All About The Menopause Age
Menopause age specifically refers to the time when a woman’s menstruation stops. On the other hand, the term “climacteric” is the stage in which women lose their reproductive capacity.
Menopause is a physiological stage in women that’s part of the natural aging process. Every woman experiences it differently, as it depends on hereditary factors, diet, lifestyle, social environment, and cultural attitudes.
The menopause age refers to the time when a woman’s menstruation stops. On the other hand, the term “climacteric” refers to the stage in which women lose their reproductive capacity.
What stages does menopause comprise?
It’s difficult to set a specific menopause age. As such, you must remember that it’s a process that lasts between 5 and 15 years. It’s characterized by a progressive decrease in estrogen levels due to the loss of ovarian function.
- Premenopause. The period in which the first manifestations of loss of ovarian function appear. It can span from two to eight years.
- Menopause. In this stage, the definitive disappearance of menstruation occurs, after a period of approximately 12 consecutive months of missed periods. It usually occurs around the age of 50. However, it could appear before age 40 (known as early menopause).
- Postmenopause. This includes the stage after menopause occurs, in which all the symptoms of estrogen deficiency appear.
Do you know the symptoms of menopause?
Beyond the menopause age, some symptoms are common to most women who experience this stage. In some cases, the symptoms that may appear significantly affect the woman’s quality of life. Some women suffer from insomnia, irritability, anxiety, and both physical and mental fatigue.
Also, hot flashes, unexplained sweats, palpitations, and joint and muscle pain may appear. Hot flashes and sweats are the most common symptoms and affect 60 to 80% of women.
You can suffer from these symptoms both at night and during the day and they’re due to altered thermoregulatory functioning. They consist of a sudden sensation of heat and a sudden increase in temperature, especially in the upper part of the trunk, face, and scalp.
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During menopause, metabolic changes that cause an increase in body fat occurs. There’s also an alteration in its distribution, located mainly in the abdominal area.
The menstrual cycle alterations that occur until the woman stops menstruating entirely stand out. These alterations affect both the menstrual cycle’s regularity and duration.
At the vaginal level
The lack of estrogens causes many vaginal changes, including the following:
- Vaginal wall thinning (vaginal atrophy) and loss of elasticity.
- pH changes, which lead to vaginal alkalinization.
- Vaginal flora alterations
- Reduced lubrication and libido
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Some of the urinary alterations that could occur during menopause are:
- Urogenital atrophy, which increases the risk of urinary infections.
- Frequent or urgent urination
- Stress urinary incontinence (SUI)
Osteoporosis and cardiovascular risk
Decreased estrogen levels increase the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by decreased bone mineral density and bone mass, which leads to an increased risk of suffering from fractures and microfractures.
Similarly, a lack of estrogen causes LDL cholesterol levels to increase and HDL cholesterol levels to decrease, thus increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Treatment of menopause
Some women have mild symptoms that following some basic recommendations could help relieve. However, in other cases, they’re so bothersome that the affected woman has no choice but to seek therapeutic options. When you reach menopause age, you need to see your doctor to discover whether a specific treatment would benefit you or not. Here are a few options:
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This is the treatment of choice in cases of women with early menopause, women who suffer from bothersome menopause symptoms, and if there’s a risk of osteoporosis. Depending on each woman’s needs, estrogen therapy (ET) or combined estrogen–progestogen menopausal therapy will be used.
- Phytoestrogens. These are plant substances with estrogenic effects. For example, isoflavones. They’re the most powerful phytoestrogens. However, they’re of little use for the treatment of vaginal dryness, anxiety, or insomnia.
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Menopause age recommendations
To relieve your symptoms when menopause age arrives, as well as reduce your risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases, we recommend you to:
- Eat a varied and balanced diet, making sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D.
- Exercise regularly.
- Use vaginal lubricants and moisturizers.
- Keep the room temperature low and avoid hot drinks.
- Avoid smoking and reduce your coffee and alcohol consumption.
- Go to regular checkups.
Reaching menopause age is synonymous with the appearance of certain alterations and symptoms, which could significantly affect your quality of life.
However, remember that you can relieve all of them. It’s important for you to consult a health professional and get regular checkups to prevent the diseases typical of this stage of life.