Menopause is the end of menstruation and is confirmed when a woman has no periods for 12 consecutive months. It is one more stage in life, such as adolescence, childhood or adulthood, and it happens to all women. The average age in Argentina is 52.7 years, it can start at an earlier age and if it starts before 40 it is known as early menopause.
“There are different factors that contribute to defining the age at which each woman goes through this stage ”affirms Dr. Rosana Molina; (MN 75793) gynecologist in charge of the Climacteric office of Halitus Medical Institute. And he adds: “Among them are genetics but also external environmental factors such as smoking, stress or eating “
The path to menopause is usually gradual and with variations. Although it is a normal or physiological fact in the lives of women, and in no way constitutes a disease, symptoms can sometimes affect daily life and require treatment.
“Among the most common is the vasomotor syndrome, better known as hot flashes and hot flashes. It affects between 75 and 85% of the women who come to the consultation. It is a sensation of heat that goes from the middle of the body upwards with redness of the face, and It is due to the imbalance of the thermoregulatory center of temperature (due to the decrease in estrogens), which is found at the hypothalamic level ”, explains the specialist. The most important consequence that it presents is the alteration in the quality of life, since during the night the woman wakes up with this symptom, and as a result of heat perspiration, which leads to insomnia. They can be attenuated with different menopausal hormonal therapies or with natural therapies, such as soy isoflavones. In some cases, low-dose antidepressants are indicated. Although natural therapies have no contraindication, no supplement can be taken on its own because it requires control and medical consultation.
Another issue of great concern is genitourinary changes. The vaginal walls become thinner, drier, and less elastic; being possible that they get irritated. This can lead to increased frequency and urgency to urinate. Because of this, sexual intercourse can become painful. It is important to highlight and work with patients the misconception that menopause is perceived by many as the end of sexuality and not just the end of reproductive life.
Treatment with local estrogens is a simple therapeutic strategy, since the vaginal response to estrogens is rapid and sustained. Women should be counseled about available therapeutic options: lubricating eggs, creams, and gels, and that the best option for each patient is largely a matter of personal preference. Treatment with local estrogens improves symptoms and sexual life in more than 50% of cases. Estrogens cannot be given in the following diseases, which is why they are contraindicated for patients with breast cancer, heart failure, liver failure, kidney failure, lupus, estrogen-dependent tumors, pulmonary thromboembolism (PE), venous thrombosis and uncontrolled hypertension.
Care at this stage is based on a dietary hygiene regimen. That is, a diet that is rich in calcium, since the requirements during menopause are 1200 to 1500 mg. With regard to food, you should consume yogurt, milk, cheeses, green vegetables, fish, (which is another source of vitamin D in addition to the natural one that is the sun) – tuna and salmon.
Flax, chia, sunflower, sesame seeds.
Physical activity, walking or treadmill, at least 35 to 40 min, 3 times a week. If it is less than that amount of time, the muscle does not work. Also, you can do swimming. Impact exercises should be avoided. All this allows to prevent the loss of bone mass, osteoporosis.
The check-ups that should be performed are: an annual mammogram, a Papanicolaou with colposcopy, transvaginal gynecological ultrasound to evaluate ovaries, blood tests that include a cholesterol profile, glycemia, complete blood count, thyroid hormone dosing, and a bone densitometry, which allows to know how there are the bones.
The increase in the life span of women makes them now live almost a third of their lives in menopause, so it is very It is important to offer them a good quality of life. There are specialists and exclusive centers for the care of this stage of life, which can help you not only when treating these pathologies but also to prevent them.