What is Menopause?

Menopause occurs when almost all ovarian follicles and oocytes in a woman’s ovaries have been depleted which marks the end of the reproductive cycle in a woman’s life. Menopause is considered final when there has been no bleeding at all for a period of 12 months, not even spotting.The word menopause comes from the Greek “pausis”, meaning cessation and the root word “men”, meaning month, i.e. cessation of menses. Natural menopause occurs as part of the normal aging process, typically during the late 40’s to early 50’s, and signals the end of fertility. The transition from being reproductive to being non-reproductive as a result of changes in the hormonal production of the ovaries, is not abrupt or sudden, but tends to last for a period of several years.

As the number of ovarian follicles and oocytes start to decrease at the beginning of the menopausal phase, there is a corresponding increase in FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone), resulting in a decrease in the production of estrogen, which leads to perimenopausal symptoms. These symptoms include hot flushes, mood changes, vaginal dryness and insomnia, which often significantly disrupt the normal sense of well being in a woman. The degree to which symptoms are experienced differ widely from woman to woman. All of these symptoms are caused by the overall drop and erratic fluctuations of levels of estrogen and progesterone, and formication (itching, tingling o crawling skin sensations) may be directly associated with homone withdrawal.

Perimenopause, leading up to the final menopause, is a naturally occurring stage of a woman’s life and is not a disorder or disease which requires medical intervention, however, in cases where the mental, emotional and physical effects of perimenopause drastically disrupt the well being of a woman, palliative therapy may be appropriate. HRT (hormone replacement therapy) containing estrogen plus progestin is prescribed for use by women with a uterus, or estrogen alone for women who have had a hysterectomy.

Most women identify a lack of energy as the most distressing and frequent effect during perimenopause. Other effects may include heart palpitations, depression, irritability, anxiety, memory problems, lack of concentration and frequent urination.

At the onset of the menopausal phase, a woman will experience erratic menstrual periods and the timing of periods will become unpredictable. Flow may be considerabley longer or shorter, heavier or lighter than usual, including episodes of spotting. Later into the process a woman may skip periods, sometimes for months, only to be followed by heavy flow. These episodes of skipped periods will increase over time until all periods have ceased. After a period of 12 months have elapsed with no periods or spotting, a woman is considered to be post menopausal.

Genital bleeding is alarming in postmenopausal women and requires immediate examination to discard the possibility of malignant disease it may be related to a benign polyp, or lesion, or to functional endometrial response.

Menopause, a natural occurrence in a woman’s life, can be made easier to bear by taking a few precautions and appropriate remedies. Melotonin may help with sleeplessness and wearing light layers of clothing, which can be removed when hot flushes occur, is helpful to lower body temperature.

Recommended reading: Menopause (via Health 365)

Menopause Treatment Tips

When you go into Menopause there will be the choice to go onto some type of hormone replacement. There are various types of hormone replacements available and some of these may be chemically based while others take a more natural approach.

The traditional types of hormone replacement use estrogen from an animal source such as from the bladder of certain types of animals such as sheep. The alternative to this is known as a bio-identical estrogen source where the hormone replacement is derived from a plant.

Below are some survival tips you can use when you use a natural hormone replacement system.

1. Sleeping Problems

Due to the hormonal changes in your body you may find that going into Menopause you will struggle to sleep at night. Many women have reported symptoms such as night sweats, heightened anxiety, tossing and turning, or waking up every couple of hours. When you are using BHRT (Bio-identical hormone replacement). You will find a marked improvement in when you sleep at night.

2. Irrational Emotional Upsets

Other symptoms of Menopause may include emotional outbursts such as uncontrollable crying or rage. These types of symptoms are perfectly normal and when you are on the right hormone replacement these symptoms will soon subside.

3. Loss of Memory

For many women Menopause has been known to bring on signs of mental deterioration. You may forget where you left your keys or phone, even remembering people’s names will become a task. For this reason alone it is incredibly important to be on the correct hormone replacement therapy.

4. Increase your Estrogen Levels

There are different types of estrogen present in your body and these will include Estradiol, Estriol and Estrone. The Estradiol is particularly important in activities in the nervous system and your brain. Making sure your estrogen levels are right will lead to less Menopause symptoms.

5. Include Progesterone

Progesterone is the hormone which will calm you down and help you to sleep better at night. Additionally the hormone is needed for the health of your bones and to promote emotional calmness in the body.

6. Balance Cortisol Levels

This means you need to take a hold on your stress levels. Any type of stress whether in an emotional or physical form will cause inflammation to occur in the body. Cortisol is secreted naturally by the adrenal glands in the body to combat inflammation. If there is high levels of stress in your body an overproduction of Cortisol can occur resulting in Adrenal Fatigue. Learn to manage your stress levels in an effective way.

7. Increase your Exercise

Now more than ever it is of importance to increase your exercise program. It is advisable to exercise at least six times a week to keep your hormone levels at the right level. Exercise increases the blood flow which secretes all the feel good hormones in the body and helps to eliminate toxin build ups.

In Menopause it is important to change to a healthier way or eating and exercising with the right hormone replacement methods to reduce your symptoms.