For every woman, the word “menopause” is like a Nightmare. Most of women denied talk about this. They all usually said, “I’m still young, why do I have to prepare for this stuff now? Still have time to do it!” until they’re shocking to find changes in their menstrual cycle. They usually hide this symptom because fear of being attack by cancer or some diseases. Or, they just confused, and not to do anything, because lack of information about menopause.

Changes in menstrual cycle may happen several years before true menopause. At late thirties or early 40, women start the hormonal changes. The ovaries start to low produce the eggs. This is one of the symptoms that might be experienced for a few years before true menopause itself.

The symptoms of pre menopause, also calls pre-menopause syndrome, are some of disturbing the activities of a busy woman. This symptoms including:

  • Hot flashes. They are more common at night but can occur at any time of day. They last from a few seconds up to an hour.
  • Mood changes and irritability. This may be more common in women who have had difficulty with PMS (Pre-Menstruation Syndrome).
  • Difficulty with memory and attention span. A woman with attention deficit disorder may first come for treatment at this age because declining estrogen level has exacerbated her ability to concentrate.
  • Insomnia. Night sweats may disrupt sleep. Irritability and depression can impair sleep. Reduced sleep can lead to tiredness and irritability during the day.
  • Vaginal dryness. Lowered estrogen levels cause the lining of the vagina to become drier and thinner. This may lead to painful intercourse and decreased interest in sexual relations.
  • Urinary leakage. Low estrogen levels may weaken the urethral sphincter that helps hold in urine. If the woman has gained weight, it may put more strain on the bladder.
  • Skin and hair changes. The wrinkles skin, dryness of skin and hair, hair loss, and gray hair may disturbing some women.

There are several solutions to deal with these symptoms. These include healthy lifestyle changes, hormone replacement therapy, or other medications, also get social support or psychological support during therapeutic sessions.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes: Regular exercise may decrease depression and irritability. Good muscle tone can also improve energy level and decrease aches and pains. Yoga or Tai Chi decrease stress and may reverse the decreased flexibility often associated with aging. A diet high in complex carbohydrates, including multiple small meals may reduce irritability and improve one’s feeling of well-being.

Social support: Many women experience menopause as a time of increased freedom and new possibilities. As their own children grow up, they may have more time and flexibility. However, some women experience the empty nest as the loss of their central role in life. Loss of a spouse through death or divorce can increase isolation. The physical changes associated with hormonal fluctuations can be confusing. Menopause may cause some women to start to think about the finite nature of life. Supportive friends and family can help a woman understand and cope with life changes. Reading about menopause or talking to one’s doctor can help make the changes less mystifying. A return to spirituality can spur growth at this phase of life.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Taking estrogen and progesterone can help some of the symptoms associated with approaching menopause. The decision to take hormones is an individual one. A woman considering HRT needs to consider the severity of her symptoms, her health history and her family history. She may also have personal preferences about taking medications. Estrogen is the hormone that seems to relieve many of the symptoms of approaching menopause. HRT often requires a combination of estrogen and progesterone. The doses of estrogen and progesterone used for HRT are generally lower than the doses used for birth control pills. Often, women only need HRT for a limited number of years after menopause. There can be benefits and drawbacks to the use of HRT. Estrogen can relieve hot flashes, vaginal dryness, urinary problems, and sometimes insomnia. It can also promote a feeling of well-being. Some women feel that it improves memory and concentration. HRT can reduce the chance of osteoporosis. Estrogen may help prevent heart disease, but recent data has suggested that this effect may not be as dramatic as previously thought. For some women there may be drawbacks to HRT. Some studies have suggested a link between HRT and an increased incidence of breast cancer. Estrogen may elevate blood sugar, cause headaches, weight gain, or other side effects.

Psychological support: For some women, social support, healthy lifestyle changes and hormone replacement therapy are not enough. The death of loss of a spouse, heath changes and other stresses may cause stress. Depression and mood swings are more common during pre menopause than after menopause is well established. However, a woman with a history of anxiety or major depression may have a reoccurrence during either of these periods.  Counseling may help some women deal with losses. Counseling may also help a woman review her life and make decisions about new directions and interests. If a woman has a persistent depression or experiences sleep, appetite and energy changes, or has suicidal thoughts, she may want to consider a psychiatric consultation and antidepressant medication.

The most relieving, if we can pass through this life transition, we can get better of view of life, more tolerant, patient and full understand about life.

Source : http://www.ncpamd.com/Menopause.htm