”

How is hormone therapy given?

Estrogen can be given in several forms. Systemic forms include pills, skin patches, and gels and sprays that are applied to the skin. If progestin is prescribed, it can be given separately or combined with estrogen in the same pill or in a patch. With systemic therapy, estrogen is released into the bloodstream and travels to the organs and tissues where it is needed. Women who only have vaginal dryness may be prescribed “local” estrogen therapy in the form of a vaginal ring, tablet, or cream. These forms release small doses of estrogen into the vaginal tissue.

What are the benefits of hormone therapy?

Systemic estrogen therapy (with or without progestin) has been shown to be the best treatment for the relief of hot flashes and night sweats. Both systemic and local types of estrogen therapy relieve vaginal dryness. Systemic estrogen protects against the bone loss that occurs early in menopause and helps prevent hip and spine fractures. Combined estrogen and progestin therapy may reduce the risk of colon cancer.

What are the risks of hormone therapy?

Hormone therapy may increase the risk of certain types of cancer and other conditions:

  • Estrogen-only therapy causes the lining of the uterus to grow and can increase the risk of uterine cancer.

  • Combined hormone therapy is associated with a small increased risk of heart attack. This risk may be related to age, existing medical conditions, and when a woman starts taking hormone therapy.

  • Combined hormone therapy and estrogen-only therapy are associated with a small increased risk of stroke and deep vein thrombosis. Forms of therapy not taken by mouth (patches, sprays, rings, and others) may have less risk of causing deep vein thrombosis than those taken by mouth.

  • Combined hormone therapy is associated with a small increased risk of breast cancer.

  • There is a small increased risk of gallbladder disease associated with estrogen therapy with or without progestin. The risk is greatest with oral forms of therapy.

Can plant and herbal supplements help with menopause symptoms?

Plants and herbs that have been used for relief of menopause symptoms include soy, black cohosh, and Chinese herbal remedies. Only a few of these substances have been studied for safety and effectiveness. Also, the way that these products are made is not regulated. There is no guarantee that the product contains safe ingredients or effective doses of the substance. If you do take one of these products, be sure to let your doctor know.

Can vaginal moisturizers and lubricants help with menopause symptoms?

These over-the-counter products can be used to help with vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse that may occur during menopause. Vaginal moisturizers replace moisture and restore the natural acidity of the vagina and can be used every 2–3 days as needed. Lubricants can be used each time you have sexual intercourse.

What can I do to stay healthy after menopause?

A healthy lifestyle can help you make the best of the years after menopause. The following are some ways to stay healthy during midlife:

  • Nutrition—Eating a balanced diet will help you stay healthy before, during, and after menopause. Be sure to include enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet to help maintain strong bones.

  • Exercise—Regular exercise slows down bone loss and improves your overall health. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, can help keep bones strong. Strength training strengthens your muscles and bones by resisting against weight, such as your own body, an exercise band, or handheld weights. Balance training, such as yoga and tai chi, may help you avoid falls, which could lead to broken bones.

  • Routine health care—Visit your doctor once a year to have regular exams and tests. Dental checkups and eye exams are important, too. Routine health care visits, even if you are not sick, can help detect problems early.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2930 people found this helpful

Hormone Therapy - How Can It Help In Menopause?

Dr.Shantha Rama Rao 90% (128ratings)
MD, DGO, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Chennai
Hormone Therapy - How Can It Help In Menopause?

The menopause can take three very different routes for women. There are those who sail through it with very few symptoms or problems and don't even notice that their ovaries have stopped producing the hormone. Then there are those for whom it is a matter of a few hot flushes and a couple of night sweats, doesn't last long and not really a bother. This usually marks a relief from the periods. But for some, it is abject misery accompanied by crippling fatigue, absolute exhaustion, hot flushes, vaginal drying, mood swings along with low desire or lack of sexual feelings. These symptoms might persist for more than 7 years.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is considered to be an effective treatment for menopausal symptoms. The other problems linked with menopause can also be influenced by HRT in a positive manner.

HRT is indicated in:

-  Treatment of symptoms of menopause and the risk-benefit ratio is apt for the women and they have been informed about the same

-  HRT is indicated in symptomatic patient, nearing menopause.There are other rare indication like osteoporosis. Your gynaecologist will decide it.

