Social Construction Of Menopause: A Western Historical Context
Throughout history, menopause has had negative connotations. Hippocrates described a climacteric syndrome, which was attributed to a weak uterus causing women to lose power . In 1701, a physician argued that women 45 to 50 years of age develop a condition known as hysterick fits . As the label implies, the underlying premise was that menopause affects women on a psychologic level. Others believed that menstruation was a biologic way for the female body to eliminate poisonous chemicals, and lack of menstruation resulted in toxic accumulation . In Puritan New England, women were believed to be the weaker spiritual vessel, and the concept of menopause affecting women and not men was consistent with this overall concept that women were viewed as the weaker sex. Furthermore, it has been noted that the majority of women who were accused of witchcraft during this time were at the approximate age of menopause beginning .
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What Can I Do About Hot Flashes
Hot flashes occur from a decrease in estrogen levels. In response to this, your glands release higher amounts of other hormones that affect the brain’s thermostat, causing your body temperature to fluctuate. Hormone therapy has been shown to relieve some of the discomfort of hot flashes for many women. However, the decision to start using these hormones should be made only after you and your healthcare provider have evaluated your risk versus benefit ratio.
To learn more about women’s health, and specifically hormone therapy, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health launched the Women’s Health Initiative in 1991. The hormone trial had 2 studies: the estrogen-plus-progestin study of women with a uterus and the estrogen-alone study of women without a uterus. Both studies ended early when the research showed that hormone therapy did not help prevent heart disease and it increased risk for some medical problems. Follow-up studies found an increased risk of heart disease in women who took estrogen-plus-progestin therapy, especially those who started hormone therapy more than 10 years after menopause.
The WHI recommends that women follow the FDA advice on hormone therapy. It states that hormone therapy should not be taken to prevent heart disease.
Practical suggestions for coping with hot flashes include:
Hrt For Breast Cancer Survivors
It is advisable for women with a history of breast cancer to avoid HRT unless other treatments are ineffective, and their quality of life is made intolerable by menopausal symptoms. In these circumstances, HRT should only be prescribed in consultation with the womans breast surgeon or oncologist.
Evidence has not conclusively shown that HRT will increase the risk of breast cancer recurring in a woman with a history of the disease. However, oestrogen and progestogens may stimulate some types of cells in the breast and some types of HRT use have been associated with an increase in the risk of breast cancer in women without a history of breast cancer.
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Quiz: Are You In Perimenopause
Perimenopause starts with your first hot flash and lasts until 12 months after your last period. You may already be in it . Take this quiz and find out.
1. Which of the following can be a sign that menopause is approaching?
c. Thinning hair
d. All of the above
2. Since perimenopause is a natural process, there’s no need to see a doctor when symptoms begin. True or false?
3. Birth-control pills are safe for women in perimenopause. True or false?
4. Over the last few decades many women have chosen to combat hot flashes and supplement their declining stores of estrogen and progesterone with hormone replacement therapy . However, new research suggests that long-term HRT use can result in serious health consequences. Which of the following risks may accompany long-term HRT use?
a. Increased risk of heart disease
b. Increased risk of invasive breast cancer
c. Increased risk of stroke and blood clots
d. Increased risk of Alzheimer’s or dementia
e. All of the above
5. Symptoms are sometimes ambiguous. A blood test can help you figure out if you’re in perimenopause. True or false?
6. The age at which you had your first period can help predict when you will reach menopause. True or false?
1. Which of the following can be a sign that menopause is approaching?
The correct answer is: d. All of the above .
2. Since perimenopause is a natural process, there’s no need to see a doctor when symptoms begin. True or false?
Pregnancy Is Still Possible
Menopause marks the end of a females reproductive years, but it is still possible to become pregnant around or after this time.
Perimenopause can start 4 8 years before menopause. As long as menstruation continues, a person can become pregnant. However, the chances of conceiving and having a full-term pregnancy decline as a person approaches menopause.
Advances in reproductive technology mean it is also possible to become pregnant after menopause. This will usually be with donated eggs or embryos that the individual preserved earlier in life.
