Menopause and Body changes

Menopause and Body changes

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By Dr Vishakha Munjal , Gynaecology

Menopause is considered an important phase in your life since there is a drastic change in your body’s physiological functions. You may have some faint idea about what happens after menopause probably after reading articles on magazines and internet. Even if not, let us learn about the changes that take place after menopause.

As per medical definition, menopause is a situation in which you don’t have periods for 12 months at a stretch. If you are not sure whether you have entered that phase, your doctor can confirm it by measuring the level of your Follicle Stimulating Hormone. If you are confirmed to be postmenopausal, it will mean that your ovaries will now stop producing eggs and the period of child-bearing is over.

As soon as you step into menopause, mood swings and hot flashes are going to become common. Some changes that are bound to occur after entering menopause are:

  1. The skin loses elasticity and becomes dry. There is a comparative thinning of the skin and you will experience wrinkles on your skin. Acne, pimples and unwanted hair may grow on the skin.
  2. You may either experience unwanted hair growth on your face and other areas or a drastic loss of scalp hair.
  3. Menopause brings a number of dental and oral issues along with it. There may be some experiences of dry mouth or gingivitis. Weakening of oral bones, swelling of gums, loosening and loss of teeth which may accelerate the requirement of dentures.
  4. There is a considerable dryness in the vagina and the vulva which may result in itching and irritation. Post-coital blood loss or labia thinning are other common consequences.
  5. The frequency of urination increases after menopause. Cysts can also form in the bladder.
  6. Finally, after menopause you may experience pain in your joints and muscles; some even resulting in osteoarthritis.

Key points-

  • Some body changes and accompanying symptoms that occur during the menopausal transition and beyond menopause may be related to lower levels of oestrogen while others result from the ageing process.
  • Body changes and symptoms may be many and varied and can be mitigated by adoption of a healthy lifestyle.
  • HRT may be useful for some women with body changes; however it should not be regarded as an anti-ageing therapy.