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What Are The Side Effects Of Menopause Symptoms

What You Can Do Right Now To Support Your Physical And Mental Health During Menopause And Coronavirus

Menopause – What are the side effects of HRT?

Aside from consulting with your doctor about any potential health issues, such as heart health and diabetes, youll want to engage in healthy lifestyle activities that can help you stay healthier during menopause and during quarantine, when health issues are compounded by both loss of routine and chronic anxiety.;

There are plenty of lifestyle modifications you can make to protect your body and keep yourself healthy especially during a pandemic when you need to stay healthy. This starts with maintaining social distancing and protecting yourself by avoiding crowds, as well as washing your hands and disinfecting your home regularly.;

Hormone Therapy And Other Treatments For Symptoms Of Menopause

D. ASHLEY HILL, MD, and MARK CRIDER, MD, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, Florida

SUSAN R. HILL, MD, Orlando, Florida

Am Fam Physician.;2016;Dec;1;94:884-889.

;Patient information: See related handout on treating menopausal symptoms, written by the authors of this article.

Menopause is the physiologic transition when the ovaries stop releasing eggs, ovarian function decreases, and menstrual periods stop. Although some women go through the menopausal transition without symptoms, many women have hot flashes or genital tract symptoms, such as vulvar or vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and urinary problems. When counseling patients who are going through menopause, clinicians should understand the benefits and risks of hormone therapy, nonhormonal prescription medications, and alternative treatments, and be familiar with the various delivery methods.

WHAT IS NEW ON THIS TOPIC: TREATMENTS FOR MENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS

After a median of 13 years of follow-up, women taking combined estrogen/progestogen therapy in the Women’s Health Initiative trial had a significantly increased risk of breast cancer and venous thromboembolism, and a reduction in hip fractures.

In 2014, a consensus conference endorsed new terminology: the term genitourinary syndrome of menopause replaces the terms vulvovaginal atrophy and atrophic vaginitis. This is partly because older terminology does not encompass the extent of genital tract symptoms that many women experience.

Status Of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Assessment of the risks versus the benefits of HRT has become a challenging task for the physicians. Controversial issues have surrounded the status of HRT for postmenopausal women lately. Several randomized controlled trials present contradicting evidence and have raised questions about the short-term risks of long-term benefits of HRT. Evidence from clinical trials like the WHI and The Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study trial does not support HRT use for prevention of cardiovascular disease. The association of HRT with cancer, stroke, cognition, cardiovascular disease, venous thromboembolism, osteoporosis, gallbladder disease is under scrutiny. The latest controversial results of randomized controlled trials in recent years have posed newer challenges for the physicians in prescribing HRT for postmenopausal women.

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What Triggers A Hot Flash

There are quite a few normal things in your daily life that could set off a hot flash. Some things to look out for include:

  • Caffeine.
  • Tight clothing.
  • Stress and anxiety.

Heat, including hot weather, can also trigger a hot flash. Be careful when working out in hot weather this could cause a hot flash.

Questions To Ask Your Health Care Team

Find Menopausal Symptoms
  • Could my cancer treatment cause early or sudden menopause?

  • Should I speak with a fertility specialist before beginning cancer treatment?

  • Could my cancer treatment affect my sex life? How, and for how long?

  • What signs of menopause should I look out for?

  • What are the treatment options for my menopause symptom?

  • Do you recommend hormone replacement therapy for me?

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Breast Cancer And Hrt

Women over 50 years of age who use combined oestrogen and progestogen replacement for less than five years have little or no increased risk of breast cancer. Women who use combined HRT for more than five years have a slightly increased risk. Women on oestrogen alone have no increased risk up to 15 years of usage.

There is no evidence to suggest that a woman with a family history of breast cancer will have an added increased risk of developing breast cancer if she uses HRT. The risk with combined oestrogen and progestogen is greater than with oestrogen alone, or with newer HRT agents such as tibolone , and may also depend on the type of progestogen used. Studies suggest that medroxyprogesterone acetate and norethisterone have higher risks than dydrogesterone and progesterone.

Mirena And Other Forms Of Contraception Dont Affect The Onset Of Menopause

Mirena partially suppresses ovulation the release of an egg from its follicle to stop you from getting pregnant. Stands to reason that releasing fewer eggs will make the ones you have last longer and make you go into menopause later, right? Wrong.

Even if you dont ovulate, you steadily lose follicles as you get older. Mirena or any other type of contraceptive doesnt seem to affect the time it takes to get to menopause.

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How Does Menopause Affect Iron Levels In My Blood

If you are still having periods as you go through menopause, you may continue to be at risk of a low iron level. This is especially true if your bleeding is heavy or you spot between periods. This can lead to;anemia. Talk with your doctor about the amount of iron thats right for you. Good sources of iron include spinach, beans, and meat. Your doctor may also suggest that you take an iron supplement.

How Long Do Symptoms Last

New treatment for women suffering from menopause-related depression

Perimenopausal symptoms can last four years on average. The symptoms associated with this phase will gradually ease during menopause and postmenopause. Women whove gone an entire year without a period are considered postmenopausal.

