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Understand how to deal with menopause

When the menopause stage comes, the woman experiences hot flashes, irregular sleeping pattern, irritation and sometimes depression. It is said that the reasons for these conditions is due to the change in the hormone levels. We heard it from our mothers and believed it. But have you ever tried to find out why all this happens?

What occurs in a normal menstrual cycle?

There are various hormones responsible for the normal working of the menstrual cycle. There is one follicle-stimulating hormone which is formed in pituitary gland situated in the brain. This FSH is responsible for the production of several follicles or sacs. Each of these follicles and sacs contain eggs. Later on these FSH level fall and only one follicle grows. This leads to the production of a new hormone estrogen. Estrogen is responsible for building a lining around the uterus and prepares the body for a pregnancy.

When a certain estrogen level is reached, there is one more pituitary hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH) forms. This LH stimulates the ovary to release the egg. This phase is called ovulation. During this the ovary gets busy in producing another hormone called progesterone. These hormones further thicken the uterus lining and fill it with nutrients. This is done to provide nourishment to the fertilized egg.

If you are not pregnant estrogen and progestrone levels drop. The uterus lining which has got thick over a time sheds and thus it is how the menstrual cycle starts.

Why hormones go haywire?

Between the menstrual period and menopause stage there is one more stage called perimenopause. It is when the menopausal symptoms begin to build up which will lead to menopause. The normal age of a woman reaching menopause is 51 but it could be less or more in every woman depending upon her health. During the perimenopause stage, there is a decrease in production of estrogen and progesterone. This starts when the woman reaches in here thirties.

Since there is a decreased production of hormones so only fewer follicle mature. This means that women would ovulate less or they won’t. Now when ovulation does not occur, progesterone is not produced. This leads to an erratic uterus lining build up. It could lead to a woman experience irregular periods, sometimes heavier or lighter than what she gets normally.  A woman could also experience other symptoms like instead of getting low estrogen levels, they record above the normal levels and it could result in fibroid growth, breast tenderness and many other symptoms.

Now as she is close to menopause, estrogen and progestrone levels produced in the body will drop. These reduced estrogen levels could adversely affect the breast, urinary tract, uterus, skin, brain etc.

When a woman reaches menopause

When the woman reaches the menopause stage, the ovaries would stop releasing eggs. There is very less estrogen production and no progesterone. So there is no lining build up around the uterus and hence the menstrual cycle stops. What the doctors say that 12 months after her last periods, the woman reaches menstruation.

Though every woman reaches menopause but the timing is different for all. Some could experience sudden menopause while many would go through years of hormonal ups and downs.