Upon reaching a certain age, the body of each woman undergoes cardinal changes, the nature and duration of which depend on many factors. Climax is a normal decrease in fertility (ability to reproduce), accompanied by endocrine, physiological, psychoemotional changes. According to statistics, about 80% of women suffer from symptoms of menopause, therefore emotional and physical preparation for the onset of menopause is very important.
What is menopause
Menopause (menopause, menopause) is a natural aging process characterized by the extinction of reproductive function. As a rule, the first signs of menopause in women appear at the age of 45-50. Nothing abnormal happens during menopause - this is an absolutely normal phase of a person’s life cycle. In men, this stage also begins at some point, but it begins later and is characterized by a milder course.
There are natural menopause (45-55 years), artificial (with impaired proper functioning of the ovaries and uterus) and premature (30-35 years). The age of the onset of menopause and the accompanying signs depend on genetic heredity, lifestyle, the presence of bad habits (especially smoking), the individual characteristics of the body. Artificial menopause can cause pelvic irradiation, early surgery and treatment with strong drugs.
Menopause can develop over a long period - from the beginning of the first manifestations to the onset of menopause, several years pass. During this time, single follicles can be found in the ovaries, but with age they atrophy and disappear. Menopause includes three stages - premenopausal period, menopause and postmenopause.
Onset of menopause (premenopause)
The average age of onset of premenopause is 45-50 years. In rare cases, amenorrhea (lack of menstruation) occurs abruptly, but more often the stage is characterized by a gradual long course (from 2 to 10 years). During premenopause, a climacteric syndrome may develop, since the changes that occur are observed not only in the reproductive organs - the bone tissue, nervous and cardiovascular systems are completely rebuilt. The onset of menopause is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Menstruation becomes irregular, at this time, the probability of uterine bleeding is high.
- The number of follicles decreases, which reduces the likelihood of conception, but there is still the possibility of becoming pregnant during this period.
- Due to the unstable content of estrogen (the main female hormone) in the blood, breast hypersensitivity can be observed.
You can talk about the onset of menopause a year after the last menstruation. For most women, this occurs between the ages of 49-55. After the cessation of menstruation, a woman can not become pregnant naturally. This period is accompanied by the following manifestations:
- There is a decrease, deformation of the ovaries, the eggs are absent or their maturation is impossible.
- Due to a decrease in the production of progesterone and estrogen, an imbalance occurs between the hormones of the thyroid gland, adrenal glands and the pituitary gland. For this reason, a woman suffers from regular flushes, headache, insomnia, emotional changes.
- Due to hormonal disruptions, the likelihood of developing various concomitant pathologies increases - osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, etc.
The last stage begins at 54-56 years, its duration is 5-6 years. Postmenopause ends with a complete stop of the ovaries. The consequences of menopause that can be expected during this period:
- The amount of pubic hair is reduced.
- The labia majora are deformed, the labia minora gradually disappear completely.
- The synthesis of hormones by the ovaries is completely stopped, the level of estrogen is kept at a stable low level.
- The vaginal protective lubricant disappears, which contributes to the development of inflammation and infections.
- Deep wrinkles appear, body weight increases, the hair on the head is thinning and turning gray.
- Deteriorating attention, memory, eyesight.
What changes occur in the body of a woman in the premenopausal period
Premenopause is the most important phase of menopause, because at this time cardinal age-related changes begin, the nature of which determines the quality of the next 30-40 years of life. A woman needs to be responsible for her state of health, change her lifestyle, and, if necessary, undergo a course of drug treatment to avoid a sharp wilting of the ovaries, the inevitable consequence of which is the general aging of the body.
Decreased estrogen in the blood
At the beginning of the premenopause, a decrease in the duration of the follicular phase is noted (menstruation becomes shorter). At this time, the concentration of estrogen and progesterone in the blood is significantly reduced. It is noteworthy that the synthesis of male hormones (androgens) remains at the same level, since during menopause a significant part of estrogen is synthesized from male hormones located mainly in adipose tissue. The production of androgens is influenced by FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) produced by the pituitary gland, the synthesis of which increases at the beginning of menopause.
To determine the hormonal background, the doctor should direct the patient to conduct mandatory blood tests, the results of which can be used to judge estrogen deficiency. For a complete clinical picture, the patient is recommended to do an ultrasound of the uterus and appendages, a mammogram. If necessary, and strictly under the supervision of a gynecologist, it is possible to adjust the concentration of female hormones with the help of drug therapy.
With age, the vascular walls become thinner and lose their natural elasticity, the heart muscle wears out and “gets tired” - these and other reasons lead to changes in blood pressure and the occurrence of cardiac arrhythmia. Due to the aging of the body and the occurring hormonal changes, blood circulation in all organs is disturbed, which leads to the appearance of pathologies.
