Climax is a certain surprise for a woman because she is not psychologically ready for change. The onset of menopause is associated with the onset of old age and causes fear. A significant problem at this time is the lack of information.
That is why we decided to discuss issues related to this particularly sensitive topic for women in today’s column. Introduce you to modern terminology, the essence of menopausal syndrome, causes of development, symptoms, complications, we will talk about different methods of diagnosis and treatment. The rubric is led by Academic Doctor of Medicine, Doctor-Reproductologist, Gynecologist.
– First of all, explain what the terms – “climax” and “menopause” mean.
– “Climax” is a word of Greek origin and means step. Climax is a transitional stage of life from youth to old age. More precisely, menopause marks the transition period from the reproductive phase to the state when a woman can no longer naturally have a child.
“Menopause” means the cessation of the menstrual cycle. The last menstruation in a woman’s life is called menopause, it is a turning point of the climacteric period. If 12 months or more have passed since the last menstruation, it can be said that the woman is in the menopausal period.
Menopause can be natural or artificial. Natural menopause is caused by complete cessation of ovarian follicular activity. Artificial menopause occurs after surgical excision of both ovaries, or under the influence of harmful factors – radiotherapy, chemotherapy, when the follicular apparatus in the ovary is damaged.
The climacteric period is called the menopausal period. Before menopause – premenopausal, and after menstruation – postmenopausal period.
– What is the difference between menopause and menopausal syndrome?
– People often use the phrases: “I started menopause”, “I have a climax”. This time may mean the onset of this stage of life, and / or the presence of abnormal symptoms at this stage.
Climax is a period of life, and menopausal syndrome is a combination of pathological changes and symptoms that develop due to hormonal changes during menopause.
– How common is menopausal syndrome?
– The life expectancy of a modern woman has increased significantly. Women live an average of 80 years or more, that is, today women spend one third of their lives in menopause.
Climax is a physiological stage of a woman’s life, which means that this period in every woman’s life, sooner or later, will inevitably come, but menopausal syndrome may not be detected in all cases. Some women have no complaints at all during menopause.
Climacteric syndrome occurs in about 60% of women. 1/3 of them start complaining before the menstrual period stops, in 1/3 coincide with the cessation of menstruation, 20% have symptoms after 1-2 years after menopause, a small part – about 2%, the symptoms may start very late, after the cessation of menstruation After 5 years or more.
– What events are connected with the development of menopausal syndrome in women?
– The development of the climacteric period is mainly related to the physiological processes in the female body, in particular, the decline of ovarian function. A girl has a certain supply of eggs at birth, which is predetermined genetically. After the period of sexual maturation, the ovum matures in the ovary every month and produces sex hormones, mainly estrogens and progesterone. With age, the supply of eggs decreases, consequently, the secretion of hormones in the ovary also decreases. When the supply of follicles is finally depleted, menopause occurs – a woman no longer has menstruation. The ovary ceases to function, no longer produces sex hormones, develops estrogen deficiency, which is the main reason for the development of menopausal complaints.
– When does the climacteric period of women start and what factors affect it?
– After 33 years, ovarian function gradually decreases, first progesterone levels decrease, then estrogen levels. The average age of menopause is 51-2 years. If a woman stops menstruating between the ages of 40 and 45, it is considered early menopause, and after 55 years – late menopause. Menopause that develops before the age of 40 is called premature menopause.
Environmental factors also affect the age and course of menopause. For example, cigarettes, alcohol, unhealthy diet, mass deficiency or excess have a negative impact on the manifestations of menopausal syndrome.
The severity of symptoms in menopause depends on the degree of decline in estrogen levels.
– How dangerous is early or late cessation of menstruation for a woman’s health?
Early or late termination of menstruation is associated with certain health risks, however, this fact may not indicate any serious danger. Premature menopause increases the risk of developing osteoporosis and, consequently, fractures. Late menopause is more likely to develop estrogen-dependent tumors.
