Changes in a Woman's Life

WOMAN is the epitome of everything that is magnificent and beautiful. Unfortunately, this persona is only skin deep. A woman goes through several physical and mental changes in her life.

Her body goes through changes that can affect her family life, her social life, her feelings about herself and how she functions at work. Complicated? Not really...

The beginning: For the first 15 years - from birth to childhood to adolescence - she is careless, free and wide-eyed with what the world has to offer her. She discovers womanhood when she comes of age. She will be more self-conscious and curious with the changes happening to her body. Life will be a voyage of exciting adventures. Every experience is new and fresh.

Pre-Menopause: Pre-menopause refers to the entirety of her reproductive life, from menstruation to menopause. Physical changes begin to accelerate in this stage which is immediately prior to menopause. She is most likely to experience visible physical changes due to the descent in hormone production.

Perimenopause: Perimenopause means "about the time of menopause". It concerns the two to eight years when hormone levels are changing. The most common indications of perimenopause are irregular menstrual cycles, anxiety and lack of energy or irritability caused by hormonal fluctuations. Women usually start perimenopause between the ages of 39 and 51 but this differs with every woman.

Menopause: This is a milestone that marks the end of the reproductive years. Menopause is often misused to describe the entire transition from the reproductive years to the non-reproductive years. In fact, menopause refers only to the completed state. It is something she reaches, not something she "goes through'. It is a natural part of ageing, and occurs when the ovaries stop making hormones called oestrogen. When a woman ceases menstruation for about a year, she has most probably reached menopause. The average age for menopause is around 45 to 60 but it could also happen earlier.

Low oestrogenic levels are associated with some uncomfortable symptoms in many women.

The most common and easy to recognise is "hot flashes" i.e. sudden waves of heat and perspiration that interrupt sleep and daily living.

Other symptoms may include vaginal or urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence (leakage of urine or inability to control urine flow), headaches, vertigo, heart palpitation, tinnitus, nervousness, irritability, insomnia, mood swings, cloudy thinking, anxiety and depression. Many women may also notice changes in their skin, digestive tract and hair during menopause. Long-term problems linked to low levels of oestrogens may include osteoporosis and increased risk of heart disease.

Postmenopause: This is when the menstrual cycle has ended for a year. Hormone levels carry on declining and menopausal symptoms continue or intensify into the first year or more of postmenopause. Oestrogen levels then become constant at low levels and usually subside. This is a new chapter of life when a woman can enjoy the freedom from menstrual flow and birth control issues.

Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) also known as Black bugbane and Black snakeroot is a member of the buttercup family found in rich woods of the eastern deciduous forests of America. This perennial woodland plant likes the deep shade of moist hillside that is also home of other medicinal plants such as golden seal and ginseng. The root of black cohosh is used as an herbal ritual for `female problems' and is taken as a dietary supplement that's said to be effective for relieving and reducing symptoms of premenstrual tension, menopause and other gynaecological problems.

In the past, menopause was often surrounded by fallacies and folklore. Now, it is acknowledged as a natural step of ageing. Contrary to the conservative view that life spirals downward after menopause, many women today find that the years after menopause offer new discoveries and bright challenges.

Today, medical advances have resulted in a wide range of health care options that can enhance the quality of life during menopause and the years afterwards. Understanding menopause and the range of treatment choices can help women make the right health decisions. - Article courtesy of Merck

No comments :

Post a Comment