Hot flashes, also known as hot flushes, are a common symptom of perimenopause. One study found that moderate to severe hot flashes could continue past perimenopause and last for a

Researchers also found that Black women and women of average weight experience hot flashes for a longer period than white women and women who are considered overweight.

Its possible for a woman to experience menopause before the age of 55. Early menopause occurs in women who go through menopause before theyre 45 years old. Its considered premature menopause if youre menopausal and are 40 years old or younger.

Early or premature menopause can happen for many reasons. Some women can go through early or premature menopause because of surgical intervention, like a hysterectomy. It can also happen if the ovaries are damaged by chemotherapy or other conditions and treatments.

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Intimacy Sex And Breast Cancer

Menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and vaginal dryness as well as a decreased sex drive can affect new and existing relationships and;your;sex life.

It may feel difficult or embarrassing talking about these problems, but it can help to discuss it with your treatment team or GP as they may be able to help.

Do I Still Have To Worry About Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Yes. Menopause and postmenopause don’t protect you against STDs. You can get an STD at any point in your life during which you’re sexually active. This risk doesn’t go down with age or with changes in your reproductive system.

Left untreated, some STDs can lead to serious illnesses, while others, like HIV, cannot be cured and may be fatal.

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How Postmenopause Affects The Body

We dont fully appreciate the natural hormone estrogen until its gone. This humble hormone is essential for maintaining health throughout a womans body not just the reproductive system. With a decrease in estrogen, your bodys major systems can be affected too.

Heres how estrogen relates to the rest of your body once youre postmenopause.

What Are The Symptoms Of Menopause

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Every womans menopause experience is unique. Symptoms are usually more severe when menopause occurs suddenly or over a shorter period of time.

Conditions that impact the health of the ovary, like cancer or hysterectomy, or certain lifestyle choices, like smoking, tend to increase the severity and duration of symptoms.

Aside from menstruation changes, the symptoms of perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause are generally the same. The most common early signs of perimenopause are:

An estimated 75 percent of women experience hot flashes with menopause.

Other common symptoms of menopause include:

  • follicle-stimulating hormone
  • luteinizing hormone

One of the most notable changes is the loss of active ovarian follicles. Ovarian follicles are the structures that produce and release eggs from the ovary wall, allowing menstruation and fertility.

Most women first notice the frequency of their period becoming less consistent, as the flow becomes heavier and longer. This usually occurs at some point in the mid-to-late 40s. By the age of 52, most U.S. women have undergone menopause.

In some cases, menopause is induced, or caused by injury or surgical removal of the ovaries and related pelvic structures.

Common causes of induced menopause include:

Additional blood tests commonly used to help confirm menopause include:

  • vaginal atrophy
  • osteoporosis

Read Also: How Long Between Periods During Menopause

Can I Still Get Pregnant

Even if you stop having periods and experience menopausal symptoms, you may still be fertile and could become pregnant. You may also still be fertile even if you are going through the menopause, as your ovaries might not have stopped working completely.

If you are unsure about your fertility or menopausal status, talk to your treatment team or GP, who can discuss contraception where appropriate.

Sometimes your treatment team may suggest having a series of blood tests to check if you are pre or postmenopausal, but this isnt appropriate or accurate for everyone and will depend on where you are in your treatment.

For some women, having an early menopause may mean coming to terms with the possibility of being infertile. This can be very difficult to cope with, especially if youre considering starting a family or having more children.

Find out more about breast cancer and fertility.

What Are Phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogens are plant-based substances found in some cereals, vegetables, beans and other legumes, and herbs. They may work in the body like a weak form of estrogen. Researchers are studying whether phytoestrogens can be used to relieve some symptoms of menopause. They are also studying the side effects caused by these substances. Many soy products are good sources of phytoestrogens. These include tofu, tempeh, soymilk, and soy nuts. Some studies indicate that soy supplements may reduce hot flashes after menopause.

However, the results havent been consistent. There is not enough scientific evidence to recommend the use of herbs that contain phytoestrogens to treat symptoms of menopause. This is also true of pills and creams made with these herbs. In addition, not enough is known about the risks of using these products. Herbs and supplements are not regulated like medicines. Some herbs and supplements can be harmful when combined with certain medicines. If youre considering using any natural or herbal products to ease your symptoms, talk to your doctor first.

Read Also: Does Menopause Make You Feel Crazy

Give Yourself A Break

Introduce self-care into your daily life, even if its only for a few moments each day or scattered throughout your day as small breaks. Dr. DePree recommends trying new things. If youve always wanted to journal, do yoga, or start meditatingnows the time. And stay connected with others through phone calls and letters. Human connection can bolster our wellbeing in ways we dont even realizeespecially if were self-isolating alone.;

The benefits of self-care are multi-layered. While they can help us feel better when everything around us seems chaotic and uncertain allowing us an outlet to express emotion or find solace stress management can also help to reduce physical inflammation. Its a win-win for the body and mind.;;

If all of this feels overwhelming, know that you are not alone and that you can take control of your health and wellness with the proper care and lifestyle adjustments. Introduce small, doable changes each day, and stick to them. Hold yourself accountable, but be self-compassionate and patient with yourself as you adopt any new lifestyle changes.;

How Does Menopause Affect Bone Health

Menopause – What are the symptoms of menopause?

