As humans, we go through different developmental stages.
Starting from the fertilization of the eggs in the womb by the sperm, to when a child is born or after childbirth when we are learning how to sit, crawl and walk.
This journey is a never-ending one as far as you are on planet Earth.
Comparing the male and female bodies, the female body goes through more physical changes than the male body. From puberty to childbirth to menopause.
Accompanied by these changes is the increase and reduction of hormones present in the body of a woman which is a great factor that necessitates these changes.
After over 25 years of having a menstrual cycle, the body of a woman starts to wind down by preparing to enter menopause.
Menopause is simply the period that marks the end of your menstrual cycle and it usually begins a year after your last period.
Menopause usually occurs during the late 40s of a woman. Though very few per cent of women experience it earlier than this and a fewer percentage experience it in their 60s.
Just like the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy, menopause also has 3 stages.
- Perimenopause: This period ushers in the menopause season, as the individual in question has started noticing variations in period patterns and other mild symptoms.
- Menopause: This period starts after your ovaries have stopped releasing eggs. In other words, you have stopped menstruating. It usually starts a year after the perimenopause period.
- Post-Menopause: This period begins some years after the menopause season has officially started. Other symptoms like hot flashes and vagina dryness are noticed during this period.
Just like every other change that happens in our body when we have any medical condition, every woman might experience some or all of the following symptoms when she enters the menopause season.
It’s also important to note that menopause is a natural process and not a health condition except the individual in question experiences severe symptoms
- Hot flashes: This occurs when a woman notices the slightest change in temperatures which makes her extremely hot.
- Changes in menstrual patterns.
- Depression and heightened anxiety.
- Insomnia: Irregular sleep patterns.
- Dryness of the vagina
- Memory loss
- Decreased sex drive
- Changes in size and fullness of breasts.
In serious cases, the lady may encounter the following symptoms
- Cataracts: Blurring of the natural lens of the eye.
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Osteoporosis: Weakness of the bones.
- Reduced metabolism
Symptoms of menopause can last up to 10 years. Though this depends on the individual as some persons have had heirs for a few numbers of years.
How To Cope
Most women do not need treatment for menopause except in selected cases. The following can be done to reduce the severity of symptoms during menopause.
- Diet: Changes to a healthier diet can be arranged for the individual.
- Estrogen can be taken in form of creams to reduce dryness of the vagina.
- Estrogen can also be taken to reduce the hot flashes and bone loss encountered during menopause.
It is advisable to gain medical advice before taking any medication for menopause.