Your Doctor Menopause

Q.1. What is Menopause?

Menopause is the permanent end of cyclic functioning of the ovaries and thus of menstrual periods.

Q.2. Usually at What Age Menopause Occur In The Life Of Women?

Menopause usually occur around 50 years in the developed countries. In Bangladesh it appears around the age 45. However menopause may normally occur in women as young as 40.

Q.3. Why and How Menopause Occur?

Menopause occurs because as women age, the overies produce smaller and smaller amounts of oestrogen and progesterone. Oestrogen and progesteron are the hormones that control the monthly cycle of egg release (Ovulation) thus, as women approach menopause, an egg is released in fewer and fewer cycles, and eventually, egg release stops. As a result, menstrual periods end and pregnancy is no longer possible.

A woman's last period can be identified only later, after she has had no periods for atleast 6 months, (Women who do not wish to become pregnant should use birth control until 1 year has passed since their last menstrual period).

Q.4. What is Perimenopause?

A distinctive transitional period called peri-menopause occurs before and just after menopause. During menopause estrogen and progesteron levels fluctuate widely.

Estrogen levels may be high at the beginning of this transitional period, but for short intervals, no estrogen may be produced. These fluctuations explain why many women in their 40s report bouts of menopausal symptoms, which may subside without treatment.

Q.5. What is Menopausal Symptoms?

These are symptoms which women experiences some months or years after the cessation of mensturation (ovarian function).

The Symptoms are :

  1. Neurotic and Psychotic : depression, exitibility, nervousness, irritability, headache, insomnia, paresthesia of hands and feet etc.
  2. Gastro Intestinal : Change of appetite, dyspepsia, intestinal distension and constipation
  3. Cardiovascular : hot flushes, profuse sweating, cold shiver etc.
  4. Genital and Sexual : decreased libido, dyspareunia due to dryness of vagina, sometimes increased sex desire
  5. Other Sign/symptoms : painful and tender breast, joint pains, pigmentation of skin etc.

Q.6. What is Pre-Mature Menopause?

Pre-mature menopause (Premature ovarian failure) is the permanent end of the cyclic functioning of the ovaries and thus menstrual period before age 40. Hormonally, pre-mature menopause resembles natural menopause. Estrogen levels are low.

Q.7. How to Diagnose Menopause?

In about three forths of women, menopause is obvious. If menopause needs to be confirmed (Particularly in younger women), blood tests are performed to measure levels of estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormone (which stimulates the ovaries to produce estrogen and prgesteron).

Medical and family history of the concerned women is very important. The physical examination is undertaken which includes breast and pelvic examination and blood pressure is measured.

Blood tests mammography, bone densitometry may be done. The information obtained from all these examinations and tests help doctor determine the woman's risk of developing disorders after menopause.

Q.8. What is The Management?

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