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A New Chapter

Some women are hardly bothered by menopausal symptoms while others find them extremely disruptive. The good news is they can be managed

7/9/2014 1:56:37 PM
written By : Dr Amrinder Bajaj Print

Women in their mid-forties are standing on the threshold of a new phase of life - life after menopause. Menopause brings with it some of the most significant changes in a woman’s life. It is an exciting time, free from the responsibilities of childrearing, contraception and financial insecurities. You are free to pursue your other interests and hobbies, things you never had the time for. Sexually, too, it can be a liberating period.

What is menopause? Meno - month, pausis - halt; hence, menopause refers to the cessation of menstruation. This occurs due to the decreasing levels of female sex hormones in the body. It is a retrospective diagnosis; for a woman is said to have attained menopause only when she does not have periods for a year or more. It usually occurs between 44–52 years of age although, sometimes, it is brought about abruptly by surgical removal of the ovaries and the uterus.

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Menopause is preceded by perimenopause which occurs for a varying length of time before the periods stop altogether. During this interval, periods become irregular, heavier or lighter than usual, infrequent with erratic gaps or stop altogether without warning. Keep a menstrual calendar and report to your gynaecologist if periods are unusually heavy/prolonged/frequent or if bleeding occurs after intercourse for these problems could be serious and need further evaluation. 

Menopause can be trying for women as certain menopausal symptoms are problematic. These could occur in the immediate post-menopausal period or years after menopause. The latter is especially relevant in today’s scenario due to increased life expectancy. What should a woman expect during menopause?

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