As a rule, preclimax is accompanied by tachycardia (increased heart rate). In addition, a woman may feel tingling in the limbs, dizziness, a feeling of pressure in the chest, and suffer from migraines and weakness. Experts say that patients with cardiovascular diseases (especially hypertension) are more likely to tolerate the onset of menopause.
Anxiety and mood swings
Hormonal malfunctions and reactions of the nervous system to them lead to anxiety and irritability. In addition, memory problems, decreased attention span, and the appearance of sudden mood swings are possible. In rare cases, neurotic states characterized by obsessions can develop. It is noteworthy that even restrained and calm women react to the onset of menopause with touchiness, tearfulness, even hysteria, but in the later period of menopause, love of life and joy not only return, but also become stronger than at a young age.
The first signs of menopause
The main signs of the onset of menopause in a woman depend on the work of the pituitary gland, which ensures the onset of ovulation and the synthesis of estrogen. The effect of the latter extends not only to reproductive function - estrogen affects the regulation of metabolism, strengthening muscle corset and bone tissue, the psychological state of women, the functioning of the uterus; therefore, to recognize the onset of menopause is not a problem - the first symptoms of menopause are directly dependent on estrogen deficiency.
At the beginning of premenopause, a decrease in the duration, frequency and number of menstrual flow is noted. Normally, the time between menstruation should increase from 30 to 90 days. Menstruation can disappear sharply, and may stop after prolonged amenorrhea (lack of menstruation). In some cases, the resumption of discharge is observed even after a long break. If the restoration of the menstrual cycle occurs after 6 months of delay, there is a possibility of uterine bleeding - in this case, a consultation with a gynecologist is necessary.
Lean or very heavy discharge
In most women, the amount of monthly discharge at the beginning of the menopause gradually decreases, which indicates the termination of the secretion of steroids by the ovaries. In rare cases, an increase in the number of menstruation is possible, due to a violation of ovulation. As a rule, copious discharge appears after a long delay.
Tides and night sweats
An imbalance of female hormones leads to disruption of the autonomic nervous system. In fact, hot flashes and excessive sweating are the reactions of neurons to hormonal bursts that occur at the beginning of physiological aging. Hot flashes are characterized by the appearance of heat in the neck, chest, face. In this case, reddening of the skin, an increase in body temperature, severe hyperhidrosis (sweating) are observed.
The tides do not last longer than a minute, but at the same time they cause considerable discomfort - the body temperature can rise up to 38 degrees, the pulse quickens, perspiration appears. Such attacks happen unexpectedly, with an unpredictable frequency (from 10 to 60 times per day). To reduce discomfort after hot flashes, doctors advise patients to wear several thin layers of clothing, so that if necessary, remove the lower wet layer.
Sleep disturbance is a common complaint at the beginning of the menopause. Insomnia occurs due to anxiety, which is a side effect of lowering the production of female hormones. In addition, hot flashes and excessive sweating often disturb a woman at night. In addition, heart palpitations along with a violation of thermoregulation (chills) are the causes of severe falling asleep.
In 60% of women during menopause, there is a metabolic disorder, accompanied by excessive deposition of adipose tissue. This happens due to a decrease in the concentration of estrogen in the blood - so the body tries to make up for the lack of female hormone. The main place of deposition of subcutaneous fat is the waist and hips. A woman needs to carefully monitor her weight, eat right, because it can be difficult to get rid of extra pounds gained at the beginning of menopause. In addition, metabolic disorders can lead to the development of diabetes mellitus, oncology.
Decreased libido or increased sex drive
Decreased sexual desire is an inevitable sign of menopause due to hormonal disruptions, psychological causes, or medical problems (urinary incontinence, uterine prolapse). A woman ceases to feel young and sexy, obsessed with problems. In addition, dryness and loss of vaginal elasticity affect the occurrence of pain during sex. In rare cases, there is an increase in libido. This is due to the fact that a woman no longer has a fear of becoming pregnant and does not suffer from monthly discharge.
Acceleration of skin aging and dry mucous membranes
One of the main signs of impending aging is the progressive dryness of the skin and mucous membranes, due to which new wrinkles appear on the skin and old ones deepen, and the mucous membranes lose their natural protective lubricant. In relation to the genitals, the onset of menopause is accompanied by itching, pain, swelling. Then the labia tissues lose their elasticity, acquire a brown color, the skin resembles parchment. Next, tissue atrophy occurs, accompanied by scarring and narrowing of the vaginal opening.
To alleviate this condition, it is recommended to follow the rules of personal hygiene, wear linen from natural fabrics, wash with a decoction of calendula, chamomile, and a solution of drinking soda. Significantly stop the symptoms of dryness help ointments based on anesthesin and diphenhydramine, vaginal suppositories, which include the necessary hormones (use these funds should only be prescribed by a doctor).
