Menopause and Treatment Options

Have you heard about the horrors of menopause? Some people try to profit from symptoms of this natural transition.

Menopause is when your ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which eventually stops menstruation. You’re not technically in menopause until you’ve gone one full year without a period. First you go through perimenopause, which unfortunately includes irregular menstrual cycles and this can last up to four or five years. If you reach menopause before the age of forty, it’s called premature menopause and women who develop early are more likely to go through it early. The average age span can be anywhere between 40 and 55.

Menopause Treatment Options:

There are ongoing debates on hormone replacement therapies. Estrogen may help prevent bone fractures and heart disease, but there is also evidence that it may induce breast cancer. If you do decide to take hormone therapy, go with the lowest possible dose to be safe. Either way, it’s a good idea to take a calcium supplement.

Some people have had some success with easing symptoms such as hot flashes and anxiety with the natural herb Black cohosh. There are still ongoing studies researching its effectiveness and it’s not clear whether it’s safe for women who have or have had breast cancer. Black cohosh has also been used for premenstrual symptoms and sleeping problems.

Symptoms of menopause can include:

Changes in menstrual cycle
Problems with bladder control
Vaginal dryness
Sleep problems
Night sweats/hot flashes
Low sex drive

Not all symptoms reported are necessarily from menopause. Forgetfulness and fatigue for example tend to be a symptom of aging in general. Taking care of yourself with proper diet and exercise will reduce the likelihood of developing severe symptoms. Exercising the mind is important for aging as well. There have been numerous studies that report that those who participate in continuous intellectual pursuits will at the very least delay the possible onset of Alzheimer’s disease, but that’s another subject.

Although many of the symptoms can be uncomfortable, it’s not an illness, so not everyone requires treatment. It’s a natural transition that every woman goes through, so don’t feel that you have to take medication. Unfortunately the present media hype of our culture has put a negative slant on aging and menopause when it should be something to celebrate. There are many people that exaggerate the horrors of menopause for their own best interest so that they can sell you some sort of treatment product. It is best to discuss the various options with your doctor before you decide whether or not you will take medication, hormones or herbal remedies.

It can be an exciting time of life for a woman and marks a positive new beginning for many. It can be an empowering relief not to have to worry about pregnancy or periods anymore and many women feel much more peaceful and content once they get through the transition.

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