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What is Menopause?

25.11.2023
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What is Menopause?
Guest Post

Menopause, one of the inevitable stages of life, is an important turning point in women's health. Menopause, a term of Greek origin; It is formed by combining the words mens (month) and pause (to stop) and refers to the time period when the menstrual cycle ends. This process, defined as the natural termination of women's reproductive functions, is classified by the World Health Organization as the cessation of ovarian activity and the permanent interruption of the menstrual cycle.

The Beginning of Menopause and Its Different Periods

At the beginning of menopause premenopause period is included. For most of these women, this is the stage when symptoms of menopause first appear and the activity of the ovaries gradually begins to decrease. It manifests itself with changes such as irregular menstrual bleeding, and this period can last from several months to years.

The next stage, menopause, is the period when the last menstrual bleeding occurs. A woman is officially considered to have entered menopause after 12 months of not having a menstrual period.

Postmenopause covers the period after menopause and when old age begins. During this period, many women experience many physical and psychological changes associated with estrogen deficiency, and this usually covers a period of 6 to 8 years.

Forms of Menopause Occurrence

Menopause can occur as a result of natural processes, surgical interventions or other medical treatments. Natural menopause develops according to the woman's own biological rhythm and occurs, on average, around the age of 51. TurkeyStudies conducted in Turkey have found that the average age of menopause varies between 46-48 years.

In some cases, menopause can occur before the age of 45 and this early menopause is called. Causes of early menopause may include genetic predisposition, autoimmune diseases, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and environmental factors.

Additionally, surgical interventions can also cause menopause. If a woman's ovaries are surgically removed due to certain health conditions, this procedure directly leads to menopause. Temporary loss of ovarian function during cancer treatments such as radiation treatments or chemotherapy can also cause menopause.

Coping with Menopause

Women experience various physical and emotional changes during menopause. To cope with these changes, regular exercise, healthy nutrition, adequate sleep and stress management become important. Also aimed at improving the quality of life hormone replacement therapy Medical options such as can be evaluated under the supervision of a physician.

In conclusion, menopause is a natural process that all women experience at some point in their lives. Although each woman's menopause experience is unique, accurate information and physician support are of fundamental importance in order to spend this period more comfortably and healthily. It is of great importance for women to better understand the menopause process and have access to the necessary resources and support systems to better manage this period.

Factors Affecting Menopause

Menopause marks an important period in a woman's reproductive life cycle and usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55. However, when this process begins varies from woman to woman. So, what are the factors that affect menopause? Now let's examine this issue in more detail.

  • Genetic Factors: Research has shown a strong relationship between age at menopause and genetics. If your mother or a close relative experienced menopause at an early age, you may be more likely to experience early menopause, too. So your family history can significantly affect the age at which you reach menopause.
  • Genital Factors: Female reproductive health is an important factor that can directly affect the age of menopause. For example, it has been stated that women with irregular menstruation may enter menopause earlier. Additionally, factors such as fertility status throughout the reproductive history, age at first menstrual period, use of hormonal birth control methods, and prolonged breastfeeding may also affect the timing of menopause.
  • Psychological Factors: Factors such as stress and psychological trauma can also affect the duration of menopause. It is thought that heavy psychological load may cause menopause to begin earlier by changing the body's hormone balance. Therefore, it has been observed that women who experience traumatic events such as war, migration or earthquake may experience early menopause.
  • Physical and Environmental Factors: The environmental conditions in which women live may also affect the age of menopause. It has been determined that women living in cold climates and heavy physical working conditions enter menopause at an earlier age. At the same time, exposure to chemicals and toxins can also accelerate the menopause process.
  • Smoking: The negative effects of smoking on women's health are widely known and have an important place among the factors affecting the age of menopause. Women who smoke heavily may enter menopause earlier than non-smokers.
  • General Health Status: General health problems such as chronic diseases, genetic disorders, and infections can cause the early onset of menopause. However, cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy are also factors that can trigger menopause.
  • Social Factors: Lifestyle and socioeconomic conditions may also affect the age of menopause. There are some studies showing that women living in rural areas and leading traditional lifestyles experience menopause earlier. Factors such as eating habits, physical activity levels and the presence of social support may contribute to this situation.

Although many complex factors play a role in the onset of menopause, individual health status and lifestyle are among the most important indicators. Performing regular health checks and adopting a healthy lifestyle before and during menopause can make this period more comfortable and healthy. Remember that every woman's menopause experience is unique and getting support and being conscious during this period is an important step.

