Menopause marks the end of the reproductive years of a woman’s life, occurring usually between 45 and 60 years of age, with an average age of 51 years.
Menopause happens when the ovaries no longer release an egg every month and menstruation stops. Menopause is considered a normal part of aging when it happens.
Menopause is confirmed with the cessation of periods for 12 months, and elevated levels of FSH and decreased levels of oestrogren
The 3-5 year period before menopause when your oestrogen and hormone levels begin to drop is called perimenopause. You typically enter into perimenopause in your late 40’s.
What Are the Signs of Perimenopause?
- Hot flushes and night sweats.
- Breast tenderness.
- Worse premenstrual syndrome.
- Lower sex drive.
- Irregular periods.
- Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex.
- Urine leakage when coughing or sneezing.
- Skin changes
- Mood changes
- Memory loss
FACTORS THAT MAY HASTEN THE TIMING AND WORSEN THE SYMPTOMS OF MENOAUSE INCLUDE:
- Hysterectomy retaining the ovaries (thought to advance menopause by approximately 2 years)
- Smoking (hastens follicular depletion)
- Radiation and/or chemotherapy used to treat a malignancy
- Chronic or acute stress, leading to adrenal insufficiency.
- Toxicity (pesticides, smoking, alcohol, heavy metals)
- Certain medications
COMMOM SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE INCLUDE:
- Absent menstruation for at least 12 months. (Irregular periods occur throughout peri-menopause)
- Hot flushes; of the face, neck, and upper trunk, which may be accompanied by palpitations, dizziness, headaches.
- Night sweats, which may contribute to depression and irritability from insomnia.
- Cold hands and feet.
- Vaginal atrophy and dryness may lead to painful intercourse and/or post-coital bleeding.
- Vulvar pruritis.
- Urinary tract atrophy, resulting in increased frequency, burning, nocturia, incontinence, and infection.
- Sleep disturbances and insomnia.
- Mood changes such as depression, irritability, tension.
- Memory impairment and loss of ability to concentrate.
- Skin changes including loss of skin tone/integrity leading to wrinkles.
- Weight gain and increased central adiposity.
- Breast tissue atrophy
- Increased sensitivity to stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine.
HOW CAN NATURAL MEDICINE HELP?
The most common reason women seek treatment for menopause is hot flushes. The drop in oestrogen is a significant catalyst, but not the only cause. Stress is also a major factor that may contribute to hot flushes .Therefore, stress management during the peri- and menopause years is vital.
The natural production of oestrogen slows down as a woman is progressing through menopause, so they can become susceptible to other health problems.
Natural medicine can be used to balance out hormones and reduce the symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats ,vaginal dryness, etc . Natural remedies can also be used to treat stress and adrenal exhaustion which may be contributing to the many symptoms of menopause such as insomnia, fatigue, mood swings etc. Natural medicine can also be used to prevent and support other health problems that may occur as a result of menopause.
Menopause is not a disease but a natural stage in a woman’s life.
Here at Melbourne Naturopathy we provide natural relief for menopause not only through the use of herbal medicine but through dietary and lifestyle changes. These may include encouraging patients to eat organic where possible, reducing food and beverages that exacerbate hot flushes such as caffeine, alcohol, high refined carbohydrate diet. Promoting foods which may help balance hormones. Encouraging relaxation techniques such as medication, yoga, massage, breathing techniques etc
Don’t put up with the symptoms of menopause any longer. Call Melbourne Naturopathy today for an appointment.