-  HRT is started only after examination and after doing some blood tests, also mammogram if necessary.

Benefits of HRT:

The benefits of HRT usually are more than the risk if done in a woman who is under 60 years of age. 
These include:

-  Improvement of the quality of life by relieving muscle pains, and improving sleep

-  The mood swings are controlled and low moods are usually alleviated by HRT. Low moods usually arise due to menopause.

-  It reduces the vasomotor symptoms, usually within four months of the treatment with maximum benefit in three months

-  HRT improves the urogenital symptoms by lowering the vaginal dryness, vaginal atrophy, urinary frequency and symptoms. 

-  HRT reduces the risk of osteoporosis. HRT is believed to preserve the bone mass density of the skeletal sites thus reducing the chances of vertebral and non-vertebral fractures.

-  HRT also reduces the risk of colorectal cancer and cardiovascular diseases

Risks of HRT

The main risks of HRT are stroke, endometrial and breast cancer, thromboembolic disease, pulmonary embolism and gallbladder disease

-  It increases the risk of ischemic stroke

-  There is a small risk associated with breast cancer and the risk increases more if the woman is underweight or overweight, alcohol user, smoker and stops HRT suddenly

-  Estrogen-only HRT can increase the risk of endometrial cancer. If cyclical progestogen is used for 10 days for 28 cycles then the risk is eliminated.

1318 people found this helpful

Premature Menopause - What Physical Changes Does It Entitle?

Dr.Asha Gavade 88% (797ratings)
DNB - Obstetrics & Gynecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Pune
Premature Menopause - What Physical Changes Does It Entitle?

During the natural course of events, a women's body starts its reproductive phase with menarche and at about 50 years of age, attains menopause. This is when the reproductive function ceases and the ovaries stop producing the hormone estrogen and progesterone. In some cases, for various reasons including medical, the ovaries stop functioning earlier, and this is medically termed early or premature menopause. Menopause that occurs before 40 years of age is termed premature menopause; it is due to primary ovarian insufficiency and occurs in 1% of the women.  If it occurs between 45 to 50 years, it is termed early menopause.

Causes: Normal ageing, family history, genetic disorders, autoimmune disorders, toxins, and surgery are some reasons that could lead to premature menopause.

Effects: Estrogen and progesterone have a lot of beneficial effects on a women's body. Reduction in their levels leads to some of the below changes:

-  Emotional changes like mood swings, irritability, and in some cases depression, especially in premature menopause.
- Irregular cycles before complete cessation of the menstrual cycles.
- General mucosal dryness leading to vaginal dryness, dry skin, dry eyes.
- There also would be urinary incontinence and reduced sex drive due to reduced hormone levels.
- For women who still would want to have children, infertility would be a big cause for concern. This could lead to other emotional issues, worsening the depression.
- Osteoporosis - Bones lose their density and get weak and are more prone to fracture.
- Cardiovascular health - Post menopause, women are more prone to heart attacks and stroke. Though not fully proven, this is believed to be true as the good role that estrogen plays on blood vessels is negated with menopause.
- Accelerated ageing - Menopause leads to accelerated damage of genetic structures, thereby leading to faster ageing. This also leaves a feeling in the women of being less attractive and less desirable.

There is also a good news, that after menopause women are at lesser risk of cancer - especially breast and ovarian. 
It is not easy for women to handle premature menopause. The body undergoes some changes much earlier than expected, and it requires a lot of support and caring and comforting to come to terms with it - especially if associated with infertility or chemotherapy for cancer. Emotional issues of not being able to have children and feeling less attractive require frank talks to boost the person's confidence and increase self-worthiness.

It is easier said than done, but one of the key ways to handle premature menopause is an open discussion.

8628 people found this helpful

Menopause - Have Homeopathy For It!

BHMS, MD - Homeopathy
Homeopathy Doctor, Yavatmal
Menopause - Have Homeopathy For It!

The disruption of the normal female cycles of menstruation and ovulation after the age of 45 and the loss of her ability to conceive naturally is known as menopause. The associated symptoms of menopause are heat flushes, insomnia, weight gain, depression, nausea and fatigue. While hormone replacement therapy is the most common procedure to provide relief from menopausal symptoms, natural homeopathic remedies can also be used for the same. These remedies are completely safe as opposed to hormone replacement therapy which has a number of side effects.