Disorders and Symptoms Encountered in the Premenopausal Period

The premenopausal period is one of the last stages of women's reproductive life and covers the years before menopause. This process usually starts in the 40s and continues until menopause occurs. This period, in which various hormonal changes occur in the female body, is characterized by a number of physical and mental disorders. Here are some basic discomforts and symptoms encountered in the premenopausal period:

  • Menstrual Irregularities: One of the most common symptoms of the premenopausal period is menstrual irregularities. During this period, women may experience menstrual irregularities such as short or long cycles, excessive bleeding or light bleeding.
  • Decrease in Ovulation: During the premenopausal period, the functions of the ovaries decrease, which may cause ovulation to decrease or stop completely.
  • Hot Flashes and Hot Flashes: Hormonal changes cause fluctuations in the regulation of body temperature, resulting in symptoms such as flushing and hot flushes.
  • Excessive Sweating: Disturbances in body temperature balance can lead to excessive sweating, especially at night.
  • Depressed Mood: Fluctuations in hormone levels can cause changes in mood and psychological effects such as depressed mood.
  • Sleep Problems: Sleep problems are common in premenopausal women. Those who suffer from insomnia either have difficulty falling asleep or cannot fall back asleep after waking up.
  • Tension and Irritability: Hormonal changes can increase feelings of stress and anxiety, which can lead to symptoms such as tension and irritability.
  • Increased Appetite: Changes in hormone levels sometimes manifest with increased appetite, which can lead to weight gain.
  • Concentration Difficulty: During the premenopausal period, women may complain of a decrease in their concentration.
  • Facial Blushing: Hormonal changes can cause temporary symptoms such as facial redness and a feeling of warmth.
  • Increase in Heart Rate: Increased heart rate is another common symptom and may cause anxiety in some women.
  • Headache and Dizziness: Some women may experience frequent headaches or dizziness during this period.
  • Low Self-Confidence: Women may feel a lack of self-confidence in the process of accepting physical and spiritual changes.
  • Forgetfulness and Inattention: Memory problems and attention deficits are among the possible effects associated with hormonal changes.
  • Tiredness: These changes brought about by the premenopausal period may cause women to experience chronic fatigue in their daily lives.
  • Decrease in Sexual Desire: Changes in hormone levels can cause a decrease in sexual desire and sexual dysfunction.

These disorders and symptoms can be seen in different forms and intensities in each woman. When managed well, many difficulties of the premenopausal period can be alleviated and women can go through this transition more easily. During this period, a supportive and understanding approach, regular exercise, healthy nutrition, maintaining sleep patterns and getting professional help when necessary can significantly improve the quality of life. The guidance of a healthcare professional is especially important in the management of disorders related to hormonal changes. On the other hand, stress management, psychological counseling and alternative treatments can also help alleviate this period. Understanding the premenopausal period and being prepared for these changes is critical for women to stay healthy and continue to enjoy life during this period.

Symptoms and Effects Seen After Menopause

Menopause is a natural stage in the life cycle of women and usually occurs between the ages of 45-55. This period is characterized by the cessation of women's reproductive abilities and the cessation of menstrual cycles. In the post-menopausal period, the physical and psychological changes that occur with the significant decrease in estrogen levels can bring about important health and quality of life issues for many women. In this blog section, we will discuss the main symptoms seen after menopause and the effects of these changes on women's health.

Atrophy of Genital Organs and Related Symptoms

Long-term lack of estrogen after menopause can lead to atrophy of the genital organs. This shrinkage and thinning seen in organs such as the uterus, vagina, vulva and urethra can cause many symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation
  • Itching in the vulva
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Uterine and vaginal prolapses
  • urinary incontinence
  • Digestive system problems such as hemorrhoids

Skin and Hair Changes

In the post-menopausal period, the decrease in the activity of estrogen receptors in the skin, hair and sweat glands causes biological changes:

  • Thinning of the skin and loss of collagen
  • Hair and body hair thinning
  • Increased skin dryness and loss of elasticity
  • Delay in wound healing
  • Growth of thick hair in certain parts of the face and body
  • Thinning hair in the armpit and genital area

Mouth and Digestive System Problems

After menopause, negative effects may also occur on oral health and the digestive system:

  • Dry mouth
  • Bad taste sensation in the mouth
  • Gum disease
  • Constipation and hemorrhoid problem
  • Increased incidence of reflux and gallstones

Cardiovascular Health

The decrease in the protective effect of estrogen after menopause may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases in women:

  • Increased risk of coronary heart diseases
  • Cholesterol increase in levels
  • The emergence of high blood pressure
  • Atherosclerosis and related problems

Osteoporosis and Bone Health

hormonal changes osteoporosis It can pose serious threats to bone health, increasing the risk of:

  • Decrease in bone mineral density
  • High risk of bone loss and fractures

Metabolism and Weight Management

The slowing down of metabolic rate in the post-menopausal period can make weight management difficult:

  • Slowing in metabolic rate
  • Tendency to gain weight and become obese

Sexual Functions

Estrogen deficiency also affects sexual functions:

  • Loss of sexual desire

Being aware of these changes in the post-menopausal period and having the necessary health checks regularly are of great importance in preventing possible complications. A healthy lifestyle, regular physical activity and a balanced diet can help reduce the negative effects of postmenopause. Additionally, it is important for women in this period to benefit from medical support and counseling services to manage symptoms. When menopause and post-menopause are managed healthily, it is possible for women to maintain and even increase their quality of life.