There may be a higher risk of pregnancy loss, preterm birth, and risks to the womans health, depending on the individuals age and health status at the time of conception.
However, as one points out, younger people who have not entered menopause may also experience similar issues.
Learn more here about becoming pregnant around the time of menopause.
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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.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do my symptoms indicate that I might be going through menopause?
- My menstrual cycle is irregular. Could it be caused by something other than menopause?
- Im uncomfortable and/or dont feel well. Is there a way to safely treat my symptoms?
- Ive heard that soy products or herbal supplements may help. Are these effective? Are they good options for me?
- Am I a candidate for hormone replacement therapy?
- What are the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy?
- Am I at risk for heart disease or osteoporosis?
- Do I need any tests, such as bone density screening?
- Now that Im going through menopause, what changes, if any, should I make to my diet and exercise?
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Keeping An Active Sex Life
Menopause can reduce a persons sex drive and lead to vaginal dryness, but it also removes the need for birth control. For some, this can make sex more enjoyable.
Having sex often can increase vaginal blood flow and help keep the tissues healthy.
Some tips for maintaining sexual health and activity during menopause include:
- staying physically active
- avoiding tobacco products, recreational drugs, and alcohol
- taking the time to become aroused, which will improve lubrication
- doing Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor
- not using any strong soaps around the vagina, as these can worsen irritation
Also, menopause symptoms lead some people to find satisfying forms of sex that do not involve the vagina as much or at all.
It is worth remembering that, while a woman cannot become pregnant once menopause starts, it is still important to use barrier protection during penetrative sex to protect against sexually transmitted infections.
Often, sexual partners will be getting older and may be experiencing menopause at the same time. They, too, may be feeling a drop in sex drive. Opening up about any concerns can help both partners feel better and explore new forms of intimacy.
Menopause is a stage in life, not an illness. Most women experience natural menopause during midlife. However, surgery and other factors can cause menopause to start earlier.
Mcq Questions For Class 8 Science Chapter 10 Reaching The Age Of Adolescence With Answers
We have compiled the NCERT MCQ Questions for Class 8 Science Chapter 10 Reaching the Age of Adolescence with Answers Pdf free download covering the entire syllabus. Practice MCQ Questions for Class 8 Science with Answers on a daily basis and score well in exams. Refer to the Reaching the Age of Adolescence Class 8 MCQs Questions with Answers here along with a detailed explanation.
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Will My Hot Flashes Stop After Menopause
Some people still experience hot flashes after menopause. Postmenopausal hot flashes are caused by decreased estrogen levels. It is not uncommon to experience a random hot flash for years after menopause. If your hot flashes are bothersome or intensify, speak with your healthcare provider to rule out other causes.
Hormonal Changes Can Affect Men Physically And Emotionally
Menopause is often associated with hot flashes and mood swings in women. So, do hormonal changes with similar symptoms occur in men as they age? Is male menopause a real medical issue?
The answer is yes. But male menopause is just one easy way to describe it.
Male menopause is a condition that affects older men. It carries a set of symptoms that are linked to declining testosterone levels and aging. It is also referred to as andropause, androgen decline in the aging male, late onset hypogonadism and low testosterone.
Not every man will experience this. But the symptoms are very real, says Luigi Simone, MD, a family medicine physician at Scripps Clinic Encinitas with a special focus on mens health. Theres a reason its called male menopause. Its because it can produce many of the same symptoms as female menopause.
Those symptoms include irritability, weight gain, low sex drive and function, problems sleeping, depression, fatigue and loss of strength. It may even include hot flashes.
While doctors can treat these symptoms, male menopause is difficult to identify. Thats because the symptoms in many cases may have nothing to do with testosterone deficiency, but with other conditions.
Why do men experience low testosterone?
A decline in testosterone and symptoms that may arise are gradual compared to what women experience during menopause.
Male menopause symptoms
What does a blood test do?
- Family Medicine
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What Is Premature Menopause
Menopause, when it occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, is considered natural and is a normal part of aging. But, some women can experience menopause early, either as a result of a surgical intervention or damage to the ovaries . Menopause that occurs before the age of 45, regardless of the cause, is called early menopause. Menopause that occurs at 40 or younger is considered premature menopause.
