WHY don’t we know more about the Menopause?
How is it possible that even those who will go through it sometimes know so little about what to expect from menopause?
It’s partly because the condition has been feared or misunderstood throughout the ages. It is also no secret that previous generations considered the “change of life” strictly women’s territory along with periods, pregnancy, giving birth and postpartum physical concerns.
Some of that mystery around natural gynaecological functions continues today.
So, what’s the difference between peri-menopause and menopause?
Peri-menopause refers to the time right before menopause begins and hormone production from your ovaries starts to decline. You may experience some symptoms commonly associated with menopause, like hot flashes. Your menstrual cycle may become irregular, but it won’t cease. Once you completely stop having a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months, you’ve entered menopause.
The age you experience menopause can vary, but it typically occurs in your late 40s or early 50s. It can cause many changes in your body because of decreased production of Oestrogen and progesterone in your ovaries. Oestrogen is important to cholesterol levels as well as reproductive, bone and skin health. Lower Oestrogen levels can result in hot flashes, mood swings, depression, anxiety and irregular periods during peri-menopause, and those symptoms can continue into the rest of the menopausal process after periods end.
We know there are also physical concerns associated with menopause, including a higher risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
According to Dr Asma Khan, knowledgeable and compassionate doctors and families are a key component to a smoother menopausal transition.
To manage your symptoms, maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. You should contact your doctor if you experience adverse symptoms that affect your ability to function, or if you notice anything unusual that might require a closer look.
Dr Asma Khan provides a women’s health service from the County Medical Centre in Kilmallock and can be contacted on 086-2323232 for consultations.