– Can a woman anticipate the approach of menopause, how are the first signs revealed?
– The first sign of the approach of the climacteric period may be changes in the nature of the menstrual cycle. This is a shortening of the menstrual intervals. For example, in women who have had a 30-35-day menstrual cycle, the intervals between menstrual periods are reduced to 26-21 days. Patients with polycystic ovaries who have experienced menstrual irregularities have regular periods during the premenopausal period.
Decreased menstrual discharge, delayed menstruation may also be associated with hormonal changes during the premenopausal period. In the climacteric period, the so-called Abnormal bleeding associated with menopause.
Approaching a climax can be felt by a woman with subjective complaints as well. These are: change of character, recklessness, loss of interest in life, irritability, anxiety, headaches, insomnia, etc.
– What types of disorders develop during menopause and what are the most common complaints of a woman at this time?
– Estrogen-sensitive receptors are found throughout the body, so pathological changes occur in almost all organs and systems during menopause.
Menopausal complaints can be divided into three groups. In the first stage, the so-called Vegetative-vascular and psycho-emotional symptoms: these are flames, fever sensation in the face and head, which then spreads throughout the body, sweating, rapid heartbeat, increase or decrease in blood pressure, headache, irritability, unexplained crying, depression, anxiety,. These complaints start in women even before menstruation stops and can last for several years.
Then there is the second stage, the so-called middle period urogenital disorders. These are the symptoms associated with pathological changes in the urogenital system: urinary incontinence, frequent urination, nocturnal urination, vaginal dryness, which causes pain during sexual intercourse, can not reach orgasm. There are often so-called Development of atrophic colpitis, which is manifested by a burning sensation, itching and an annoying discharge from the vagina. At this time treatment with antibacterial drugs is ineffective because the problem is related to estrogen deficiency. Due to the decrease in the elasticity of the vaginal walls, its lowering develops.
Estrogen deficiency during menopause is associated with joint pain, dryness of the eye mucosa. Wrinkles appear on the skin due to loss of collagen and elastin.
Noteworthy are the third – last stage pathological changes: cardiovascular pathologies, metabolic disorders, osteoporosis.
In the first stage of the climacteric period, there are memory problems, forgetfulness. In late postmenopause this can be compounded by serious neurological disorders – dementia in the elderly, Alzheimer’s disease.
– What is considered to be the most dangerous pathology of the menopausal period?
– The most dangerous complication of the climacteric period is considered to be the pathological changes developed in the last stage, including osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease in which the bones lose density, become brittle, and break easily. Pain in the spine is very annoying due to micro-fractures of the spine. Osteoporosis of the spine is associated with the fact that a person shrinks in height during menopause. A femoral head fracture is especially dangerous because it involves significant risks to life.
– What does Alzheimer’s disease have to do with menopausal changes?
– As it turned out, women who often have flares have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. At the moment of inflammation, hypoxia develops in the brain. Prolonged lack of oxygen contributes to the development of pathological changes in the brain.
– Do men have a climax?
– Of course, menopause and related complaints are also observed in men. This is associated with a decrease in the concentration of the main male sex hormone – testosterone. Menopause is called andropause. Like women, men need proper treatment and support during this period.
– Are tests, including hormonal tests, needed to confirm the diagnosis of menopausal syndrome?
– Menopausal disorders are typical and if complaints occur after 50 years. Clarification of the diagnosis does not require special examinations, including hormonal tests. The content of gonadotropins is always increased at this time, especially the level of follicle-stimulating hormone is high, the concentration of estrogens is low.
In case of onset of menopausal symptoms at an early age, hormonal research helps in diagnosis.
