The period in a person’s life, during which due to some age-related changes occur fading of sexual function is called menopause. Among women the second name of menopause is climacteric.
With the beginning of climacteric a woman loses the ability to have children, her menstrual cycle becomes irregular or stops completely. The time of beginninig of climacteric depends on the individual characteristics of one’s organism (in average it happens in one’s fifties). If menopause occurs before 45 years, it is considered to be early climacteric.
Most often, menopause occurs gradually, and a woman’s body has some time to get prepared for the new reality. However, among some women, menopause is accompanied by severe pathological processes that require special measures. Such a phenomenon is called a pathological climacteric.
Causes of menopause
But the greatest change during menopause happens with the reproductive system of a woman. There is a reduction of secretory activity, the follicles are replaced by connective tissue.
During menopause large changes also happen in the work of a humoral system. The level of gonadotropins increases, while the level of estrogens decreases.
It is known that estrogens produce a biological effect on the uterus, bladder, vagina, and a variety of other organs and tissues. Therefore, the lack of estrogen will inevitably have a negative impact on the functioning of these organs.
Menopausal syndrome occurs due to estrogen deficiency and is seen in urogenital and vegetative-neurotic disorders, high risk of developing osteoporosis and atherosclerosis.
The first signs of climacteric
The beginning of menopause depends on the individual characteristics of the organism of each woman. To someone it comes earlier, to someone-later.
The earliest signs of menopause are hot flashes and night sweats. These symptoms are observed in almost all the women during a period of menopause.
The treatment of hot flashes during menopause is prescribed in the event if after the elimination of all the triggering factors, their intensity is not reduced, and they are harmful to the woman’s health.
In addition to these two symptoms there might as well be observed some other signs by which one can judge about the soon coming of menopause. These include:
- Headaches during menopause. They may be a sort of reaction to depression and stress.
- Reduction or on the contrary, increasing of libido.
- Chills. Most often women are disturbed with them at night.
- Rapid palpitation, the feeling of tightness in the chest.
- Numbness of limbs, tingling sensation on the skin.
- Fluctuations of body temperature during the day.
- Changing of the flavor, sensation of dryness in the mouth.
- Suddenly arousing feeling of suffocation.
- Pain in the lower abdomen.
- Sudden fluctuations of blood pressure.
- Pain in the muscles, rapid fatigue, feeling of general indisposition.
- Dryness of skin and mucous membranes. This happens due to decrease of estrogen production.
- Aging of hair. Hair begins to turn gray, becomes fragile.
All these signs indicate that the function of the ovaries begins to fade and the mechanism of aging is in process.
In addition to the signs given above, the following symptoms are also observed during menopause:
- Irregular periods during menopause. Within a few years before the beginning of menopause a woman faces some changes in her cycles.
They may increase or decrease and bleeding during menopause each month may become either stronger or weaker.
There may often be observed so-called missed cycles.
- Mood changes may arouse due to insomnia and hormonal malfunctions in a woman’s body. The development of depression is also quite possible.
- Vaginal dryness. It happens due to lower production of estrogens, which are actively involved in the vital activity of mucous membranes and skin.
Because of the vaginal dryness a woman may experience pain and itching during the intercourse.
- Forgetfulness. It happens because of the fact that in the body begins the process of aging which inevitably affects the brain and worsens the memory.
In addition to these symptoms women’s immunity decreases during menopause. As a result, they begin to get sick more often, chronic diseases become more acute.
If climateric occurs in mild and moderate form, it requires no specific treatment. In severe cases it requires medical treatment.
Why is climacteric dangerous
If during menopause there are symptoms that disrupt the rhythm of life and bring inconvenience (disorders of functioning of nervous system, insomnia, increased sweating, sudden fever) one should consult a doctor for medical care.
Reduction of estrogen can cause the development of a number of pathologies such as osteoporosis, uterine prolapse, urinary incontinence, deepening of the voice timbre, uterine dryness and several others.
The treatment of climacteric
Menopause requires treatment only if the changes occurring in the body greatly complicate the woman’s life. It is known that most pathological processes during menopause occur due to the reduction of estrogen. Therefore, the main method of treatment of menopause is a replacement therapy, during which female hormones are being filled up.
Doctor chooses the individual scheme of treatment for each patient, based on the particular features of vital activity of each organism. In time of menopause therapy only natural estrogens are prescribed. To prevent the proliferation of the endometrium, progesterone is prescribed with estrogene. For the prevention of osteoporosis, experts recommend taking drugs, which contain silicon in their solution.
It contributes to the elasticity of bones and prevents the washing out of calcium.
In addition to the medical treatment women are advised to change their lifestyle. It is necessary to give up bad habits, start to eat right and do sports.
Medications prescribed against climacteric
To improve the condition of a woman in menopause several groups of drugs are used:
- Homeopathic remedies. The indications for their usage are uterine bleeding, weakness, poor appetite, panic attacks, hot flashes, depression, insomnia.
- Phytogenious medications. They are used as means of substitution therapy. In their composition they contain phyto estrogens, which are similar to the structure of female hormones. Along with a fairly high efficiency this group of drugs is absolutely safe. Unlike hormonal drugs they do not affect the metabolism and do not harm the liver.
- Hormonal medications. They are used as means of substitution therapy in times of difficuties with treatment of climacteric. They are divided into two groups – combined (which contain estrogen and progesterone) and those which contain only estrogen.Only a doctor who is in charge of the case should prescribe the medications because there is a number of contraindications to their usage (endometriosis, uterine fibroids, liver disease, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, thrombophilia, melanoma and others).