The following homeopathic medicines and remedies can be used to treat menopause:

1. A balanced diet which provides you with optimal nutrition can be helpful in treating menopausal symptoms. When you get enough vitamins and minerals, the physical discomfort caused by the symptoms can be reduced greatly.
2. Phosphorus can help with migraines, extreme sweating, numb hands, fast pulse, memory problems and dry and itchy skin. Foods high in phosphorus content are meat, fish, cheese, nuts and seeds of pumpkins, sunflowers etc.
3. Excessive deposition of fat can interfere with the hormonal cycles and cause imbalances in the level of estrogen and progesterone. So, regular yoga and exercise can be helpful.
4. Amylenum nitrosum can provide relief from profuse sweating, shortness of breath and palpitations.
5. Phytoestrogen or dietary estrogen is a compound found in foods such as soybeans, oats, barley, carrots, fenugreek, rice etc. Phytoestrogen can provide natural relief from menopausal symptoms.
6. Aurum metallicum is used to get the tissues and organs to function normally again and control feelings of anxiety and claustrophobia.
7. Aconitum napellus (wolf's bane) is a flowering plant and its extracts can reduce panic attacks, heat flushes, over excitability and depressive symptoms.
8. Argentum nitricum is a nitrate compound of silver which is used to control excessive bleeding in the pre-menstrual stages.
9. Belladonna (deadly nightshade) is beneficial for a large number of symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, insomnia, frequent urination, osteoporosis, abnormal weight gain and other nervous disorders.
10. Bryonia alba, a flowering plant, is used as a remedy for vaginal infections, rashes and vaginal dryness that are common during menopause.
11. Natrum muriaticum, in small amounts, helps to reduce stress. Stress can cause problems in thyroid function, cognitive functioning, digestive system functioning and it can elevate blood pressure levels rapidly.
12. Nux vomica (strychnine) is a common homeopathic medicine for nausea, vomiting and indigestion. These problems are seen frequently in menopausal women, especially after meals at night.

3901 people found this helpful

Cater Yourself Post Menopause!

Dt.Sweta Gattani 86% (38ratings)
Diploma in Dietetics, Health & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Jaipur
Cater Yourself Post Menopause!

There are three stages of menopause: Pre-menopause, Menopause, and Post-menopause. This article discusses the symptoms and care after menopause or post-menopause.

Post-menopause is referred to life after menopause. It is a stage when women have not had periods for more than 12 months. During this stage, the annoying signs and symptoms that women experience before and during menopause may gradually decrease. However, due to the low level of estrogen after menopause, women are at higher risk for several health conditions including:

Menopause is a normal stage of a woman’s life in which the body stops the process of ovulating. There are several hormonal changes that take place during this period. This is why one needs to stay healthy in this stage of life. One should be aware to deal with these problems and to reduce the health risk.

Post-menopausal Women - 

When women have not had periods for an entire year or more than a year, they are considered as post-menopausal women. If this happens, it is advisable to consult a doctor to measure the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level. This hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. The level of FSH hormone will increase during the post-menopausal stage. The doctors will check the level of FSH by easily performing a blood test.

However, the level of FSH hormone also fluctuates during the pre-menopausal stage, this is why the only way to determine the post-menopausal stage is when women do not have periods for a year or more.

How to Manage Post-menopausal Conditions?

By following these remedies, one can lower the risk of health conditions associated with post-menopausal stage:

  • Take a Balanced Diet: Eating healthy foods is one of the most beneficial ways to deal with problems related to menopause and post-menopause. Try to consume whole grain foods and avoid foods having excess sugar and salt. One should also avoid processed and junk foods completely. It is advisable to have foods which are rich in vitamin D and calcium after menopause. One should also consult a doctor to ask for supplements if required. 

  • Regular Exercise: Another way to deal with the effects of menopause is by exercising regularly. One should go for aerobic exercise and strength training to lower the risk of health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, depression, etc. 

  • Visit a Doctor: It is highly advisable to see a doctor during this stage of life to monitor the health conditions and hormonal changes. One should also monitor herself to see any abnormal symptoms in the body. The doctor also monitors the FSH level. They also perform preventive screening tests including Pap smears, pelvic exams, mammograms, and breast exams.

