Menopause is essentially to mark the end of periods in women, and hence is a final adieu to fertility in women. However, this farewell is anything but easy. Hormonal changes are never pleasant but are especially hard during old age.
Occurring during the 40s and 50s, menopause is split into three phases: perimenopause, menopause and post menopause. The first part is the transition period and can start as soon as late 30s even. The common symptoms of this state are irregular periods; both in terms of flow and frequency.
Perimenopause symptoms also include hot flashes, problem sleeping, vaginal dryness, mood swings, weight gain, hair thinning, bone weakness etc. Menopause is when one has gone 12 consecutive months without periods, and the window of fertility closes completely. Post menopause includes the subsequent time, during which symptoms abate to much extent.
Complications of menopause
The severity of the symptoms varies from person to person, although most women do not have a pleasant experience. It is important during this entire ordeal to be in contact with a gynecologist in Lahore.
Complications can stem from menopause and therefore it is vital to have your health overlooked by an experienced doctor. For some women, the bleeding is so severe that it leads to anemia.
Another common complication stemming from menopause is loss in bone mass, leading to condition known as osteoporosis. Bones then become weak and liable to breaking easily. Moreover, it also increases the risk of heart disease due to lowered estrogen levels in the body.
Urinary incontinence is another problem that plagues many women. UTIs also become more frequent. Moreover, sexual dysfunction is another complication of menopause. Sex becomes painful due to vaginal dryness and loss in the elasticity of vagina. Consequently, libido becomes a much-forgotten concept.
Weight gain is another problem that occurs during menopause.
Treatment options for menopause
Suffice to say, menopause is an extremely hard time in the lives of women, but fact is, it is a necessary evil, and there is no way around it. And while there is not treatment for it per se, there are ways to relieve the severity of symptoms of menopause.
One treatment is Hormone replacement therapy. It aims at replacing progesterone and estrogen, the hormones that changed to allowed for menopause to begin with. However, it brings with itself even more complications like increased risk of breast, womb and ovarian cancer alongside increased blood clot formation.
Therefore, it is useful to also explore the realm of alternative medicine for abating the symptoms of menopause.
Alternative medicine for treatment
These treatments aim at the non-conventional treatment and thus do not rely on modern medicine.
Hypnosis has been shown to be useful in especially relieving number and intensity of episodes of hot flashes in menopausal women. It also helps in reducing anxiety and propensity towards depression.
One way to practice hypnosis is by relaxing and then envisioning yourself to be in a cool place. This vision helps during the bouts of hot flashes. Another technique is by imaging your future self in a state which makes you happy, and then occupying yourself in working towards it.
A third technique is flash control dial. To perform it, imagine yourself to have a control for temperature, and you use this dial to turn up coolness to reduce the intensity of your hot flashes.
This technique involves insertion of needles at certain points of the body to relieve pain. According to research published in BMJ Open, performing acupuncture for 6 weeks helped in reducing the intensity of menopause symptoms in women.
Due to the positive impact of yoga on the mental and emotional health, it is useful at treating depression, stress and anxiety that stem from this condition. Meditative effect of yoga is also beneficial against hot flashes. Moreover, as it causes body to relax, yoga also helps with sleeping well.
Although much debated, many people resort to herbs in relieving the symptoms of menopause. One popular herb is black cohosh, taken primarily for hot flashes, albeit conclusive research does not exist for it.
Ginseng is used for relief from menopause-induced fatigue, stress and anxiety.
Similarly. St. John’s wort is used for treating behavioral side effects of menopause like mood swings, sleep problem, anxiety, depression etc. However, be sure to consult best gynecologist in Lahore before taking up this herb, due to its potential side effects and interaction with other medicines.