Changes in the vagina and urinary tract are another common menopausal symptom. With less estrogen, both the vagina and urinary tract become thinner and dryer and more prone to injury and infection. If vaginal changes are severe enough, intercourse may become painful. A simple remedy for vaginal dryness is use of a personal lubricant (K-Y jelly, apricot oil or Vitamin E oil) during intercourse. A physician may also prescribe a vaginal cream containing estrogen.
Recently, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been shown to relieve uncomfortable menopausal symptoms. Doctors often prescribe the taking of both estrogen and progesterone in a cyclical fashion. Studies show that women on HRT are at less risk of developing endometrial cancer than women who take no hormones at all. Hormones affect other parts of the body besides the uterus (breasts, gall bladder) and may therefore be unsafe for every woman. Personal consultation with a medical provider can help to determine whether HRT is an appropriate treatment.
Specifically, the levels of female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) circulating within the body decrease which leads to menstrual irregularity and eventually menstrual cessation. The three clear signs of the onset of menopause are an irregular monthly flow, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Hot flashes have long been considered the classic symptom of menopause.
A woman experiencing a hot flash may feel a sudden wave of warmth in the face, neck, and chest, lasting for several minutes and accompanied by reddening of the skin, like blushing. It may occur with heavy perspiration over the upper body, dizziness, headaches, and palpitations (rapid heart beats). The easiest way to manage hot flashes is to control body temperature by wearing layered clothing that can be removed, drinking cold liquids, and when possible, taking a swim or a cold shower.
Came across this blog today – thought it would be of interest – my menopause blog
Menopause is part of the natural, life-long process of female growth and development. The word menopause originates from the Greek words meaning “to cease” and “month.” In essence, menopause refers to the stopping of menstruation. For most American women, menopause occurs at an average age of 51, but it can begin as early as 40 and end as late as 58.
Every woman’s menopause is unique and personal. Four out of five women go through “the change of life,” as menopause is often called, with few signs beyond the ending of their monthly periods. Menopause is caused by physical changes in the female body that occur naturally with age.