Postmenopause: How To Know Its Symptoms & Prevention Strategies!

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Women go through multiple phases in life. This includes menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. But there is another stage that is rarely talked about- the postmenopausal stage. Not much is known about it and no discussions are being made about it either.

However, breaking the stereotypes, we will be looking into the postmenopause phase in great detail. Our article will also enumerate its major symptoms and causes. Its diagnostics and tests along with management and care shall also be under purview.

In case you want to nip it at the bud, we will be looking into the prevention methods as well. So sit tight and learn more about it.

What is postmenopause? What are its symptoms and causes?

Postmenopause Causes

Menopause is a condition that every woman undergoes after a while in their lives. As they move far away from the reproductive age, their ability to produce eggs declines along with menstruation.

It can also affect the woman’s feminine aspects as the hormones decline with time. Post-menopause happens after menopause and can begin anywhere from 1-2 years after the last period. So what are its symptoms?

Its symptoms include,

  • Hot flashes: This is also a symptom of menopause and can be exacerbated with severe sweating and a feeling of warmth in various periods.
  • Night sweats: When hot flashes occur in the middle of the night they are called night sweats.
  • Vaginal dryness: People might also experience vaginal dryness with the discharge reducing its frequency. This can make copulation painful.
  • Mood swings: Since the hormones are known to go haywire, they are often accompanied by severe mood swings more than those that torment you during menstruation.
  • Sleep disturbance: Due to the constant hot flashes and night sweats, it is possible that you may not get a good night’s sleep.
  • Weight gain: Women also complain about putting on weight after entering their menopause which follows to the postmenopause stage.
  • Bone loss: Women happen to lose their bone density with low levels of estrogen.

Now let’s look at the causes of postmenopause. Those include,

  • Hormone change: As stated above, the hormones like estrogen and progesterone decline as one nears their menopausal age and when that happens, post-menopausal could kick in faster. This can affect the various functions in the women’s body including their heart and sexual health.
  • Decrease in ovarian follicles: Entering menopause is accompanied by the depletion of ovarian follicles that cause menstruation. But after a while, the egg gets exhausted and you enter the post-menopausal age.
  • Genetics: Women who have gene modifications are known to be prone to post-menopausal symptoms more than others.
  • Lifestyle factors: If you are someone who smokes, takes drugs, or drinks alcohol they could accelerate the menopausal symptoms along with post-menopause.
  • Medical conditions: You would be surprised to know that autoimmune diseases, chemotherapy, and some forms of cancer can elevate the conditions of menopause causing post-menopausal problems to worsen.

Diagnostics and tests

We know the causes and the symptoms of postmenopause but how do you know for sure? But for that, you need to get detailed tests and diagnostics. Those include,

✅ Medical history

To review the causes, the doctor might need to look into your medical history in detail. This includes a discussion about your habits, previous diseases, and reproductive health history.

✅ Physical exam

If you thought the history was enough, you couldn’t be more wrong. It should be accompanied by a detailed physical exam to check for any changes in your body organs that are visible.

✅ Blood tests

Blood tests are conducted to determine your hormone levels and your follicle-stimulating levels as well. This could further confirm the menopause and help determine the symptoms that are affecting you.

✅ Bone density scan

Estrogen not only ensures sound reproductive health but also the density of your bone. After menopause, the density often decreases causing pain and breakage very often. So the doctor might check for the density levels to make an appropriate determination.

Additionally, your healthcare provider might suggest any other tests he/she may find suitable to know the full extent of your condition.

Management, treatment, and prevention

This condition can very well be managed or treated based on the condition of your body and how well it responds to it. However, some of the major ways to manage postmenopausal symptoms include,

✅ Hormone replacement therapy

This includes the intake of estrogen which could be lesser in quantity as time passes by.  It is associated with several health risks and should be taken with proper guidance.

✅ Non-hormonal medications

Some women prefer taking SSRIs to manage the effect of mood swings and SNRIs to help with hot flashes and night sweats.

✅ Vaginal estrogen

To alleviate vaginal discomfort pills pr lotions laced with estrogen are available.

✅ Regular checkups

You should never discount the benefit of regular medical health checkups.

To prevent the symptoms from affecting you severely, you can adopt some healthy tips into your daily habits. Firstly, you must stay away from any external drugs or other harmful elements that might add to your condition.

Secondly, exercise should be a part of your routine to contain the impact of postmenopause on weight loss. Thirdly, you should also look into the food you are consuming which could be high in cholesterol or less in Calcium which can help relieve problems with bone density.

Conclusion

Postmenopause is a severe condition that every woman must go through. Though not a disease, its impact is nothing less than that of an ailment. It has various causes including genetics and lifestyle that can change the way your body reacts to certain effects during menopause.

There is no cure for the symptoms ranging from hot flashes to poor heart health but it could be maintained using some of the new therapies. This includes both hormonal therapy and medications used to treat mood swings and hot flashes. However, it is essential to be aware of the complications these can cause to your body.

References

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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