How to recognize at the earliest stages whether it is possible to postpone the onset of menopause in women, as well as how to alleviate symptoms – here’s everything.
Menopause is an obligatory stage in the life of almost every woman, which is not customary to talk about and not very pleasant to think about. But it is very important to know about menopause and especially its effect on our health: because of the changing hormonal background, not only fertility stops and mood swings begin – we become more vulnerable to all sorts of ailments, our heart, bones and joints, thyroid gland require increased attention. We have compiled a small guide to help you track the onset of menopause with symptoms and get through it as easily as possible.
Early menopause: risk factors
Most women go through menopause at the age of 51-53, but some of us have to deal with early menopause at age 40. Here are the factors that can increase our risk.
First of all, of course, we are talking about operations affecting the reproductive system. But other types of abdominal surgery can also affect the age of menopause – after all, during an operation in the abdomen, it can interrupt the blood flow in the ovarian area for a while, which can lead to fading of the follicles.
Termination of ovarian function
Some diseases can lead to the fact that the ovaries of a young woman stop functioning long before the term. Therefore, it is especially important to undergo a thorough examination by a doctor every year and carefully monitor your health so as not to miss the development of potentially dangerous diseases.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
With this disease, inflammation and scars appear on the ovarian tissue, which interferes with ovulation, destroys the follicles – and can lead to early menopause. Be especially mindful of yourself and your cycle if you have PCOS – and see your doctor for any unusual symptoms.
First of all, doctors refer to them as insulin-dependent diabetes, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. If you suffer from these conditions, know that you are at an increased likelihood of having menopause earlier.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy often cause early menopause. In addition, early menopause in women can be triggered by taking tamoxifen, which is prescribed by doctors to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Early menopause: prevention
Is it possible to surrender to the onset of menopause? Doctors say yes. Here are some things you can do to help.
Go in for sports
The most effective way to slow down the onset of perimenopause is through moderate exercise. Exercise helps maintain optimal levels of body fat, which in turn contributes to healthy hormonal balance (did you know that a significant proportion of female hormones are produced with fat?). But it is very important not to overdo it: too intense training can lead to the development of hormonal imbalances, due to which ovulation can be disturbed and early hormonal depletion can occur.
Smoking is one of the few factors that almost completely influence the age at menopause. The nicotine, cyanide, and carbon monoxide found in cigarettes can lead to accelerated egg loss and therefore earlier menopause. Doctors warn that regular smoking speeds up the onset of menopause by 1-4 years. Alas.
Cut back on alcohol and caffeine
Drinking alcohol by itself does not accelerate menopause, but excessive drinking can trigger early menopause if you have other risk factors. The same applies to caffeine: Doctors remind you that a safe dose of coffee is two cups a day.
Keep track of your weight
Not only can a lack of estrogen affect the timing of menopause, but too much estrogen is also dangerous. As noted above, this hormone accumulates in adipose tissue and therefore it is very important not to allow excess weight to appear. Of course, five or even ten extra Kgs will not affect your fertility, but if your body mass index is significantly higher than the recommended one, you may need to reconsider your dietary habits and lifestyle.
Menopause: the first signs
The termination of menstruation in women is the most famous, but far from the other earliest sign of the onset of menopause. And if you track the earliest symptoms of menopause and consult a doctor in time, you can stretch the process, as well as make it as soft and comfortable as possible.
It is especially worthwhile to be on your guard if a decrease in sexual desire occurs against the background of general well-being: you are not taking any medications that can affect libido, have not experienced any serious stress recently, have not suffered diseases, you are not overloaded with work or household chores, and your relationship with partner – harmonious. If despite all this, your libido has dropped significantly (you want sex two to five times less often than before), you may need to see your doctor.
We all know that one of the symptoms that accompany menopause is hot flashes, sudden flashes of fever and sweating. In young, healthy women, hot flashes may occur during menstruation or while taking antidepressants. But if you feel them all the time and at the same time they are accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, perhaps this is the first stage of menopause.
Sleep disturbances during periods of high stress or even in the last week of a cycle are unpleasant but normal. But if everything is normal in your life, if the health of your thyroid gland is not a concern, and you cannot sleep night after night, see your doctor. Sleep disturbances, whatever the cause, are bad for our health.
Any unmotivated weight change is a dangerous signal. If you have not changed your eating habits, if your level of activity has remained the same, if you have not taken any medication, and your thyroid gland is working like a clock, and your weight is going up, see your doctor.