A woman’s reproductive life cycle has its beginning and its end, which, as we all know, is between the first menstruation until the sometimes dreaded and stigmatized menopause. Each one has its own particular symptoms that can affect and bother women until they are able to fully adapt to this new adaptive stage.
Many women dread menopause, not because of its onset per se, but because of the meaning attributed to it, which is always considered to be old age and once you hear that word, the world seems to stop because there is no turning back. For some, the stage of older adulthood represents a deterioration, instead of being a new opportunity to experience things that could not be experienced before.
That’s why it’s important to change your vision of menopause and set aside its stigmatizations and look at it as a new beginning.
However, as this stage begins to appear in the lives of women, there are representative symptoms that are emerging, such as hot flashes or hormonal imbalance, but did you know that these are not always symptoms of menopause itself? But they can represent a climacteric, so how to recognize them? Stay in this article and find out.
What is menopause?
We can define menopause as the phase in a woman’s life when she naturally stops menstruating, we can define menopause as the phase in a woman’s life when menstruation naturally stops.. Entering a stage of changes, known as climacteric, which is a transitory gap between the period of fertility and the age of old age. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 54, depending on the ovarian status of each woman.
Menopause occurs because the number of eggs in the female ovaries has ended, and therefore, the reproductive capacity. This leads to a significant decrease in the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, causing the appearance of some uncomfortable symptoms that must be treated.
Stages of menopause
Menopause consists of three stages that develop over the years.
This is the period between the end of the reproductive stage and menopause. In this case, menses may last a few days and occur at irregular times.
This appears from the moment that menstruation is no longer seen until one year after entering menopause. At this stage the endocrine, biological and clinical changes of menopause also begin to occur, such as suffocating hot flashes, vaginal dryness or hormonal changes.
This is the period where menopause settles and remains in a woman’s life. In addition, where the natural symptoms of this stage must be treated.
What is climacteric?
Climacteric is the period of physiological, biological, psychological and emotional changes and symptoms that a woman undergoes between the premenopausal stage and the final settlement of menopause. It is comprised between a period of 5 to 15 years depending on the condition of each woman.
It is in this period that all the changes known during menopause occur, especially those involving the definitive cessation of female reproductive capacity and absolute ovarian rest. This triggers a series of negative effects such as sleep disorders, irregularities in the menstrual cycle, changes in sexual desire or the appearance of musculoskeletal diseases.
Differences between climacteric and menopause
It is normal for women to confuse climacteric and menopause, since they are two processes that occur simultaneously. But there are certain differences that will help you not only to identify them, but also to treat them properly. properly.
Menopause is a stage of climacteric, that is, a period when new symptoms appear. It begins with the definitive cessation of menstruation until exactly 12 months have elapsed without its reappearance.
The climacteric period, on the other hand, consists of all the periods of menopause (including premenopause and postmenopause). It is characterized by the appearance of the whole set of bothersome symptoms that afflict women. We can observe its appearance when the menstrual cycle becomes irregular until it disappears and can occur over a period of 5 to 5 years, depending on each woman.
The climacteric period is characterized by a series of physical, psychological, emotional and biological discomforts that affect the daily life of women when they enter this stage.
This is due to the decrease in estrogen and progesterone production, causing: problems in regulating internal body temperature (heat attacks and excessive sweating), alterations in the emotional sphere (anxieties, sadness, sensitivity, irritation and mental fatigue), problems in controlling weight, vaginal dryness and decreased sexual desire, development of musculoskeletal complications and cardiac problems.
In itself, menopause does not represent a symptom as such, since it is part of the climacteric period. However, higher rates of body and emotional sensitivity, tiredness, weight gain and dizziness may be observed.
As previously mentioned, the climacteric period consists of the entire process from the time a woman begins to perceive a decrease in the appearance of her period until it comes to an end. Menopause, on the other hand, consists of 3 stages or processes:
Premenopause (when signs of cessation of menstruation begin to appear). Menopause (period in which the menstrual period no longer appears and remains so for a year) and Postmenopause (definitive cessation of egg production for the rest of the woman’s life).
What happens in the body during menopause?
We have talked a lot about the overwhelming symptoms that occur during climacteric and menopause but what are these? Stick around and find out.
1. Body changes
One of the most noticeable symptoms of menopause or climacteric is physical changes. These may include problems in maintaining ideal weight, swelling and feeling of muscular heaviness, tiredness and physical exhaustion, sensitivity, dry skin and hair loss.
There are also irregularities in body temperature, i.e., hot flashes, hot flashes, heat attacks and excessive sweating throughout the day. Although some women report that it appears more strongly at night.
2. Changes at the intimate level
Perhaps the most well-known and resented symptom by women, as it is a significant discomfort in the sexual and intimate health sphere. It is composed of vaginal dryness, sensitivity in the walls, presence of pain during sexual intercourse, changes or decrease in libido.
3. Psychological changes
These physical changes can in turn affect the mental and emotional sphere, since it also produces mental fatigue, anxieties and increased stress, problems to relax, derived from a lack of rest and adequate sleep duration. This is due to nighttime hot flashes that often awaken women and prevent them from falling asleep.
There may also be cases of feelings of inferiority, distrust and low self-esteem due to the inability to control these symptoms. Even in more serious cases, depression can occur.
4. Emotional changes
Negative feelings may increase in women, such as sadness, feelings of helplessness, loneliness and emotional emptiness that can cause despair and irritation. They may even affect their partner, family members or people close to them. Likewise, sudden changes in mood and state of mind may occur.
5. Changes in health
If menopause affects a woman more severely, she may develop health problems, such as muscular and skeletal disorders, heart problems, diabetes, overweight, vulnerability in the immune system and ease of injury.
Do all women suffer from these symptoms?
Yes, all women will go through menopause when they are close to reaching the age of early old age. Not all women will suffer from climacteric symptoms, they may not suffer from all the discomforts or may experience them to a very minimal degree. It all depends on each woman’s hormonal status and a little bit of luck, which is helped a lot by previous healthy habits.
But why do some women seem to have it so bad and others don’t? Everything seems to indicate that it is a matter of how affected the endocrine system is, since the female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) act directly on its functioning. Therefore, when there is a decrease in their production, there is a functional alteration in this system.
Affecting the adrenal glands (in charge of managing stress), the thyroid glands (help speed up metabolism), the pancreas (regulates insulin production) and the functions of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland (places where the production of hormones for the endocrine system is regulated). Thus, the organs no longer respond in the same way to the rest of the hormones.
There are several treatments to control and reduce the symptoms that appear during menopause. that appear during menopause. Know some of them
1. Hormonal treatments
It is the most recommended in these cases, but it can also present adverse side effects such as the development of breast cancer or cardiovascular diseases, so its administration should remain under strict monitoring. In these cases, estrogen and progesterone doses are administered at a lower or higher level, depending on the medical history and antecedents. This helps to alleviate body discomfort, hot flashes, hot flashes and prevents bone loss.
Vaginal estrogens are also prescribed to help combat alterations in the intimate area such as loss of libido and vaginal dryness. This way you will be able to recover your normal sexual life.
2. Medical treatment
This is taken at the same time as the hormonal treatment to combat side effects or if the person presents drastic changes, for example radical or constant mood changes, anxiety or depression. They are administered in low doses as the idea is to reduce their appearance.
Medications may also be prescribed to combat osteoporosis or cardiovascular conditions.
3. Homeopathic treatments
One of the alternatives that is gaining important territory in the treatment of climacteric symptoms, thanks to its effectiveness. These are prescriptions and medicines elaborated with compounds of natural origin that combat these symptoms without generating important side effects. This is indicated under the supervision of a specialist homeopath, depending on the particular symptoms that each woman experiences.
4. Natural recipes
The consumption of herbs and natural plants on a daily basis, in the form of infusions can also help to diminish in a natural way, the symptoms that appear in menopause. The best thing is that there are different alternatives for each discomfort.
For example, chamomile, valerian and linden are recommended to treat stress and anxiety. Green tea is ideal against overweight. St. John’s wort or St. John’s wort to treat feelings of sadness.
Remember that it is always necessary to go to the gynecologist if you have any of these ailments, maintain healthy habits and a proper lifestyle. This will keep you from suffering the worst symptoms of menopause.