The older a person is, the greater their risk of;osteoporosis. A persons risk becomes even greater when they go through menopause. When your estrogen level decreases during menopause, you lose more bone than your body can replace. This makes your bones weaker and more likely to break. To keep your bones strong, its important to get enough calcium and;vitamin;D in your diet. These help your body absorb calcium. Your doctor can suggest ways to get more calcium through food, drink, and, possibly, a calcium supplement. They may also suggest that you take a vitamin D supplement to help your body process calcium. Ask your doctor what amount of daily calcium and vitamin D is right for you.

Also Check: How Do You Know If You Are Going Through Menopause

Can My Diet Affect How Well I Sleep

The following tips can help reduce sleep problems:

  • Eat regular meals at regular times.
  • Avoid late-night meals and heavy late-night snacks.
  • Limit;caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and cola drinks. Caffeine stays in the bloodstream for up to 6 hours and can interfere with sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol. It may make you feel sleepy, but it actually affects the cycle of REM and non-REM sleep. This may cause you to wake up throughout the night.

Stick To A Routine Or Establish A New One

Beyond working out to maintain weight, regular, routine workouts help stabilize hormone levels, according to Dr. Richardson. When you stay in a fitness routine, the adrenal glands, which control our stress pathways, stay calm.; I know a lot of routines have been disrupted by this pandemic so you may even need to create a new routine to stay healthy.;

Beyond regular movement, your routine should also include self-care and drinking loads of water, she says. Water is the fuel the body runs on. I suggest taking your body weight and dividing it in half. Thats how many ounces per day you need.”

Recommended Reading: Can Hot Flashes Be Caused By Something Other Than Menopause

Review Of Indian Literature On Postmenopausal Syndrome

The average age of menopause in India is 47.5 years, with an average life expectancy of 71 years. Therefore, Indian women are likely to spend almost 23.5 years in menopause .

About 3540% women between 40 and 65 years have been diagnosed to suffer from osteopenia and 830% suffer from osteoporosis. All women over 65 years have been found to suffer from osteopenia or osteoporosis .

A study which analyzed a sample consisting of menopausal, premenopausal and postmenopausal women in the age range of 3550 years using a two-stage screening procedure for identifying and screening psychiatric morbidity General Health Questionnaire and Standard Psychiatric Interview, found highest psychiatric co-morbidity in the menopausal group, in terms of age maximum number of cases with psychiatric co-morbidity were from 41 to 45 years. Menopausal women suffered more symptoms of menopause as well as psychiatric symptoms as compared to premenopausal women. Both set of symptoms was found to be less in the postmenopause group also. The most common reported symptoms in the group were depression, depressive thoughts, anxiety, and excessive concern about bodily functions. Supporting the findings of the earlier study the predominant symptom in menopausal women was depression.

Perimenopause Vs Menopause Vs Postmenopause

Pin on Menopause & Women

During perimenopause, menstrual periods become irregular. Your periods may be late, or you may completely skip one or more periods. Menstrual flow may also become heavier or lighter.

Menopause is defined as a lack of menstruation for one full year.

Postmenopause refers to the years after menopause has occurred.

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Changes In Menstrual Cycle

Your period may not be as regular as it used to be. You may bleed heavier or lighter than usual, and occasionally spot. Also, your period may be shorter or longer in duration.

If you do miss your period, make sure to rule out pregnancy. If youre not pregnant, a missed period could indicate the onset of menopause. If you do begin spotting after not having your period for 12 consecutive months, make sure to talk to your doctor to rule out any serious conditions, such as cancer.

Alternative And Complementary Menopause Treatments

Some studies have found that soy products relieve hot flashes, but researchers are still looking into it. There arenât many large studies on whether other supplements such as black cohosh or âbioidenticalâ hormones work for menopause symptoms. Talk to your doctor before starting any herbal or dietary supplements.

Yoga, tai chi, and acupuncture are safer ways to manage menopause symptoms.

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Cardiovascular Disease And Hrt

Women over 60 have a small increased risk of developing; heart disease or stroke on combined oral HRT. Although the increase in risk is small, it needs to be considered when starting HRT, as the risk occurs early in treatment and persists with time.

Oestrogen used on its own increases the risk of stroke further if taken in tablet form, but not if using a skin patch. Similarly, tibolone increases the risk of stroke in women from their mid-60s.

Women who commence HRT around the typical time of menopause have lower risks of cardiovascular disease than women aged 60 or more.

What Are Menopause Symptoms And Signs

How to reduce menopause symptoms

    It is important to remember that each woman’s experience is highly individual. Some women may experience few or no symptoms of menopause, while others experience multiple physical and psychological symptoms. The extent and severity of symptoms varies significantly among women. It is also important to remember that symptoms may come and go over an extended period for some women. This, too, is highly individual. These symptoms of menopause and perimenopause are discussed in detail below.

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