  • Stop Bad Lifestyle Habits: Women are advised to stop smoking and drinking after menopause. 

Take Away -

Though this stage is very critical but dealing with the right care, one can easily conquer this stage of life. 

1587 people found this helpful

Energy Based Vaginal Rejuvenation Therapies - Know More About Them!

Dr.Inthu M 97% (3836ratings)
MBBS, M.S Obstetrics & Gynaecology, F.MAS FELLOWSHIP IN MINIMAL ACCESS SURGERY, D. MAS Dipolma in MINIMAL ACCESS SURGERY, FICRS, Fellowship in COSMETIC GYNAECOLOGY, Diploma in advanced Laparoscopy for Urogynaecology & Gynaec oncology, Basic training course in minimal invasive surgery in Gynaecology, Basics of Colposcopy, Fellowship in Cosmetic Gynaecology, Certificate course in diagnostic ultrasound imaging, Certificate of hands on training in hysteroscopy, Certificate course in diabetes, Fellowship in assisted reproductive technology, Certificate program in aesthetic Medicine, Certificate of operative Hysteroscopy, Certificate course in clinical embryology
Gynaecologist, Chennai
Energy Based Vaginal Rejuvenation Therapies - Know More About Them!

A woman’s body keeps undergoing changes all throughout her life. These changes become especially evident during childbearing, delivery, breastfeeding, pre-menopause, menopause and its aftermath. Aging too works in changes in her body. Her genitalia too may undergo changes in keeping with the rest of her body. However, sometimes women find these changes hard to accept. Some medical conditions too may necessitate genital rejuvenation.

Vaginal rejuvenation does not mean you have to go under the knife. There are minimally invasive ways of going about it.

When might a Woman need Vaginal Rejuvenation?

Here are some reasons a woman may opt for vaginal rejuvenation – 

  • Laxity of the vaginal canal caused by natural childbirth

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Sagging of the Labia Minora and the Labia Majora

  • Orgasm dysfunction and inability to enjoy sex

  • Vaginal atrophy

  • Urine leakage

Vaginal rejuvenation not only helps do away with all these medical issues but it also enhances the aesthetics of a woman’s private parts.

Non-surgical Means to Vaginal Rejuvenation -

Energy based Therapy -

As the name suggests, this treatment aims to undo vaginal damage by using heat. A beam of high-energy rays is aimed at the site that needs to be rejuvenated. It boosts the production of collagen, which is instrumental in healing scars and wrinkles and promotes the growth of new tissues. Moreover, it also makes the tissues of the vagina shrink and tighten.

There are a number of different treatments available that utilize energy-based therapy –

  • Radiofrequency treatment – Radiofrequency devices guide electromagnetic waves and the heat generated raises the temperature of the surrounding tissues.

  • Laser CO2 treatment – This treatment entails using carbon dioxide and laser technology to heat up the lowest layer of the tissues underneath the skin. This triggers the secretion of collagen. This tightens and makes the skin of the vagina taut.

If the damage done to the vagina is not extensive, then you may try exercises as an effective cure for your problems. Doctors might suggest Kegel exercises and pelvic floor work out to tighten the muscles of the vagina.

Non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation is effective in undoing any damage that might have been brought to a woman’s labia.

3167 people found this helpful

Can PRP Help In Vaginal Rejuvenation?

Dr.Inthu M 97% (3836ratings)
MBBS, M.S Obstetrics & Gynaecology, F.MAS FELLOWSHIP IN MINIMAL ACCESS SURGERY, D. MAS Dipolma in MINIMAL ACCESS SURGERY, FICRS, Fellowship in COSMETIC GYNAECOLOGY, Diploma in advanced Laparoscopy for Urogynaecology & Gynaec oncology, Basic training course in minimal invasive surgery in Gynaecology, Basics of Colposcopy, Fellowship in Cosmetic Gynaecology, Certificate course in diagnostic ultrasound imaging, Certificate of hands on training in hysteroscopy, Certificate course in diabetes, Fellowship in assisted reproductive technology, Certificate program in aesthetic Medicine, Certificate of operative Hysteroscopy, Certificate course in clinical embryology
Gynaecologist, Chennai
Can PRP Help In Vaginal Rejuvenation?

