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Category Archives: Menopause
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Lisa Hartman generously allowed me to reprint her fabulous, funny essay about the Big M. It reads like she was at our first Menopause Goddess gathering. Enjoy!
Open Letter to Women A Change is Gonna Come by Lisa Hartman
You are not, or were not, prepared. It is likely that your body, without your knowledge or consent, will, or already has begun to, upend your perception of yourself and the universe. It will, or already does, suck.
They prepare you for your drivers test, your SAT. There is a plethora of relationship and sex advice. How to cook, garden, use your computer, parent. Classes and books, whole sections of libraries and bookstores devoted to unraveling the mysteries of life. Why, then, the dearth of guidance and information when it comes to mid-life the change that more than half the population will face? Oh, sure, its out there books, articles, even talk shows will address peri/menopause but the event, rather, the slow unfolding process, is a sneak attack in our youth-obsessed culture. You dont seek information or educate yourself before the fact, when it could help you. No, you seek it at 3 am, in a panic, and devour it in the hope that something, anything, can save you now. No one will prepare you, and on the eve of your commitment, your mother will say, Now that you mention it, it was difficult at times. I do remember crying for days on end. Thanks for the heads up, Ma.
The female body is an amazing piece of work. It has ferried you this far, with its cycles, its ebb and flow. Perhaps it has given you children, the miracle of life, and nourished them. You have nurtured and loved, children or not, and built a life on the foundation of this body. A brilliant machine I get it. But what is all this noise about intelligent design? Really? There is intelligence in these screaming, chaotic hormonal fluctuations? Intelligence in the crippling of my sanity? Sometimes, it seems more like a freshman design project. At a party school.
Here is what will happen:
Your teen daughter will look at you, hand on cocked hip, head in that Girlfriend?! tilt. Eye rolling will increase, as will stomping and slamming. You cant blame her, of course she is having her own design issues at the moment and you are useless.
Your young adult sons will also look at you, as if you have sprouted a third eye. Then they will leave. You will weep and gnash your teeth, like a madwoman, in spite of the fact that their departure makes your life much easier. All reason has fled.
Your husband will be a rock. He will shop and cook and still love you. You will catch him, however, muttering, rolling his own eyes and blowing air. It will really piss you off.
Menopause Goddess Blog
The menopause, sometimes referred to as the "change of life", isthe end of menstruation.
This is where a woman's ovaries stop producing an egg every four weeks. She no longer has monthlyperiods and is unlikely to get pregnant.
In the UK,51 is the average age for a woman to reach the menopause, although some women experience the menopause intheir 30s or40s.
If you experience the menopause before the age of 40, it's known asa premature menopause.
Menstruation (monthly periods) cansometimes stop suddenly when you reachthe menopause. However, it's more likely that your periods will become less frequent, with longer intervals between each one, before they stop altogether.
The menopause is caused by a change in the balance of the body's sex hormones.
In the lead-up to the menopause, known as the perimenopause, oestrogen levels decrease, causingthe ovaries to stop producing an egg each month (ovulation). Oestrogen is the female sex hormone that regulates a woman's periods.
Read more aboutwhat causes the menopause.
The reduction inoestrogen causes physical and emotional symptoms, including:
Read more about the symptoms of the menopause.
Follow this link:
Menopause - NHS Choices
Home > Menopause > Menopause symptom relief and treatments
Most women do not need treatment of menopausal symptoms. Some women find that their symptoms go away by themselves, and some women just don't find the symptoms very uncomfortable. But if you are bothered by symptoms, there are many ways to deal with them, including medications and lifestyle changes. Read here about how to deal with specific symptoms and what medication options are available. If you're interested in learning more about menopausal hormone therapy (formerly called hormone replacement therapy) and natural alternatives, you can jump to those sections.
You may find it hard to decide about treatment options like menopausal hormone therapy because of the possible side effects. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks and benefits so you can choose what's best for you. No one treatment is right for all women.
When you talk about treatment options with your doctor, discuss issues like:
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Below are some symptoms that women may have around the time of menopause and tips for dealing with them.
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A number of medications can help with symptoms during the years around menopause.
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Content last updated: September 22,2010.
Read the original:
Menopause symptom relief and treatments | womenshealth.gov
Many women experience some physical and emotional symptoms during menopause, caused by hormonal imbalance. Typically, a woman will begin to experience menopause symptoms around her mid-40's as her body's reproductive capability comes to the end.
This prolonged stage of gradually falling and fluctuating hormone levels is called perimenopause, which can last upwards of two years before a woman's final period. For most women, perimenopause symptoms end at menopause; however, some symptoms will continue.
http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com was designed to guide women through the menopausal transition with knowledge, ease, and peace of mindmenopause. It contains helpful information about menopause treatments and practical suggestions for relieving menopause symptoms.
Women can look here for expert advice on any of the 34 menopause symptoms, whether it be hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods, loss of libido, and vaginal dryness, or any other.
Hot flashes, also known as hot flushes, are a sudden, transient sensation of warmth or heat that spreads over the body, creating a flushing, or redness, that is particularly noticeable on the face and upper body. The experience of hot flashes can range between delicate flushes and a sensation of engulfing flames.
Hot flashes result from the body's reaction to a decreased supply of the hormone estrogen, which occurs naturally as women approach menopause. Not all women experience hot flashes, but more than half do. For some women, estrogen production decreases gradually, producing fewer hot flashes. But for others, the ovaries stop estrogen production more abruptly; for these women, hot flashes can be a rollercoaster ride. About 75 to 85% of American women are estimated to experience hot flashes during menopause.
