Menopause is the name given to the last menstrual period and signals the end of the woman’s fertile period. Many people, however, go through a phase called the climacteric, which is the transition until they reach menopause and, during that time, several changes can occur in the body. To go through these changes more smoothly, the gynecologist Elaine Mallmann, from the Leger Clinic, clarifies 5 doubts on the subject:
- Start of the process
Between 45 and 55 years is the most common stage. “Menopause can also appear in other periods, manifesting the fall or the hormonal reduction in an earlier way”, highlights Elaine.
2. What happens to the drop in hormones
Menopause is recognized only after 12 months have passed since menstruation can be irregular during the climacteric phase – it is the period when hormone production falls. “Estradiol, the main female hormone, has a protective function in women’s health, as it prevents the appearance of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. Considering that these diseases are the main cause of death among women (more than any type of cancer), the loss of this protection is a relevant factor, especially with the increase in life expectancy that caused the woman to live at least a third of her life after menopause “, explains the gynecologist. The female hormone also reduces the loss of bone mass that happens with advancing age, and helps to maintain the freshness of the skin and hair, in addition to being important for sexual desire.
3. Physical changes
Fewer hormones are also synonymous with easier fattening. Those who are overweight tend to have more fat gain in the transition to menopause. Therefore, the gynecologist indicates to control the weight even before this period begins. “The practice of regular physical activity, in addition to helping to control weight, has a beneficial effect on symptoms, as well as changing habits, such as quitting smoking and reducing the intake of alcoholic beverages.”
4. Replacing hormones or not
“There are two situations in which menopause needs to be treated: when it happens too early or when it is accompanied by symptoms so intense that they interfere with the quality of life. The most effective treatment is the replacement of the same hormones that are insufficient – the so-called hormone replacement “, reveals Elaine. This type of treatment is indicated by the doctor after a careful and individual evaluation, as there are different types of replacement and it is necessary to investigate the risks that it can cause. Symptoms such as hot flashes, loss of bone mass, loss of libido, changes in sleep, vaginal dryness and mood fluctuations can be alleviated with synthetic hormones.
5. Not everyone can reset
In-depth medical evaluation is indispensable before starting hormone replacement treatment at menopause mainly because some women cannot do it. It is the case of those who have breast cancer, precursor diseases of this type of cancer or family members with the disease; patients at increased risk for thrombosis or with heart disease; smoking patients or other less common conditions. “In these situations, drugs with no hormonal effect can be used, which act directly on the central nervous system, reducing hot flashes and improving sleep and mood,” concluded the gynecologist.
Kit covid: understand why early treatment does not work
Get the latest news delivered to your inbox
Follow us on social media networks