“Menopause for men” sounds weird to you. No, it’s actually not. The purpose of this post is to educate everybody about Menopause. Many women and men don’t know about it. The topics which I will cover include;
. How to deal with menopausal women
. Ways to cope
. Foods to avoid
. HRT (Hormonal Replacement Therapy)
. Delaying the menopause
. Lifestyle measures
. Alternative treatments
Let’s first talk about the menopausal transition. Menopause is the time that commences 12 months after a woman’s last period. This is where a woman may have changes in their monthly cycles, hot flashes or other symptoms called the Menopausal Transition or Perimenopause.
What Perimenopause means:
Perimenopause means “around menopause” and refers to when your body naturally transitions to menopause. This marks the end of Reproductive Years for a woman.
Women start perimenopause at different ages. You may notice some signs showing progression toward menopause. This may include menstrual irregularities, sometimes a woman can experience this in her 40s, but some women notice changes as early as their mid-30s.
The level of estrogen – the main female hormone, in your body, rises and falls unevenly during perimenopause. Your menstrual cycles may lengthen or shorten and you may begin having menstrual cycles in which your ovaries don’t release an egg (ovulate).
You may also experience menopause-like symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep problems, and vaginal dryness. There are many treatments available to help ease these symptoms.
Once you have gone through 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, you have officially reached menopause and the perimenopause period is over.
The menopausal transition:
The menopausal transition most often begins between the ages of 45 and 55 years and it usually lasts about 7 years, but it can be as long as 14 years. The duration can depend on lifestyle factors such as smoking, the age at which it begins, race, and ethnicity. During perimenopause, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone ( the two hormones made by the ovaries) varies greatly.
Estrogen is used by many parts of a woman’s body. As these levels of estrogen decrease, there could be a variety of symptoms. For example, many women experience mild symptoms that can be treated by lifestyle changes, diet, exercise, relaxation, stress reduction, more sleep, or social interaction with others.
So by making diet modifications for example avoiding caffeine or because of the hot flushes, carrying a portable fan, some of the symptoms can be alleviated.
Some women don’t require any treatment at all but for other symptoms which is what this is all about. Symptoms can be a lot more severe and the severity can vary according to race, ethnicity, etc.
- family history
- cancer treatment
The reason you are smoking is a big one. Smoking is toxic, so the nicotine and the tar and so forth are toxic to the ovary. Women who smoke have a harder time getting pregnant. Smoking is damaging to the eggs. So you can run out of eggs earlier than your reproductive age.
If your sister or your mother had an early menopause, you are likely to experience it early too. 25% of women have what I’ll call a seamless menopause, where just all of a sudden their periods stop.
The menopausal transition affects women uniquely and in various ways. Here are 7 key things that will affect your wife, your sister, or your daughter, not necessarily the case.
Women are affected in different ways. The body begins to use energy differently. Fat cells change and women may gain weight more easily. There may be changes in bone health, heart health, body shape, composition, or physical function.
Is it Menopause?
If a woman is having symptoms that are common during menopause, the doctor may ask questions about such symptoms; as her age and family history. This all is to determine whether it really is the menopause or menopausal transition that’s causing you the problems.
The doctor may suggest a blood test to check your follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). That’s FSH, estradiol to levels to rule out any other causes for the changes that you are experiencing.
Now this menopausal transition is commonly referred to as menopause. Menopause does not actually happen until one year after a woman’s final menstrual period. For that reason, a woman who does not want to get pregnant should continue to use birth control for at least 12 months after the last period.
Menopause can also be triggered by the Hysterectomy or a Surgical removal of ovaries which produce hormones. if a woman has surgery to remove her uterus or ovaries and is not taking hormones, then she will experience menopausal symptoms immediately. Also after menopause, women enter post-menopause. So we got premenopause, menopausal transition, menopause itself, and post-menopause.
Post-menopausal women are more vulnerable to heart disease, and osteoporosis. Therefore, during this time it is so important as it is for all your life to eat a healthy diet, to be active, and to make sure you have enough calcium for optimal bone health. exercise, diet, sleep, relaxation, reduction of stress, being happy trying to enjoy life.
Males should get empowered to understand and help their wives (or females in general). 70-80% of females do not feel knowledgeable enough about menopause. Menopausal symptoms are different from person to person.
Some more information regarding Menopause:
8 in 10 women feel ‘unprepared’ for experiencing perimenopause and menopause.
56 % say they are ‘fearful’ about what to expect – rising to 71% among 18 to 39 years old.
63 % of women yet to experience menopause did not realize symptoms can appear up to 10 years before the last period.
of the 2,069 UK women aged 18 to 74 questioned, 80 % felt unprepared and only 17 % said they would know how to prevent the signs and symptoms on their bodies. As to what treatments they would consider HRT gel or tablets were the most popular (38%), followed by skin booster treatments to improve hydration and anti-wrinkle injections.
Research reveals 92 % of women in the UK feel unprepared for this phase.
Nearly half (43 %) of women in the UK feel alone during menopause with over half (51 %) choosing not to inform their partner that they are entering the life stage.
Research also reveals the extent to which women see menopause framed within media and culture as a wholly negative experience, with 71 % agreeing that more positive elements are not acknowledged.
Women often don’t know what to expect or how to manage the experience and are unsupported, with 77 % feeling unsupported by their partner or spouse. Just 15 % feel supported by their mother.
If 90 % of women feel unprepared, what about Men? It is likely very very likely that men know less than women about menopause like what are the symptoms, what can be done, how they can help, etc.
Menopause health education and counseling is important for women but it’s also of great importance for men too.
Wait for my next post for symptoms of menopause.