Ladies, these are the signs you are approaching menopause
- As the estrogen levels start going down gradually, one may see signs like hot flashes and irregular periods months or even years before actual menopause.
Menopause or permanent cessation of menses is part of the ageing process and occurs after not getting periods for 12 consecutive months or a year. With age, the ovarian activity gradually declines and this may commence as early as the age of 35. With menopause, ovarian activity also ceases which means the ovaries stop making estrogen and progesterone hormones and also do not release eggs anymore, thereby halting the process of pregnancy. The average age for menopause in women ranges from 42 to 53 years. (See pics: Natural sources of estrogen to ease menopause symptoms)
As the estrogen levels start going down gradually, one may see signs like hot flashes and irregular periods months or even years before actual menopause. This stage is called perimenopause. Dr. Ranjana Dhanu, Consultant OBGY & Gynaecology talks about signs that show one is approaching menopause.
Dr Dhanu says as the estrogen levels go down, endorphins or feel good hormones too can suffer because of which mood swings can be experienced.
Hormonal changes can also trigger hot flashes, at times multiple times during the day, due to alteration in the thermoregulatory clock.
RISE IN UTI
A rise in the incidence of urinary tract infections and vaginal infections is observed during perimenopause with thinning of the mucosa of the Uro genital tract during the menopause.
Dyspareunua or painful sexual intercourse and reduced libido are also manifestations of estrogen deficiency associated with the menopause.
OSTEOPENIA AND OSTEOPOROSIS
The delayed effects of the menopause are osteopenia and osteoporosis due to rapid bone resorption or osteoclastic activity hence posing a risk of fractures of the wrist or hip joint in particular. Severe osteoporosis of the spine can lead to interspinous fractures leading to a dowager's hump.
Alzheimer’s is also a delayed manifestation of the menopause and estrogen deficiency. Luckily as our indian diets comprise of asafoetida (hing) and turmeric (haldi) we see a lesser incidence of Alzheimer’s as compared to the Caucasians.