Vaginal rejuvenation is gaining more popularity by the day. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause can disfigure a woman’s genital area. Not only does her vagina undergo changes but several medical conditions may creep in as well. Ailments such as vaginal atrophy, lack of lubrication, sexual dysfunction might affect a woman’s sexual health, and can even trigger insecurities and melancholy.

But, there are ways you can undo these issues with vaginal rejuvenation through PRP.

What triggers Changes in the Vagina? 

A woman’s vagina goes through tremendous changes prompted by a changing concoction of hormones owing to pregnancy, delivering a child the traditional way. Moreover, even menopause can cause dramatic changes to her private parts. Childbirth can stretch out her vaginal canal. Hormonal imbalance can lead to vaginal dryness or atrophy. All of this may make sexual activities painful. This is when a woman should consider vaginal rejuvenation.

What is Vaginal Rejuvenation?

Vaginal rejuvenation is a process when a doctor will use therapy to treat the vaginal condition that you have been diagnosed with or to enhance the appearance of your vagina that may have suffered disfigurement with age.

Non-surgical PRP Vaginal Rejuvenation -

Vaginal rejuvenation does not have to be performed through surgery. There are minimally invasive ways to do it. One such very popular procedure is Plasma Rich Platelet treatment.

PRP for Vaginal Rejuvenation -

Your doctor or gynaecologist will first draw blood from you. Then this blood will be treated until there is only concentrates plasma containing proteins left in it. These proteins trigger growth and cell repair.

The PRP is injected into the vagina (wall of the vagina or the clitoris). This speeds up the generation of stem cells. New tissues are created that eradicate the problem of scars and loose skin.

Moreover, PRP injection also boosts secretion of collagen and elastin- both are instrumental for supple and flexible skin.

It also enhances the sensitivity of both the vagina and the clitoris. This makes a woman more responsive during sex that means an end to the problem of lack of arousal.

You can observe visible results in around a year.

PRP treatment is one of your best bets when it comes to vaginal rejuvenation. It is a safe and highly effective procedure.

3218 people found this helpful

How To Improve Intimacy After Menopause?

Dr.A. K Jain 91% (6527ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery (BAMS)
Sexologist, Lucknow
How To Improve Intimacy After Menopause?

Testosterone and oestrogen loss after menopause may cause changes in the sexual drive and body. Postmenopausal women might notice a loss of sexual interest and may respond less to stroking and touching. That may lead to decreased libido. Lower oestrogen levels can lead to reduced blood flow in the vagina. That may adversely affect lubrication in the vagina. Vaginal dryness during or after menopause can be successfully treated by using water-based lubrication.

Lubricants which aren’t water soluble may weaken the latex in condoms. Until ovulation stops and the doctor confirms it, condoms are a must. Other kinds of lubricants make the vagina susceptible to bacterial growth. Consult your doctor regarding vaginal oestrogen-therapy.

Intimacy may take some time at the onset of menopause and isn’t something to get worried about. Counselling may not be required and the sex drive may get restored with time. It is important to build on intimacy during this period. Refrain from having intercourse if it makes you uncomfortable. Intimacy doesn’t have to always involve sex. Affection and love can be expressed in many other ways.

Here are a few tips to better intimacy without having sex:

  1. Bond over erotic literature and videos and masturbation.
  2. Relax and spend time with each other. Indulge in non-sexual acts like gym, television, videos and music.
  3. Try new foreplay techniques. Such activities improve communication and can increase comfort levels between your partner and you. Oral sex and body massages are great starting points. Remember that the point of foreplay isn’t always sex.

Be frank when discussing your sexual problems with your doctor, even though talking about them may be hard. If need be, then your doctor might refer both your partner and you to a medical professional specialising in sexual problems and ailments. The therapist might further recommend a group or individual sexual counselling. Counselling with your partner is especially beneficial as it helps both of you to cope better with whatever your individual ailments may be. Counselling of this kind is very helpful even if it’s for a short while.

 

4467 people found this helpful

Menopause And Heart Attack - Is There A Connection?

Dr.Rajiv Agarwal 91% (74ratings)
MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Cardiology, Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology
Cardiologist, Delhi
Menopause And Heart Attack - Is There A Connection?