In general, when a woman with a climacteric complaint to the doctor, the most important thing is to consult carefully: assess the symptoms, determine the general state of health, clarify the comorbidities, study the family history. It is necessary to conduct a gynecological examination – a woman should be examined in a chair, a Pap test should be done. Colposcopy and smear bacterioscopic analysis are done as needed. Ultrasonographic examination of the small pelvic organs is routinely performed. At this time the focus is on the thickness of the inner membrane of the uterus – the endometrium. In menopause, an endometrium larger than 4 mm is already noticeable. It is very important to examine the breast and consult a mammologist. We pay special attention to the examination of the blood clotting system – coagulogram.
Individually, other studies may be needed – hormonal, biochemical tests, densitometry – determination of bone mineral density, etc.
– Is it necessary to treat menopausal syndrome?
– The answer is unequivocal – treatment of menopausal syndrome is necessary! There are three types of women involved in menopausal treatment: first, fatalists who do not want treatment, second, women who watch advertisements and self-medicate, and third, who go to the doctor for treatment.
The unfortunate reality is that women pay attention only to visible symptoms such as fever and sweating. If these symptoms are not too bothersome, do not consult a doctor.
In parallel with these complaints, pathological changes related to estrogen deficiency are taking place in all systems of the body, which appear later. For example, as I have already mentioned, frequent flares increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, so it is very important that a woman “does not tolerate flames” and is treated.
– How is menopausal syndrome treated?
– There are many methods of treatment. The gold standard for the treatment of menopausal syndrome is natural estrogen replacement therapy, which is called menopausal hormone therapy. There are many types of drugs in the pharmaceutical market. In addition to tablets, skin patches and vaginal suppositories are used. The latter is especially effective in pathological changes of the genitourinary system.
There are some limitations to the use of hormones, which are mainly related to the risk of developing breast cancer and thrombosis in patients with a genetic predisposition.
Because of this, there is a so-called “Hormonophobia” – fear of developing cancer. Women are also very worried about the problem of weight gain in the background of taking hormonal medications. Obviously, this is definitely not the case.
Menopausal hormone therapy is most effective in treating complications and symptoms during menopause, so it should be prescribed by a qualified reproductive specialist and gynecologist who will properly assess the risks and benefits.
– What about non-hormonal and alternative methods of treatment?
– It is very popular for the treatment of climacteric symptoms. Phytopreparations. It is known that many plants have a similar action to the natural female hormones – estrogens. Such are soybean, rice, hops, red clover, cimicifuga. In the female body they bind to estrogen receptors and are effective in mildly expressed climacteric complaints. It is a known fact that Chinese and Japanese women, whose diet is rich in soy and rice products, have less pronounced climacteric symptoms.
There are data that isoflavins in some plants have so-called. Mammoprotective effects also prevent the development of malignant processes in the mammary glands.
Women get information about phytopreparations through advertising, internet, friends and resort to self-medication. It is true that the risks of complications using these drugs are less, but it is advisable to consult a doctor before taking. In order to increase the effectiveness, in addition to phytopreparations, it may be necessary to prescribe other medications in combination, for example, melatonin – to regulate sleep. It is important to take vitamins and micronutrients – calcium, vitamin D.
They also use physical methods of treatment – reflexology, acupuncture, etc.
– What role does a healthy lifestyle play in the management of menopausal syndrome?
Adherence to the principles of a healthy lifestyle, as always, is the main and important recommendation. Healthy Eating – Eating foods rich in calcium, protein, omega-3s, limiting easily absorbed carbohydrates, regular physical exercise, swimming, walking in the fresh air, regulating sleep patterns, being around loved ones, and being overwhelmed by positive emotions.
– Is it possible to avoid complications during menopause?
– Menopause will definitely occur in every woman’s life, but the most important thing is that this period takes place without any special discomfort and complications. This can be achieved through prophylactic measures and timely initiation of treatment.
– What do you wish to our women?
– Dear women, do not be afraid of the cold of menopause, life is wonderful after menopause. The woman is most wanted by the society right after 50 years. A healthy and happy woman is needed by everyone – parents, spouse, children, grandchildren, friends.
See also: Why menstruation is delayed