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NIH – Menopause “Two common health problems can start to happen at menopause, and you might not even notice. Osteoporosis. Day in and day out, your body is busy breaking down old bone and replacing it with new healthy bone. Estrogen helps control bone loss, and losing estrogen around the time of menopause causes women to lose more bone than is replaced. In time, bones can become weak and break easily. This condition is called osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor to see if you should have a bone density test to find out if you are at risk. Your doctor can also suggest ways to prevent or treat osteoporosis. Heart disease. After menopause, women are more likely to have heart disease. Changes in estrogen levels may be part of the cause. But, so is getting older. As you age, you may gain weight and develop other problems, like high blood pressure. These could put you at greater risk for heart disease. Be sure to have your blood pressure and levels of triglycerides, fasting blood glucose, and LDL, HDL, and total cholesterol checked regularly. Talk to your health care provider to find out what you should do to protect your heart. How Can I Stay Healthy After Menopause? Staying healthy after menopause may mean making some changes in the way you live. • Don’t smoke. If you do use any type of tobacco, stop—it’s never too late to benefit from quitting smoking. • Eat a healthy diet, low in fat, high in fiber, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods, as well as all the important vitamins and minerals. • Make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D—in your diet or with vitamin/mineral supplements. • Learn what your healthy weight is, and try to stay there. • Do weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, jogging, or dancing, at least 3 days each week for healthy bones. But try to be physically active in other ways for your general health. “
NIH – Menopause (Medical Encyclopedia) “Menopause is a natural event that normally occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. Once menopause is complete (called postmenopause), you can no longer become pregnant. The symptoms of menopause are caused by changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. As the ovaries become less functional, they produce less of these hormones and the body responds accordingly. The specific symptoms you experience and how significant (mild, moderate, or severe) varies from woman to woman. In some women, menstrual flow comes to a sudden halt. More commonly, it tapers off. During this time, your menstrual periods generally become either more closely or more widely spaced. This irregularity may last for 1 to 3 years before menstruation finally ends completely. A gradual decrease of estrogen generally allows your body to slowly adjust to the hormonal changes. When estrogen drops suddenly, as is seen when the ovaries are removed surgically (called surgical menopause), symptoms can be more severe. Because hormone levels fall, changes occur in the entire female reproductive system. The vaginal walls become less elastic and thinner. The vagina becomes shorter. Lubricating secretions from the vagina become watery. The outside genital tissue decreases. This is called atrophy of the labia.“
NHS – Menopause “Menopause myths • You can’t get pregnant after the menopause FALSE. It can and does happen so carry on using contraception for two years after your last period if you're under 50 and for one year if you're over 50. • You're going to put on weight FALSE. Middle-age-spread is often linked to the hormonal changes at this time of life but as yet there's no proof. Those extra inches could just be part of growing older and being less active. • Your menopause will be difficult because your mum’s was FALSE. There's no evidence to suggest this, although the age at which your mum went through hers could give you a clue as to when to expect symptoms, as the age of menopause tends to be similar in mums and daughters.”Highlighted Articles
Relationships between menopausal symptoms, depression, and exercise in middle-aged women: A cross-sectional survey (International Journal of Nursing Studies 2008) “Women who were depressed had more menopausal symptoms than women who were not depressed, and women who exercised regularly were less depressed and less symptomatic than women who did not exercise.”
Dietary and lifestyle predictors of age at natural menopause and reproductive span in the Shanghai Women's Health Study. (Menopause. 2008) “RESULTS:: Early menarche, younger age at first live birth, older age at last live birth, longer duration of breast-feeding, and higher parity were associated with longer reproductive years (Ptrend < 0.01 for all). Higher body mass index at age 20, mid-life weight gain, and leisure-time physical activity during adolescence and adulthood predicted later menopause and longer reproductive span (Ptrend < 0.01 for all). Total intake of calories, fruits, and protein was positively associated with later menopause (Ptrend < 0.05 for all) and longer reproductive span (Ptrend < 0.05), except for carbohydrates (Ptrend = 0.06), and long-term tea consumption predicted longer reproductive span (Ptrend = 0.03). Vegetable, fat, soy, and fiber intakes did not significantly affect reproductive span or age at menopause. Smoking was inversely associated with both early age at menopause and shorter reproductive span (Ptrend < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS:: In addition to reproductive factors, intake of fruits and protein, smoking, tea consumption, lifetime patterns of physical activity, and weight gain influenced the onset of menopause and/or reproductive span in Chinese women.”
Night sweats, sleep disturbance, and depression associated with diminished libido in late menopausal transition and early postmenopause: baseline data from the Herbal Alternatives for Menopause Trial (HALT). (Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007) "RESULTS: Of 341 women, 64% had diminished libido, 18% had moderate to severe depression, and 43% had poor sleep quality. Women averaged 4.6 hot flashes and 1.9 night sweats per day. Depressive symptoms (P = .003), poor sleep (P = .02), and night sweats (P = .04) were significantly associated with diminished libido."
The timing of natural menopause in Poland and associated factors. (Maturitas. 2007) " RESULTS: The overall median age at natural menopause was 51.25 years; 25th percentile 49; 75th percentile 54 years."
Severe Hot Flashes May Be Linked to Chronic Insomnia (2007) "Hot flashes occurred in 12.5% of premenopausal women, 79.0% of perimenopausal women, and 39.3% of postmenopausal women. Chronic insomnia occurred in 36.5% of premenopausal women, 56.6% of perimenopausal women, and 50.7% of postmenopausal women (P < .001). Prevalence of symptoms of chronic insomnia increased with the severity of hot flashes. More than 80% of perimenopausal women and postmenopausal women who had severe hot flashes also had symptoms of chronic insomnia."
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Age at Menarche and Natural Menopause and Number of Reproductive Years in Association with Mortality: Results from a Median Follow-Up of 11.2 Years among 31,955 Naturally Menopausal Chinese Women. (PLoS One. 2014 )
Caffeine and menopausal symptoms: what is the association? (Menopause. 2014 Jul 21.)
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