How Do I Stay Healthy After Menopause
It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially as you age and your risk for certain medical conditions increases. Some ways for people in postmenopause to stay healthy include:
- Exercising regularly. Walking, doing yoga or strength training can help lower your risk for many medical conditions.
- Weight-bearing exercises can strengthen your bones and muscles.
- Eating a healthy diet. Foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains should make up the bulk of your diet. Avoid lots of salt or sugar and limit your consumption of alcohol.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Going through menopause can be uncomfortable and present new challenges and health concerns. Speak with your healthcare provider about any symptoms you feel or questions you have. They can help make sure you are supported through this time and get the care you need.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/05/2021.
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Venous Thrombosis And Hrt
Venous thromboses are blood clots that form inside veins. Women under 50 years of age, and women aged 50 to 60, face an increased risk of venous thrombosis if they take oral HRT. The increase in risk seems to be highest in the first year or two of therapy and in women who already have a high risk of blood clots. This especially applies to women who have a genetic predisposition to developing thrombosis, who would normally not be advised to use HRT.
Limited research to date suggests the increased risk of clots is mainly related to combined oestrogen and progestogen in oral form, and also depends on the type of progestogen used. Some studies suggest a lower risk with non-oral therapy or tibolone.
Is It Safe For Women Who Have Had A Cancer Diagnosis To Take Mht
One of the roles of naturally occurring estrogen is to promote the normal growth of cells in the breast and uterus. Some cancers also use estrogen to promote their growth. Thus, it is generally believed that MHT may promote further tumor growth in women who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer. However, studies of MHT use in breast cancer survivors have produced conflicting results, with some studies showing an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence and others showing no increased risk of recurrence .
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Are There Alternatives For Women Who Choose Not To Take Menopausal Hormone Therapy
Women who are concerned about the changes that occur naturally with the decline in hormone production that occurs during menopause can make changes in their lifestyle and diet to reduce the risk of certain health effects. For example, eating foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D or taking dietary supplements containing these nutrients may help to prevent osteoporosis. FDA-approved drugs such as alendronate , raloxifene , and risedronate have been shown in randomized trials to prevent bone loss.
Medications approved by the FDA for treating depression and seizures may help to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes . Drugs that have been shown in randomized clinical trials to be effective in treating hot flashes include venlafaxine , desvenlafaxine , paroxetine , fluoxetine , citalopram , gabapentin , and pregabalin .
Other Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms
Studies have shown that some prescription medications can reduce hot flushes and sweats. These treatments may be an option if HRT cannot be used for health or other reasons, and should be discussed with a doctor.
The herbal medicine, black cohosh, may take the edge off hot flushes and sweats, but there is no data to support long-term use. There is also a rare liver condition that may be associated with the use of black cohosh.
Other complementary and alternative medicines have not been shown to be effective for menopausal symptoms when compared with dummy or placebo treatment in research studies.
Commercially available vaginal moisturisers may reduce vaginal dryness if used regularly. Consult your doctor about what will work best for you.
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What Causes Postmenopausal Bleeding
Vaginal bleeding during postmenopause isn’t a normal side effect of decreasing hormone levels. In some cases, the dryness in your vagina could cause some light bleeding or spotting after sex. In other cases, it could indicate a condition like endometrial hyperplasia or uterine fibroids, infections like endometritis, or cancer. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any vaginal bleeding so you can be evaluated.
Production Of The Female Gametes
The female gametes are the oocytes, which develop within the ovaries within a specialized location termed the follicle. As the oocyte develops, the size and shape of the follicle also changes. When maturation of the oocyte is complete, it is released from the follicle following the secretion of luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland. The release of the oocyte involves the rupture of the follicle, the process of which is termed ovulation. Following ovulation, the follicle forms the corpus luteum, which prepares the uterine lining for implantation of a fertilized egg via the secretion of progesterone. A detailed diagram of the menstrual cycle is shown above. In females, testosterone is required for proper bone and muscle development, as well as libido . It has been found that female testosterone levels are associated with the degree of sexual arousal.
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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.
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.
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