“Almost 40” I declare proudly sometimes. I am not afraid to admit my age and that I had my first child when I was well into my 30s (past my mid-30s even :P) To tell you the truth it is a little difficult at times running behind an active toddler. Aching knees and joints are not fun. But what really scared me the other day is when I heard of a friend, obviously around the same age as me, tell me that she has entered her menopause. I have to admit I was clueless about the onset of menopause and that prompted me to read up more about it.
Menopause is a natural condition which women experience around or after the age of 40, just before or after she stops menstruating. It is accompanied by a range of symptoms including hot flashes, insomnia, skipped or irregular periods, depression, mood swings and irritability, fatigue, vaginal dryness, joint and muscle pains, change in libido, racing heart, headache and reduced bladder control.
Menopause is linked to the loss of estrogen from the body and is associated with many health problems like heart disease, osteoporosis, increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, wrinkling, the poor working of bowel and bladder systems, poor muscle tone and power, vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
Thus, it is of utmost importance that you talk to your gynaecologist and understand what it is all about. Following are just eight questions you should ask your gynaecologist –
Do I need to make any modifications in my lifestyle or otherwise that can alleviate my symptoms?
Certain foods like caffeine, alcohol can act as triggers that aggravate menopause symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings. Whereas a high intake of fruits and vegetables help you relieve the symptoms. Your gynaecologist can advise you what to avoid and what to eat besides prescribing natural supplements if any.
What are the available options for the treatment?
There are a variety of options available to deal with the onset of menopause that ranges from natural supplements to hormone replacement therapy. Before finalizing the best one for you, it is necessary to know about each one in detail including the method of administration and the probable side effects.
Which is the recommended and best-suited option for treating my symptoms?
From the plethora of options, your doctor is your best guide to suggest you the appropriate option based on the type and severity of your symptoms.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the various routes of administration of the hormone therapy (pill, patch, vaginal, etc.)?
Hormone therapy can be administered through different routes depending on various factors such as age, medical conditions, symptoms, response to previous therapy and so on, which needs to be understood before taking the decision. Your doctor will work together with you on this.
What kinds of exercise can help me?
Exercise helps you not only to lose weight but also to reduce symptoms like hot flashes. Thus, you can discuss with your doctor, the type and frequency of the exercise suitable for you. It would also depend on your level of fitness and any other conditions you may have. So it is best to ask an expert before you begin an exercise regime.
How long does menopause last, and how will I know when it’s over?
Based on your symptoms, age, family history and medical data, your gynaecologist can help you to understand this. It does vary from person to person.
What screenings or tests should I have to go for and how often?
Based on your medical stats like bone density, your doctor might advise you to perform certain tests to prescribe the type and amount of required supplements.
How will menopause affect my sex life?
Menopause can affect one’s sex life due to the lower libido, vaginal dryness, etc. These can be treated after a discussion with your doctor.
Menopause is a particularly challenging time in a woman’s life. However, by taking proper treatments and your gynaecologist’s advice, one can sail through this stage. If you are fighting with the onset of menopause, you are not alone. Contact a gynaecologist in Bangalore today and she will help you alleviate the symptoms by prescribing the right solution.
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