As per an estimate, by 2025, over 1 billion women across the world will experience menopause. Surely a good fraction of this figure belongs to India.
“There are other conditions too that lead to a substantial lessening of a woman’s quality of life along with an increase in doctor visits and related expenses,” she further adds.
Medical professionals say that menopause is also linked to other distressing conditions like fluctuating estrogen levels that raises the risks of developing cardiac conditions, deteriorating musculoskeletal health, and generalized cognitive decline.
Women in India seem to face enormous emotional burdens during this phase.
- They cannot discuss this problem at the workplace or even at home.
- They have feelings of sadness and even depression.
- They experience changes in their sleep patterns.
- They face fatigue and loss of energy.
A lady gynecologist suggests that women during menopause transition must be screened for clinical depression.
Consulting a gynecologist will help especially if a woman experiences:
- Decreased interest in pleasure
- Notable weight change that is 5 % or more or change in eating habits or appetite
- Depression or thoughts of suicide
Let us get to basics about what menopause is all about.
It is the permanent cessation of menstruation resulting in the deficit of ovarian follicle growth or development.
The age at which menopause sets in, is governed by genetics, and does not depend on race, prior ovulation, socioeconomic status or the age at which the woman had menstruated the first time.
Factors that can result in premature menopause include:
- Surgery on ovaries
- Idiopathic reasons such as autoimmune disorders, toxic exposures or chromosomal abnormalities
Yet, even gynecologists are at a loss to differentiate between symptoms that cause loss of ovarian function and those that are due to aging.
As mentioned earlier, vasomotor symptoms affect a majority of peri-menopausal women. Statistics have revealed that the symptoms can last for a couple of years after menopause but can even continue for a decade or longer.
If you consult a lady gynecologist in all probability she will recommend systemic estrogen therapy. Many women have provided feedback that this approach has been effective. In some instances, estrogen is contraindicated. In such cases other options are available. Among them, progestin is a key one. It has also been found that SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors also address hot flushes.
Systemic estrogen therapy also provides relief for vaginal dryness and certain urinary symptoms. Another alternative is to use lubricants during sexual intercourse as a non-hormonal therapy for minimizing discomfort. It is important for women to understand that treatments help. Consulting a competent gynecologist can alleviate the distress caused during menopause.