Postmenopausal women are still at risk for enduring the pains of menopause. Certain symptoms, such as hot flashes, are highly common. Hot flashes can be extremely disruptive and may continue well into the later years of life. Women must learn how to recognize and manage this unfortunate persistent symptom of growing older.
Night sweats are classified as severe hot flashes that occur during sleep accompanied by intense bouts of sweating. Also known as sleep hyperhidrosis, night sweats aren't actually a sleep disorder, but a common perspiration disorder that occurs during sleep in menopausal women. These episodes of nighttime sweating can range in severity from mild to intense, and can be caused by hormonal imbalance combined with environmental factors, such as an excessively warm sleeping environment.
34 Menopause Symptoms
What is the menopause?
Strictly speaking, the menopause is your last menstrual period. However, most women think of the menopause as the time of life leading up to, and after, their last period. In reality, your periods don't just stop. First they tend to become less frequent. It can take several years for a woman to go through the menopause completely. Women are said to have gone through the menopause (be postmenopausal) when they have not had a period at all for one year.
A natural menopause occurs because as you get older your ovaries stop producing eggs and make less oestrogen (the main female hormone). The average age of the menopause in the UK is 51. Your menopause is said to be early if it occurs before the age of 45 and premature if it occurs before the age of 40 years. Early menopause is uncommon.
There are certain things that may cause an early menopause. For example:
Early menopause and premature menopause are not discussed in detail in this leaflet
The menopause is a natural event. Every woman will go through it at some point. You may have no problems. However, it is common to develop one or more symptoms which are due to the low level of oestrogen. About 8 out of 10 women will develop menopausal symptoms at some point.
These short-term symptoms only last for a few months in some women. However, for others they can continue for a few years after their last period:
Your doctor can usually diagnose the menopause by your typical symptoms. Hormone blood tests are not usually needed to confirm that you are going through the menopause. However, they may be helpful in some cases. For example, if your doctor suspects that you are going through an early menopause, or if you have had a previous hysterectomy (and so are no longer having periods), or if you are not experiencing typical symptoms of the menopause.
Without treatment, the short-term symptoms discussed above last for 2-5 years in most women. In some women they may last longer. HRT is available to ease the symptoms of the menopause. It has benefits and risks, which are discussed below.
There are treatments other than HRT for menopausal symptoms. As a rule, they are not as effective as HRT, but may help relieve some symptoms. (See separate leaflet called Menopause - Alternatives to HRTfor details of menopausal symptom treatments other than HRT, which are not mentioned further here.)
Read more here:
Menopause and HRT - symptoms and signs. The average ...
Menopause, also known as the climacteric, is the time in most women's lives when menstrual periods stop permanently, and she is no longer able to have children. Menopause typically occurs between 45 and 55 years of age. Medical professionals often define menopause as having occurred when a woman has not had any vaginal bleeding for a year. It may also be defined by a decrease in hormone production by the ovaries. In those who have had surgery to remove the uterus but still have ovaries, menopause may be viewed to have occurred at the time of the surgery or when hormone levels fall. Following the removal of the uterus, symptoms typically occurs earlier, at an average of 45 years of age.
Before menopause, a woman's periods typically become irregular, which means that periods may be longer or shorter in duration, or be lighter or heavier in terms of the amount of flow. During this time, women often experience hot flashes; these typically last from 30 seconds to ten minutes, and may be associated with shivering, sweating and reddening of the skin. Hot flashes often stop occurring after a year or two. Other symptoms may include vaginal dryness, trouble sleeping, and mood changes. The severity of symptoms varies between women. While menopause is often thought to be linked to an increase in heart disease, this primarily occurs due to increasing age and does not have a direct relationship with menopause. In some women, problems that were previously present like endometriosis or painful periods will improve after menopause.
Menopause is usually a natural change. It can occur earlier in those who smoke tobacco. Other causes include surgery that removes both ovaries or some types of chemotherapy. At the physiological level, menopause happens because of a decrease in the ovaries' production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. While typically not needed, a diagnosis of menopause can be confirmed by measuring hormone levels in either the blood or urine. Menopause is the opposite of menarche, the time at which a girl's periods start.
Specific treatment is not usually needed. Some symptoms, however, may be improved with treatment. With respect to hot flashes, avoiding smoking, caffeine, and alcohol is often recommended. Sleeping in a cool room and using a fan may also help. The following medications may help: menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), clonidine, gabapentin, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Exercise may help with sleeping problems. While MHT was once routinely prescribed, it is now only recommended in those with significant symptoms, as there are concerns about side effects. High-quality evidence for the effectiveness of alternative medicine has not been found.
During early menopause transition, the menstrual cycles remain regular but the interval between cycles begins to lengthen. Hormone levels begin to fluctuate. Ovulation may not occur with each cycle.
The date of the final menstrual period is usually taken as the point in time when menopause has occurred. During menopausal transition and after menopause, women can experience a wide range of symptoms.
Menstrual patterns can show shorter cycling (by 27 days); longer cycles remain possible;irregular bleeding (lighter, heavier, spotting).
Physical symptoms include: lack of energy, joint soreness, stiffness,back pain, breast enlargement,breast pain,heart palpitations,headache,dizziness,dry, itchy skin, thinning, tingling skin, weight gain,urinary incontinence,urinary urgency, interrupted sleeping patterns, heavy night sweats,hot flashes.
Psychological symptoms include: anxiety,poor memory, inability to concentrate, depressive mood,irritability,mood swings.
Sexual changes include: painful intercourse, vaginal dryness, less interest in sexual activity.
Read this article:
Menopause - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia