Menopause day: symptoms and frequently asked questions
A growing population, the female population in menopause, which will exceed 1 billion worldwide, as confirmed by estimates for 2025. To know how to face and manage all related changes, on the occasion of World Menopause Day (October 18), the experts of Intimine answer the most common questions.
The most common symptoms: vampires, joint pain and cystitis
There are over 40 different symptoms related to peri-Menopause and menopause. The best known are the vasomotor ones (the so -called hot flashes and night sweats) even if about 30% of women actually do not suffer from it. Then there is the joint, often underestimated, that many women attribute to muscle pain or arthritis problems.
The skin is also compromised, given the appearance of dryness, itching, and tingling. And not least, the frequency of urinary tract infections such as cystitis also increases.
“My first approach is to underline the importance of the exercise to help keep the muscles and bones healthy. I also recommend guaranteeing a healthy glycemic index diet. Some women – he explains Manuela FarriS, gynecologist – may find magnesium supplementation helpful.
Hormonal replacement therapy, with estrogen and progestin, is a very effective treatment for the management of all the symptoms of menopause including joint pain and many of the women to whom I prescribe hormonal replacement therapy are often amazed by the speed with which these symptoms improve when the treatment begin. Vaginal infections and pains in relationships are due to a reduction in estrogen and at the effect that this has on the tissues around the vagina, bladder and at the urethra. This is often known as menopause parental syndrome.
The best way to manage these problems is with a low dose of vaginal estrogen which is very safe to use and very effective “.
The lesser known aspects: age and psychological discomfort
Among the little known aspects of menopause is the one related to the age in which it could occur, given that it can happen even before the age of 40 (applies to about 1 in 100 women). But it is not the only one.
“Psychological symptoms are very common (anxiety, low mood, memory problems), but they can be mistakenly diagnosed as mental health problems, which means – he continues Farris – that women are often offered a treatment with antidepressant drugs in an inappropriate way“.
Ponite-urinary syndrome: here’s what happens
The menopause parent-urinary syndrome is the term used to describe the symptoms of the low urinary and genital tract that develop as a consequence of a lowering of estrogen levels. Vaginal atrophy is part of this syndrome. There are many receptors for estrogen in the fabrics of the vagina. When the level of estrogen begins to decrease during menopause, the tissues thin and lose their collagen support. The result is a reduction in the production of natural secretions and lactic acid, which allows for an increase in bacterial growth.
The consequence of this is that vaginal and urinary infections are potentially increased. Even itching, dryness and pain in intercourse can depend on the reduction of estrogen in the vaginal tissues.
“To help cope with this condition, vaginal dilators can be prescribed, i an instrument that women can learn to use following the indication of the specialist, progressively identifying the size of the dilator to be introduced into the vagina. Generally these treatments are more effective in a context of psychosexual therapy, where it is possible to follow the difficulties and/or the progress of the work carried out. It is also important to ensure that the impact of low estrogen has been addressed, usually with the use of vaginal estrogen. You can also try simple treatments – fits Roberta Rossi, sexologist and psychotherapist– such as regular use of vaginal moisturizers, together with lubricants for relationships.
Better not to abuse vaginal washes since they can often cause a reduction in bacteria “ healthy ”. It is useful and important to work on muscle tone, in fact women often can present a hypertone or a laxism of the pelvic floor muscles, while we know that a regularity of the blood flow to these tissues can help improve the symptoms described above. It is essential to treat the different symptoms that can present themselves in a multidisciplinary way to cut out a tailor -made treatment for the woman in this phase of life “.
Knob and low desire: an inseparable combination?
There are many women who describe a reduction in their libido, along with reduced sensitivity and difficulty reaching orgasm.
“The reason is complex, with a mixture of psychological and physical factors. The modification of both estrogen and testosterone levels has an effect on the brain, often with the consequent reduction of sexual desire. Even the physical consequences of hormonal reduction, which affect vaginal, vulvari and clitoral tissues in particular, have a negative effect. Finally, also other consequences of menopause such as night sweats, joint pain, mood changes, anxiety and sleep disorders can have an impact on general well -being, including libido.
Therefore – keep on Red – When trying to support women who have libido problems, it is necessary to consider all these factors, but it is equally important to evaluate the psychologists and relational factors that can be involved at this life phase. Therefore, systemic hormone therapy, which will need to be evaluated by a gynecologist, has its usefulness and can be integrated with other interventions. Sexual health devices may play a role, particularly in helping to improve sensitivity in the tissues of the vagina and
THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT MENOPAUSE:
They answer Manuela FARRIS, gynecologist and Roberta Rossi, sexologist
1. It’s possible to have menopause symptoms even though I’m still menstruating?
Although menopause by definition means the cessation of menstruation, many women may experience symptoms before menstruation stops. This is known as peri-menopause and can occur up to 10 years before actual menopause.
2. “I am too old to start HRT?”
The risks of HRT use are increased in women over the age of 60 who have been more than 10 years since menopause. This is mainly due to cardiovascular risks.
3. How long will I have to do hormone therapy?
On average, most women use HRT for three to five years. There are long-term health benefits to consider, therefore, the recommendation is that the use of HRT should be reviewed annually and the decision whether to continue be made on an individual basis at each review.
4. I still have to use contraceptives even in menopause?
The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health (FSRH) recommends continuing to use a form of contraception during peri-menopause until age 55. For menopausal women under 50, an additional two years of contraception is recommended. In women over the age of 50, an additional year of contraception is recommended.
5. It is true that hormonal therapy delays menopause?
No. The body continues to adjust to natural changes in hormone production despite the use of HRT. For most women, hormone therapy can make up for the time they experience symptoms as a result of these hormonal changes and when they stop taking HRT most symptoms have generally resolved.
6. I will gain weight on hormone therapy?
There is no evidence that HRT causes weight gain. Unfortunately, weight changes are very common during menopause. This is mainly due to a change in metabolism which can often lead to weight gain. Studies of hormone replacement therapy have found no evidence that it increases weight gain.
I often recommend women to look at their lifestyle, including diet and exercise, since it is likely that it will be necessary to make changes to their pre-Menopausal lifestyle to help maintain a healthy weight.