What Is Menopause? Know Everything About It
Menopause is the period in a woman’s life where she stops having menstrual periods. It signifies the end of her reproductive or fertility years. When a woman is approaching menopause, her ovaries begin to produce less estrogen, a female hormone produced in the ovary which stimulates the growth of the lining of the uterus. The ovaries stop producing enough estrogen during menopause and this leads to the thinning of the uterine wall.
How may menopause affect a woman’s ability to achieve an orgasm?
The loss of estrogen causes drastic changes. The vaginal lining becomes dry and thin. Dryness of the vagina leads to discomfort and pain during sexual intercourse and who wants sex to be painful? These changes also make the vagina more prone to infection which causes a burning and an itching sensation. Lower hormonal levels more often than not affect the ability of a woman to have an orgasm or it may take a long time to achieve orgasm. During the menopausal transition, there are quite a number of emotional changes that take place in a woman’s body. She may feel stressed, fatigued and depressed half the time if not all the time. Therefore, as she copes with the changes happening in her body, sexual desire will be the least of her worries. Also, during this time a woman’s weight may gradually increase and she may not see herself as attractive and therefore she will not have a desire for sexual intercourse.
Are there any treatments to relieve the symptoms of menopause?
Yes, there are. The commonly used treatment to relieve menopausal symptoms is the Hormone Replacement Therapy. The hormone estrogen is usually given alongside another hormone, progestin. This helps in reducing the risk of the uterine wall becoming cancerous when estrogen alone is used.
What are the benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy?
The most common symptom of menopause is the hot flashes. A hot flash is a sudden feeling of heat that rushes to the upper body and face. It may last for a few seconds to several minutes or even longer. The hormone estrogen is used to treat these hot flashes. It also relieves vaginal dryness when given in correct amounts. Replacing the lost hormones can help restore sexual desire and response.
Does this Hormone Replacement Therapy have any drawbacks?
Unfortunately, this treatment has its risks. As mentioned above, when estrogen alone is administered, there is a risk of getting endometrial cancer, one of the several types of cancers that arise from the lining of the uterus. Taking progestin may help reduce this risk but that comes with disadvantages too. The drawback of using progestin is that it has been seen to increase the chances of breast cancer. There is also a group of women who are advised not to use this treatment. Those who are pregnant or have a history of breast or endometrial cancer, blood clots, heart disease, liver disease and high blood pressure, just to name a few.
What are other treatments available for menopausal symptoms?
Different things can trigger hot flashes in different women. They are therefore urged to try and notice what causes the hot flashes and try to avoid it. Spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, stress, staying in a hot place are just a few of the things that may cause hot flashes. Also, use of a vaginal lubricant assists in eliminating the dryness of the vagina resulting from the low hormonal levels. Another way is by doing exercises. Some health practitioners recommend exercises that improve the muscles and that heighten natural lubrication in a woman’s body. Also, increased foreplay during menopause may assist a woman to become more stimulated and therefore giving her sufficient arousal. It is important for those women who feel that extra foreplay may do the trick to open up and share it with their partners.
During menopause, it is important for women to note that it is still imperative to take care of their bodies. Some women associate it with being ugly and ageing. Rather than looking at it as normal and natural change, they view it with a lot of negativity. This stereotypical kind of thinking in regard to menopause may be changed if women continue to exercise, eat a balanced diet, build their self-esteem and generally maintain a healthy lifestyle even during the menopausal transition. In as much there are quite a number of changes that take place; it does not mean that a woman who is experiencing menopause cannot be sexually aroused. They should also continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle. All in all, women should learn to look at this on the optimism side and learn that experiencing menopause is not the end of their sex lives.