Menopause is an inevitable biological occurrence in every woman's life. It is a period when the menstrual cycle ceases permanently. Menopause brings about a sea of changes. From hormonal imbalance to insomnia to emotional breakdown and depression, the complications are many. Menopause is also found to increase the risk of certain health conditions, one of which includes heart problems and a heart attack. In this article, we will discuss the link between menopause and heart problems (including a heart attack) and the possible preventive measures.

The connection between menopause and a heart attack
As opposed to many beliefs, menopause, by no means is a diseased condition. It is a natural phenomenon that strikes every woman, usually after the age of 50. With menopause, there is also a dip in the level of estrogen hormone. Estrogen is an important female hormone that goes a long way in protecting women from various cardiovascular disorders.

It plays a pivotal role in the proper relaxation and dilation of the blood vessels to ensure the flow of blood to the heart remains unaltered.

Estrogen acts a catalyst, resulting in a significant increase in the level of the "Good Cholesterol" or HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) and a dip in the level of the "Bad Cholesterol or LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein).

  1. With a fall in the estrogen level, the concentration of LDL rises with a considerable dip in the HDL level.
  2. The higher the level of LDL, the more the chances of a heart problem, especially a heart attack.
  3. The LDL present in excess can adhere to the walls of the blood vessels and cause its blockage.
  4. The condition can also result in arterial blockage.
  5. Further, in the absence (or lesser concentration) of estrogen, the walls of the heart tends to lose its flexibility and elasticity to a great extent.

All these conditions can spell doom for the heart triggering a heart attack or other cardiovascular disorders.

Preventive Measures

  1. After the age of 50, it is essential to go for regular health check-ups.
  2. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle as much as you can. Exercise and physical activities, even for 30 minutes daily can make a difference. Obesity can play a significant role in triggering heart problems. Thus, it is essential to keep the body weight within control.
  3. Your diet can also influence overall health. Try and avoid foods that are rich in trans and saturated fats (doughnuts, cakes, pastries, cookies, margarine, frozen and creamy drinks, animal fats, to name a few). Go for a diet rich in folic acid (Avocados, dark green vegetables, citrus fruits, lentils, nuts, peas), whole grains, fish, fibers.
  4. The link between smoking and heart diseases need no special mention. Quit smoking if you want to keep the heart healthy and disease-free.
  5. Problems will always be there. Don't overstress yourself with the same. Spend quality time with family and loved one (day outs, short trips, and vacations).
  6. Never skip the prescribed medicines, unless advised by the attending physician.
1418 people found this helpful

Menopause - Know More About It!

Dr.Preethi P 91% (98ratings)
MBBS, DGO - Gynaecologist & Obstetrician, Diploma in Advanced Gynaec Laparoscopic Surgery
Gynaecologist, Chennai
Menopause - Know More About It!

Menopause is the time in your life when you naturally stop having menstrual periods. Menopause happens when the ovaries stop making hormones. Menopause marks the end of the reproductive years. The average age that women go through menopause is 51 years.

The years leading up to menopause are called perimenopause. Cycles may become longer than usual for you or become shorter. You may begin to skip periods. The amount of flow may become lighter or heavier. Although changes in menstrual bleeding are normal during perimenopause, you still should report them to your doctor. Abnormal bleeding may be a sign of a problem.

What are the other signs and symptoms of menopause?

Some women do not have any symptoms of perimenopause or have only a few mild symptoms. Others have many symptoms that can be severe. Common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Hot flashes - A hot flash is a sudden feeling of heat that rushes to the upper body and face. It may last from a few seconds to several minutes or longer. Some women have hot flashes a few times a month. Others have them several times a day. Hot flashes that happen at night (night sweats) may wake you up and cause you to feel tired and sluggish during the day.

  • Sleep problems - You may have insomnia (trouble falling asleep), or you may wake up long before your usual time. Night sweats may disrupt your sleep.

  • Vaginal and urinary tract changes - As estrogen levels decrease, the lining of the vagina may become thinner, dryer, and less elastic. Vaginal dryness may cause pain during sex. Vaginal infections also may occur more often. The urethra can become dry, inflamed, or irritated. This can cause more frequent urination and increase the risk of urinary tract infections.