How to relieve manifestations of menopause in women
Treatment of diseases accompanying menopause, improving the quality of life in adulthood is the task of obstetrician-gynecologists. Currently, women of advanced age often turn to therapists, neuropathologists with problems that gynecologists would help them to solve, since during menopause the state of the body largely depends on the lack of estrogen.
To reduce the manifestations of menopausal syndrome, strengthen immunity, alleviate the general condition of the patient and improve the psycho-emotional background, it is recommended that therapy be carried out under the supervision of a specialist. At the beginning of menopause, non-drug therapy should be carried out, followed by drug treatment. In some cases, in the absence of effect, hormone replacement therapy is prescribed. Patients suffering from a severe form of menopausal syndrome may need to conduct the whole range of therapeutic measures.
The characteristic signs of the onset of menopause in women will help to overcome the use of medications. It should be remembered that the relief of symptoms does not mean recovery - with age, the amount of estrogen will decrease, which will inevitably lead to the progression of menopause. All medications (including homeopathic ones) must be taken strictly as prescribed by the doctor in order to avoid serious hormonal and metabolic disorders.
Combined oral contraceptives
Birth control pills (e.g. Regulon, Logest, Marvelon, Novinet) are prescribed during menopause, not only to avoid an unplanned pregnancy, but also to relieve symptoms. The treatment regimen for oral contraceptives in most cases is the same - daily 1 tablet for 3 weeks, then a break of 7 days. Some oral contraceptives should be taken continuously.
Medicines based on natural components containing phytoestrogens are more easily perceived by the body and have a relatively small list of side effects. To alleviate symptoms at home, you can prepare a mixture of motherwort, valerian and hawthorn, the regular use of which strengthens the nervous system, normalizes sleep. Treatment with official homeopathic remedies is more effective than the use of traditional medicine recipes. Characteristics of some popular tools:
Indications for use
Vegetative-vascular disorders, menopause
1-2 tablets (or 30 drops) per day, a course as decided by a doctor
Menstrual irregularities, menopause
1 tablet (or 10 drops) up to 3 times a day, course 6 months
1 capsule / day, course 3 months
1-2 tablets (or 5-10 granules) per day, course 1-2 months
Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most effective treatments for menopausal disorders, but also the most dangerous because of the risk of complications. Contraindications for treatment with hormonal drugs are endometrial and breast cancer, hepatic pathology, thrombophlebitis (inflammation of the veins with the formation of a thrombus). To prescribe such treatment, a comprehensive study of the patient's history, lifestyle, family diseases is necessary. Comparative characteristics of popular drugs:
Indications for use
1 tablet / day, course 21 days or continuously
Estrogen deficiency, menopause
1 tablet / day, course 21 days, break 7 days
1 tablet / day, continuously
1 tablet / day, course 21 days, break 7 days
1 tablet / day, continuously
Vitamin and Mineral Complexes
Numerous studies have shown that taking vitamins and minerals significantly alleviates unpleasant menopause, and strengthens the immune system. For example, vitamin C has a positive effect on the walls of blood vessels and relieves swelling, vitamin E has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the sex glands, improves blood circulation. Mineral preparations are important for maintaining metabolism and cell repair. A special role in this sense is played by calcium - it not only strengthens bone tissue, but also participates in the work of the brain.
Physical activity is the key to successfully overcoming the symptoms of menopause. To survive the restructuring of the body will help fitness, which strengthens the heart muscle and increase stamina, and yoga, with which you can increase the flexibility of the body. In addition, practicing sports such as Pilates has a beneficial effect on muscle corset, which is especially important for the protection of bone tissue. It is also recommended to visit the pool to stop the symptoms of dystonia, relax and improve sleep.
In addition to regular physical exertion, a woman needs to take walks every day in the fresh air to improve blood circulation, prevent the appearance of excess weight, strengthen the muscular corset and musculoskeletal system. In addition, walking, especially in good weather, improves mood, relieves psychological stress.
During changes that accompany the onset of menopause, it is necessary to adhere to a wellness diet in order to avoid gaining unwanted weight and to strengthen the body as a whole. It is recommended to increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables, while flour products, fatty dishes, spicy seasonings should be discarded. It will be useful to add seafood and low-fat fish to the diet.
Svetlana, 52 years Three years ago, tides and migraines began to bother me. The doctor advised to relax more, avoid stress, take walks in the fresh air. I listened to the recommendations - it became much easier for me. In addition, water procedures in the pool helped a lot.
Katerina, 47 years old. Recently I began to sweat very much at night, to feel a slight tingling sensation in my fingers. First I turned to a neurologist, but he redirected me to a gynecologist. According to the results of the examination, the doctor prescribed the herbal remedy Remens. I drink the medicine for 1 month - until I see serious improvements.Attention! The information presented in the article is for guidance only. Materials of the article do not call for independent treatment. Only a qualified doctor can make a diagnosis and give recommendations for treatment based on the individual characteristics of a particular patient.