What is menopause?
The ovarian follicular depletion of a female’s ovaries and loss of ovarian follicular activity refers to a physiological state called as menopause. There is permanent cessation of a womans menstrual cycle. Menopause marks the end of reproductive years.
The average age is usually above 50 years.
Menopause is associated with physical, psychological and social effects.
Types of Menopause-
The natural spontaneous progressive decline of the menstrual cycle refers to physiological menopause. It occurs due to natural decline of the ovarian function.
Premature menopause occurs when there is cessation of periods before the age of 40.
Surgical menopause: this occurs due to surgical intervention, or chemotherapy.
Delayed menopause: cessation of periods after the age of 55.
- Hot flushes- This refers to a sudden sensation of heat along with perspiration.
- Vaginal dryness
- Sleep disturbances
- Joint pain
- Uneven or missed menstrual cycles
- Sore breasts
- Emotional changes
- Changes in libido
- Muscular pain and fatigue
Perimenopause. When the production of estrogen by the ovaries gradually begins to decline. This may last upto 1-2 years until the time ovaries do not produce eggs.
Menopause– This marks the end of egg production by the ovaries and the cessation of menstrual cycle.
Postmenopause- The years after menopause are referred to as post menopausal phase. It is associated with increased health risks due to hormonal changes.
Long term consequences-
- Bone loss-due to estrogen deficiency. There is loss of cortical and trabecular bone loss.
- Cardiovascular diseases- there is a risk of cardiovascular diseases in post menopausal women due to changes in lipid function.
- Osteoporosis– occurs due to reduction in bone density
- Weight gain and obesity
- Risk of alzheimers
- Weaker vision
Exercising and menopause-
- Weight-bearing exercise: these include low impact exercise forms such as ypga and walking, along with high impact exercises such as jogging.
2. Strength Training Exercise- These include weight lifting, swimming, cycling.
Physical exercise reduce the risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease depression and obesity.
Beneficial foods and diet-
- Vitamin D- it is important for maintaining bone density.
Recommendation For adults- 5 μg/day (19–50 years)
10 μg/day (51–70 years)
15 μg/day (>70 years).
2. Omega 3 fatty acids- these are essential for their anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, and insulin-sensitizing effects.
Lifestyle changes to be incorporated-
- Use a lubricant for dryness.
- Exercise regularly to sleep better
- Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises
- Stay socially and mentally active
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
- Maintain a nutritious diet
- Practice deep breathing to help you relax.