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Faqs on Menopause

Menopause is an inevitable change which every woman has to go through as she reaches her middle-age. This article discusses some frequently asked questions related to menopause.

Menopause is when a women stops getting her regular menstrual periods. Simply put, menopause means a woman has had her last menstrual period. Typically, women start to see gradual changes in their periods when they reach middle age, usually 40s or 50s. This period of gradual change is called perimenopause. During this time frame, a woman starts getting irregular periods. Menstrual cycle becomes either long or short, or lighter or heavier. Certain menopause-like symptoms, for instance, hot flashes, vaginal dryness or sleep problems, may also be noticed. Treatments have been developed to relieve these symptoms. Once a woman goes without a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months, she has officially reached menopause.
Listed below are frequently asked questions on Menopause:

What are the symptoms of menopause?
Common menopause symptoms include:
• Excessive sweating
• Changes in sex drive
• Frequent urination
• Hot flashes
• Night sweats
• Painful intercourse
• Vaginal dryness
• Loss of bone

A woman may experience one or a combination of menopause symptoms. According to estimates about one in every 10 women experience serious symptoms that make it difficult for her to carry out routine activities.

What causes menopause?
As a woman goes through the menopausal transition, the production of estrogen and progesterone in her body undergoes fluctuation. These hormonal fluctuations are the main reason why a woman’s body experiences changes during perimenopause.

Does menopause lowers sexual drive?

Yes, it does. Most women have a low sex drive before or after menopause. This is because of the menopause symptoms. Once these symptoms disappear, sex drive is back to normal. In fact, some women have noted an increase desire to have sex as there is no problem of unintended pregnancy. However, this is not the case with all women. Just about three out of every 10 women have heightened sexual desire after menopause symptoms cease. Vaginal dryness is the chief reason why most women shun away from making love during perimenopause and after menopause. Vaginal dryness could be treated with the help of estrogen creams and tablets.

How to relieve the symptoms of hot flashes?
Hot flashes during perimenopause make a woman’s life very difficult. A feeling of intense heat together with rapid pounding of heart and excessive sweating is experienced for few minutes. To get a relief from hot flashes, try the following ways:
• Do regular exercise
• Consider taking a shower with cold water when experiencing hot flash
• Do not take too much stress
• Set the temperature in the home on the cooler side
• Reduce the intake of caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods and hot drinks
• Eat a healthy and a well-balanced diet

 What are the treatment options for menopause?
To treat the symptoms of menopause, doctors may usually suggest the usage of oral contraceptives. These medications are seen to effectively treat perimenopausal symptoms. Even a low-dose medicine can help a woman regulate her periods and cut down the occurrence of hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Progestin therapy is also suggested by some medical practitioners to relieve the symptoms experienced during perimenopausal stage.

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