Everything you need to know about menopause
Menopause is what we say we want more than anything when we're bedridden because of period pain . But in a slightly more scientific way, menopause is “the natural physiological phenomenon which marks the end of the menstrual cycle , of ovulation and therefore of fertility, generally between the ages of 45 and 55 50 years old” and it is accompanied by physical and psychological symptoms that are more or less easy to manage. In addition, some diseases may develop more easily once the process has started. To prepare for them and try to avoid them, it is best to get good information beforehand.
Every woman is born with a number of ovarian follicles which each mature in turn. Each month, one of them is mature enough to eject the oocyte it houses out of the ovary. This oocyte then travels towards the uterus in order to live this short moment when it will be an ovum, that is to say the precise moment when it will perhaps be fertilized by a spermatozoon.
Contrary to certain beliefs, menopause does not occur once the stock of oocytes has been exhausted. The ovaries contain about 30,000 of them… In reality, it is the genes that determine the age of menopause in each woman. But beware, the general state of health or certain surgical procedures also have an influence, such as the removal of both ovaries.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Menopause does not happen overnight. Periods become irregular, increasingly spaced out and short, then eventually stop completely. A woman is considered postmenopausal when she hasn't had any bleeding for a full year.
Once menopause is confirmed, the ovaries gradually stop producing estrogen, the main hormones of the female hormonal system. This judgment has many consequences on the health and comfort of women:
– the vagina tends to dry out, leading to more frequent infections,
– the blood vessels of the skin dilate strongly causing hot flashes and profuse night sweats
– the bone mass decreases hence the problems of osteoporosis
– the blood cholesterol level gradually rises, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease
– irritability and the risk of depression also increase
– the libido drops drastically
– weight gain may occur
– sleep disturbances may occur
In short, not always easy to live this stage.
What solutions for postmenopausal women?
When the menopause begins and the periods become irregular, the solution is all found to not live 7 days a week and 24 hours a day in the anguish of the task: period panties ! Indeed, you can wear it as often as necessary without producing tons of waste , exploding your periodic protection budget and above all without threatening the balance of your vaginal flora already weakened at that time with the chemicals present in the majority of pads and tampons.
As for the inconveniences listed above, they can be reduced by taking hormonal treatments. They consist of taking low doses of estrogen and progesterone during the installation phase of menopause. Hormone therapy also has the advantage of stimulating immediate memory and apparently prevents the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.
However, benefits for heart disease are unproven. In addition, this type of treatment can cause side effects if taken for too long.
Before making any decision, it is therefore important to weigh the pros and cons with your gynecologist. What are the benefits and what are the real risks? Depending on your temperament, you may prefer to focus on a healthier lifestyle or turn to more natural treatments.