What types of bone changes can occur after menopause?

During the first 4–8 years after menopause, women lose bone more rapidly. This rapid loss occurs because of the decreased levels of estrogen. If too much bone is lost, it can increase the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis increases the risk of bone fracture. The bones of the hip, wrist, and spine are affected most often.

What do other health risks increase during perimenopause and menopause?

The estrogen produced by women’s ovaries before menopause protects against heart attacks and stroke. When less estrogen is made after menopause, women lose much of this protection. Midlife also is the time when risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and being physically inactive, are more common. All of these combined factors increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in menopausal women.

What is hormone therapy?

Hormone therapy can help relieve the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Hormone therapy means taking estrogen and, if you have never had a hysterectomy and still have a uterus, a hormone called progestin. Estrogen plus progestin sometimes is called “combined hormone therapy” or simply “hormone therapy.” Taking progestin helps reduce the risk of cancer of the uterus that occurs when estrogen is used alone. If you do not have a uterus, estrogen is given without progestin. Estrogen-only therapy sometimes is called “estrogen therapy.”

How is hormone therapy given?

Estrogen can be given in several forms. Systemic forms include pills, skin patches, and gels and sprays that are applied to the skin. If progestin is prescribed, it can be given separately or combined with estrogen in the same pill or in a patch. With systemic therapy, estrogen is released into the bloodstream and travels to the organs and tissues where it is needed. Women who only have vaginal dryness may be prescribed “local” estrogen therapy in the form of a vaginal ring, tablet, or cream. These forms release small doses of estrogen into the vaginal tissue.

What are the benefits of hormone therapy?

Systemic estrogen therapy (with or without progestin) has been shown to be the best treatment for the relief of hot flashes and night sweats. Both systemic and local types of estrogen therapy relieve vaginal dryness. Systemic estrogen protects against the bone loss that occurs early in menopause and helps prevent hip and spine fractures. Combined estrogen and progestin therapy may reduce the risk of colon cancer.

What are the risks of hormone therapy?

Hormone therapy may increase the risk of certain types of cancer and other conditions:

  • Estrogen-only therapy causes the lining of the uterus to grow and can increase the risk of uterine cancer.

  • Combined hormone therapy is associated with a small increased risk of heart attack. This risk may be related to age, existing medical conditions, and when a woman starts taking hormone therapy.

  • Combined hormone therapy and estrogen-only therapy are associated with a small increased risk of stroke and deep vein thrombosis. Forms of therapy not taken by mouth (patches, sprays, rings, and others) may have less risk of causing deep vein thrombosis than those taken by mouth.

  • Combined hormone therapy is associated with a small increased risk of breast cancer.

  • There is a small increased risk of gallbladder disease associated with estrogen therapy with or without progestin. The risk is greatest with oral forms of therapy.

Can plant and herbal supplements help with menopause symptoms?

Plants and herbs that have been used for relief of menopause symptoms include soy, black cohosh, and Chinese herbal remedies. Only a few of these substances have been studied for safety and effectiveness. Also, the way that these products are made is not regulated. There is no guarantee that the product contains safe ingredients or effective doses of the substance. If you do take one of these products, be sure to let your doctor know.

Can vaginal moisturizers and lubricants help with menopause symptoms?

These over-the-counter products can be used to help with vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse that may occur during menopause. Vaginal moisturizers replace moisture and restore the natural acidity of the vagina and can be used every 2–3 days as needed. Lubricants can be used each time you have sexual intercourse.

What can I do to stay healthy after menopause?

A healthy lifestyle can help you make the best of the years after menopause. The following are some ways to stay healthy during midlife:

  • Nutrition—Eating a balanced diet will help you stay healthy before, during, and after menopause. Be sure to include enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet to help maintain strong bones.

  • Exercise—Regular exercise slows down bone loss and improves your overall health. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, can help keep bones strong. Strength training strengthens your muscles and bones by resisting against weight, such as your own body, an exercise band, or handheld weights. Balance training, such as yoga and tai chi, may help you avoid falls, which could lead to broken bones.

  • Routine health care—Visit your doctor once a year to have regular exams and tests. Dental checkups and eye exams are important, too. Routine health care visits, even if you are not sick, can help detect problems early.

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