Menopause Diagnosis and Its Importance

Menopause is a natural process in women's lives and usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55. Menopause is considered to have occurred when 12 months have passed since a woman's last menstrual period, but it is extremely important to act early in the diagnosis and treatment of this process. Diagnosis of early menopause has a critical role in preventing health problems that may arise and improving the quality of life.

Menopause and the Importance of Early Diagnosis

With the menopause process, the female body experiences significant changes as sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone decrease. Symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood changes and vaginal dryness, which are common during this period, can affect women's quality of life. Additionally, long-term health problems such as decreased bone density and increased risk of cardiovascular disease may occur after menopause. Therefore, it is necessary to intervene in the menopause period early and correctly.

Diagnostic Methods

While the diagnosis of menopause can sometimes be made by evaluating the symptoms, in some cases it may be necessary to measure hormone levels with blood tests. When the majority of women experience the typical symptoms of menopause, the condition is usually diagnosed by a healthcare professional.

Blood Tests

When menstrual irregularities and other symptoms of menopause are noticed, blood tests are performed to measure Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH) levels. FSH and LH hormones are key indicators that menopause has begun. An FSH level of 40 pg/ml or above is a key determinant in diagnosing menopause, as this level indicates complete cessation of menstrual functions.

If the FSH level is between 25-40 pg/ml, this may indicate the premenopausal period. Premenopausal women's menstrual periods become rare and pregnancy Even though the risk decreases, it continues. For this reason, women who have irregular menstrual cycles or whose menstrual periods have stopped completely are recommended to continue using contraceptives during this period.

Other Reviews

In addition to diagnosing menopause, irregular bleeding can be a sign of pregnancy or other health conditions. Therefore, in cases of irregular menstruation or unexpected bleeding, a pregnancy test should be performed first and other causes should be investigated. Imaging methods, such as ultrasound, are used to detect potential problems with the uterus or ovaries.

Diagnosis of menopause is important for women's health, and early intervention contributes to the prevention of many menopause-related health problems. Each woman may have different experiences during this process and therefore a customized approach is required. Regular health checks and awareness of symptoms are important in managing menopause. With appropriate diet, exercise, and treatments such as hormone replacement therapy when necessary, symptoms of menopause can be alleviated and quality of life maintained. In any case, it is important for women experiencing menopausal symptoms to consult a healthcare professional and determine the most appropriate treatment plan for their individual situation.

Menopause and Sexual Life: Myths and Facts

Menopause is a natural transition in the lives of many women, but common misconceptions about this phase can negatively affect sexual life. In this article, we will provide information about the relationship between menopause and sexual life, the difficulties encountered and how these difficulties can be overcome.

The Effect of Menopause and Low Estrogen on Sexual Life

The period of menopause is characterized by a significant decrease in the level of estrogen in the body. These hormonal changes can cause thinning and loss of elasticity in the genitals; This may cause discomfort during sexual intercourse. Additionally, as vaginal dryness increases, problems such as decreased sexual desire and pain during intercourse may occur.

However, it is important to emphasize that menopause is not the finish line of sexual life. In fact, these changes that come with menopause offer the opportunity to reshape sexual life and discover different pleasures.

Methods to Reduce Pain During Sexual Intercourse

There are various methods you can use against vaginal dryness for a painless and enjoyable sexual experience. For example, water-based lubricants minimize pain and increase comfort by reducing friction during sexual intercourse. Additionally, hormone treatments such as estrogen therapy or non-estrogen vaginal moisturizers may also be effective in relieving discomfort. These are methods used under the supervision of a doctor and with a prescription.

Sexual Health and Quality of Life

The hormonal changes that come with menopause can cause fluctuations in mood and energy level. However, what affects individuals and couples the most are usually changes in sexual drive and function. In this process, it is possible to maintain and even improve sexual life. Here are ways to achieve this:

  • Open Communication: Sharing your feelings, concerns, and needs honestly with your partner is key to maintaining the quality of your sexual life during menopause.
  • Importance of Foreplay: As vaginal dryness increases during menopause, spending more time on foreplay can help the body become naturally lubricated and ready for sexual intercourse.
  • Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle: Regular exercise, a balanced diet and adequate sleep can improve both your general and sexual health.
  • Researching Alternative Approaches: Acupuncture and yoga Alternative treatment methods such as can help relieve menopausal symptoms and reduce stress, which can indirectly positively affect sexual health.
  • Medical Support and Consultancy: As well as hormone replacement therapy or other medical treatments under the guidance of a healthcare professional sexual therapy or counseling can improve sexual life during menopause.

