Menopause Challenges Assignment Help
What is Menopause?
Menopause is the stage that starts once the menstrual cycles end. It is a stage in the life of women. It is not a health problem but a part of life. During menopause, several hormonal changes occur. This may cause discomfort to some people whereas to others it is a sigh of relief.
Menopause Challenges Assignment Help
Menopause is different for different people. Menopause lasts for several years and can be divided into 3 stages:
- Perimenopause – this is the transitioning period just before menopause starts. The perimenopause stage usually covers the 12 months that come after the last menstrual cycle has ended.
- Menopause – menopause starts in two ways. One is after a woman has experienced her last menstrual cycle and the other is when a person’s menstruation ends as a result of the removal of ovaries for clinical reasons.
- Post menopause – this stage includes the years that come after menopause has ended. Albeit it is difficult to establish the beginning of the post-menopause stage.
The average age for menopause in most women is 52 years. However, anyone between the age of 48 to 58 years can experience menopause. It is important to note that menopause starts much earlier in women who have never had children or those who smoke.
Causes of Menopause
Menopause is a normal stage in life and occurs during midlife. Factors that can cause menopause include:
- Natural menopause – as women grow, levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones in the body decrease. This decrease causes menopause.
- surgery and treatment – surgery that involves the removal of ovaries often trigger menopause. Hormone therapy may be given to manage symptoms of menopause. In addition, radiotherapy and chemotherapy may cause the ovaries to temporarily or permanently stop working. However, this is dependent on age, type, and location of treatment. Symptoms of menopause caused by surgery and treatment are similar to those of natural menopause although they may be more sudden.
Challenges and Changes that occur during Menopause
Major changes occur in the body once a person reaches menopause. Common challenges among most women are UTIs, mood swings, and hot flashes. Challenges and changes that occur during menopause include:
- Low fertility – estrogen levels reduce as a woman approaches menopause. Low levels of estrogen translate to lower chances of getting pregnant.
- Irregular menstruation – this is usually the first sign of menopause. A person may experience periods less or more frequently than they used to. Additionally, periods may be heavier or lighter. Reduced estrogen levels are known to cause thinning, drying, and elasticity of vulva tissues and vaginal lining. Vaginal secretions reduce which reduces lubrication. These changes cause vaginal yeast and bacterial infections.
- Hot flashes – hot flashes begin during menopause. Hot flashes are characterized by a sudden sensation of heat mostly in the upper body. However, the sensation can start the chest, face, neck and progress downward or upward. Hot flashes usually cause red patches on the skin and sweating. Hot flashes may be accompanied by a flushed appearance and rapid heartbeat. Hot flashes last for approximately 5 minutes.
- Sleep disturbances – sleep problems during menopause are caused by night sweats, increased urge to urinate, and anxiety. Sleep disturbances can be dealt with by exercising and avoiding heavy meals just before bedtime.
- Emotional changes – emotional changes usually result in low moods, anxiety, and depression. Occasionally, a person may also experience crying spells and irritability.
- Difficulty focusing and learning – difficulty in learning and focusing usually begins just before menopause. However, this can be solved by exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet, being mentally and physically active, and having an active social life. Reduced estrogen levels cause brin challenges. Brain cells have estrogen receptors. Reduced estrogen levels lead to decreased signaling to brain cells.
- Physical changes – physical changes associated with menopause include weight gain, urinary incontinence, breast reduction, tenderness, a buildup of fat around the abdomen, and changes in hair color, volume, and texture.
Once a woman reaches menopause, the ovaries stop producing estrogen. Estrogen production is done by the fat cells and adrenal production in return, this affects the way women process carbohydrates and starch.
The change in hormones causes weight gain. Additionally, reduced production of thyroid function may cause weight gain. Menopause may also cause dysregulation in blood sugar.
- Increased risk of health conditions – hormonal changes associated with menopause increase the risk of certain health conditions. Some of these health conditions are osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and breast cancer. Osteoporosis is a health condition in which bone density and strength reduce.
- urologic challenges – estrogen helps strengthen the tissue in the urinary tract mainly by strengthening the bladder. Low estrogen levels cause the formation of folds which can act as pockets for infections to occur which then increases urinary tract infections in post-menopause. In addition, there may be pain or discomfort during urination with dysuria.
- Joint pain – joint pain in women in menopause and post-menopause is caused by reduced estrogen levels. Old joint injuries may become painful once again. Overall joint pains are common. The relationship between menopause and joint pain is not clear. However, it is thought that estrogen reduces inflammation in the body therefore reduced estrogen levels cause increased inflammation which then causes joint pain.
Treatment of Menopause
Menopause is more of a normal and natural transition and not a medical condition. Menopause may cause undesirable mental and physical changes. Treatment options given to control symptoms and effects of menopause include:
- Hormone therapy – hormone therapy is used to help balance hormone levels. Synthetic progesterone and supplemental estrogen are given. Hormone therapy is given in the form of topical creams and skin patches. Hormone therapy is known to reduce hot flashes. However, this mode of treatment increases the chance of developing certain health conditions and diseases. People with the following health issues should not use hormone therapy:
- Blood clots
- Breast cancer
- High triglycerides levels in the blood
- Gallbladder disease
- Prescription creams, rings, and pills for vaginal dryness
- Over the counter gels for vaginal dryness
- Low dose antidepressants for hot flashes
- Low dose hormonal birth control pills for vaginal dryness, mood changes, and hot flashes.
Lifestyle tips during menopause
- Practicing relaxation exercise
- Exercising regularly
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Quitting smoking
- Maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Establishing good sleeping habits
- To strengthen the pelvic floor
- Exploring new ways of enjoying intimacy with the sexual partner
- Joining a club or taking up a new hobby
- Sharing with family members or friends your menopause experience
- Seeking counseling for relationship concerns, mood changes and anxiety.
Keeping an active sex life
Menopause causes reduced sex drive that leads to vaginal dryness. A low sex drive reduces the need for birth control which can make sex more enjoyable for some people. It is advisable to have sex more often to increase blood flow to the vagina to keep tissues healthy.
Tips for maintaining sexual activity and health during menopause include:
- Being physically active
- Doing Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor
- Avoiding recreational drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
- Taking time to be aroused to improve lubrication
- Avoiding strong soaps around the vagina to avoid worsening the irritation.
LGBTQIA+ and Menopause
A lot of focus on menopause is put on heterosexual and cisgender. Menopause affects all women born with ovaries. People who choose to transition to male will still experience menopause as long as they retain their ovaries. Menopause will automatically kick in soon as the production of eggs by the ovaries stops.
People who take up testosterone as they transition will start to experience symptoms of menopause. This is what happens when a person’s ovaries are surgically removed for medical reasons.
Symptoms of menopause in transitioning persons are the same as those of menopause in cisgender women. Transgender people are likely to encounter more difficulties due to the attitude of the medical caregivers. They should therefore be able to access healthcare providers who can address and understand their needs.
In most women, menopause starts at the age of 40 to 58 years. Medical treatments and conditions like the removal of ovaries may cause early menopause. During menopause, women experience several symptoms. These include reduced sex drive, hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
Some symptoms of menopause start early even before menstruation ends. Symptoms of menopause last several years and can greatly affect the quality of life of a person. The effect ranges from mild to severe. these symptoms can be managed and a person can live a normal life.
Menopause is different for different people. Some people may be thrown off balance by menopause while for others it is a relief from birth control and menstruation. Some women will have active lives during the transition and throughout menopause.
Women experiencing the symptoms of menopause should know that support and treatments are available to help them live their lives to the fullest.
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Menopause Challenges Assignment Help