Menopause is a menstrual cycle that ends naturally, which occurs when women are 45 to 55 years old. Not only menstruation stops, but many other changes also occur in the body of menopausal women, ranging from physical appearance, psychological conditions, sexy desires, to fertility. Women who are menopausal can not get pregnant again.
Causes of Menopause
Menopause is a natural process that occurs when a woman gets older. As we get older, the ovaries will produce fewer female hormones. As a result, the ovaries no longer release the egg and menstruation will stop.
However, menopause can also occur earlier, ie before the age of 40 years. Early menopause can occur as a result of:
- Primary ovarian insufficiency
- This condition occurs due to genetic disorders or autoimmune diseases, which make the ovaries stop functioning.
- Uterus removal surgery (hysterectomy)
- After a hysterectomy, a woman will not immediately experience menopause but tends to experience menopause earlier. Menopause can occur immediately after hysterectomy if the ovaries are removed.
- Cancer treatment
- Chemotherapy or radiotherapy to treat uterine cancer can damage the ovaries, thus triggering early menopause.
Menopausal symptoms occur during perimenopause, which is several months or several years before menstruation stops. The duration and severity of symptoms that arise vary from person to person. Symptoms of menopause can be:
Insomnia or trouble sleeping
During menopause, you can experience problems sleeping or maintaining your sleep. You may wake up earlier than usual and have difficulty falling asleep again. To get enough rest, try various relaxation and breathing techniques. You can also exercise during the day so that you are tired enough to sleep at night. Avoid opening your cellphone or computer before going to sleep because the blue light from the gadget can cause you to have trouble sleeping. Bathing, reading, or listening to a song quietly might help you to be more relaxed. Try to sleep at the same time every night and avoid foods or drinks that can affect sleep such as chocolate, caffeine, or alcohol.
Changes in the menstrual cycle nearing menopause
You may experience changes in the menstrual cycle. The amount of blood that comes out during menstruation may also be more, less, or maybe only in the form of spots or spots. Your menstrual duration may also be shorter.
If you do not experience menstruation at the appropriate time, make sure you have ruled out the possibility of pregnancy. If you are not pregnant, not having your period on schedule might be a marker of the start of your menopause. If you experience spotting after not having menstruated for 12 consecutive months, you may need to consult a doctor to rule out the possibility of more serious conditions such as cancer.
Hot flushes are conditions where you experience a sensation of heat, either in the upper part of your body or even completely. Your face and neck might turn red and you might sweat. The intensity of hot flush can vary from mild to strong, even to disturb sleep. This condition usually lasts between 30 seconds to 10 minutes. Most women experience this condition for one to two years after their last menstruation. Hot flushes may continue after menopause, but over time, this condition will become less and less common. Consult your doctor if the symptoms that you experience are very disturbing activity.
Dryness in the vagina and pain during intercourse
Reduced estrogen and progesterone production can affect the moisture of the thin layer lining the vaginal wall. The symptoms that you experience can be itching or burning in the cervix. Dryness in the vaginal area can cause pain when having sex. To overcome this, you can try water-based lubricants or vaginal moisturizer. Consult your doctor (gynaecologist in Malaysia) if you still feel uncomfortable.
- Changing or moody mood.