Dr Suman Bijlani, Gynaecologist, Sonologist, Infertility Specialist, Obstetrician and Laparoscopic Surgeon, Mumbai.

Menopause

 

Menopause is the permanent cessation of menses in a woman’s life. Typically it is diagnosed after 12 months of amenorrhoea ( no menses ). It also marks the end of her fertlility (childbearing capabilities).

The hormone estrogen is no longer produced by the ovary (only very small amounts are produced from other sources) and this leads to a host of other changes in the body.

A woman may experience a lot of physical and mental changes during this transition of life. Although a lot of women have mild symptoms and they brush it off as something inevitable and natural, many suffer from distressing symptoms (like hot flashes or painful intercourse).

A large majority can make do with counselling and lifestyle modification while some women need to take treatment for emotional and sexual difficulties as well as urinary complaints (frequency and incontinence).

With proper care, most women can prevent long term complications like osteoporosis (weak bones) and atherosclerosis (heart disease and stroke).

It would make sense for most women to undergo cancer screening for breast and cervical cancer at this stage.

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