Menopause is a natural life phase and does not put an end to sexual life. Challenges can be overcome with the right information and support. The important thing is to accept this period and discover solutions. You can have a satisfying and happy sexual life, both individually and with your partner, at all life stages, including menopause.

Nutrition Tips for Menopause: Improve Your Quality of Life

One of the most common difficulties faced by women entering menopause is the metabolic slowdown that occurs with the decrease in estrogen hormone in the body. This may cause rapid weight gain. However, it is possible to facilitate this process and maintain the existing weight with correct eating habits. Nutrition during menopause is vital to support body health and improve quality of life by reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Daily Calcium Needs

To maintain bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, 1500 mg per day during this period. calcium It is recommended to purchase. Foods rich in calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli and almonds. It may also be a wise choice to consume calcium-enriched foods. If necessary, calcium supplements can also be used under the supervision of a doctor.

Vitamin E and Hot Flashes

Hot flashes and feelings of fatigue during menopause can greatly affect women's quality of life. Vitamin Emay help relieve these symptoms. Therefore, it would be a good choice to increase your vitamin E intake with oil seeds such as almonds and hazelnuts, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.

Vitamin D Plays a Key Role

In the body Vitamin D Keeping calcium levels at normal levels plays a key role in both optimizing calcium absorption and supporting bone health. Although sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, menopausal women may not get enough vitamin D, especially during the winter months. In this case, it would be beneficial to consume fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel and dairy products enriched with vitamin D.

Reducing Salt Consumption

During menopause, it is recommended to restrict salt intake. Excess salt can cause edema and high blood pressure. Instead, you can flavor meals by using healthy spices and herbs instead of salt. Additionally, staying away from packaged and processed foods is another way to reduce hidden salt intake.

Regular Exercise is a Must

It is recommended that an adult woman do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity weekly. Additionally, muscle strengthening exercises are also recommended. Exercise boosts metabolism, increases bone density, and can reduce stress associated with menopause. Low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, yoga or pilates are ideal for women during menopause.

Nutrition and lifestyle changes are of great importance during menopause. Proper eating habits and regular exercise can reduce the difficulties of menopause and allow you to go through this natural life process more comfortably. Developing a nutrition plan that suits your personal needs by talking to your doctor or a nutritionist will help you get through this period in a healthy and active way.

Things to Do for a Healthy Life During Menopause

Menopause is a natural phase of a woman's life and usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. During this period, which is characterized by the decrease in reproductive hormones in women, various physical and psychological changes can be observed. There are some precautions that can be taken and strategies that can be applied to get through the menopause process more comfortably and healthily.

Dressing Lightly and in Layers

Hot flashes, which occur frequently during menopause, can be quite disturbing. One of the most practical ways to deal with this situation is to choose light clothing. Clothes made of light and natural fabrics should be preferred. By dressing in layers, it may be possible to easily take off clothes and relax in case of hot flashes.

Avoid Spices and Caffeine

It is important to review your eating habits during menopause. It is known that spices and caffeine can trigger hot flashes, so consumption of such substances should be reduced.

Avoiding Smoking and Alcohol

Smoking and alcohol can aggravate menopause symptoms and negatively affect bone density. Therefore, giving up these habits is of critical importance for you to have a healthier menopause period.

Using Relaxing Oils

Women who experience pain during sexual intercourse due to low estrogen can use soothing oils to alleviate this problem. Water-based oils and lubricants can make sexual intercourse more comfortable by reducing discomfort.

Regular Sexual Life

Regular sexual intercourse has many benefits in preventing vaginal atrophy and for women's health in general. Sexual activity can minimize menopause-related vaginal changes by maintaining the elasticity and health of vaginal tissue.

Calcium Intake and Exercise

To maintain bone density, you should get your daily calcium needs regularly and consider vitamin D supplements. Milk and dairy products, green leafy vegetables and calcium-enriched foods can be added to your diet. Additionally, regular weight-bearing exercises may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

In accordance with your doctor's prescription and recommendations hormone replacement therapymay be an effective option for managing menopausal symptoms. However, the possible risks and benefits of this treatment should be evaluated in detail.

Menopause is not limited to just physical changes; This process can also bring emotional fluctuations. Therefore, managing daily stress, practicing relaxation techniques, and getting psychological support if necessary can make this period a more positive experience.

Every woman's experience of menopause is different and symptoms may vary from person to person. Therefore, it is very important to draw a road map during menopause according to your personal needs and get professional health advice. Remember to make time for yourself and act according to your needs.