Published January 11, 2024
Menopause is a normal biological process that frightens many women because of what it entails on a physical and emotional level. The end of the menstrual cycle and therefore a woman’s reproductive period, as well as hormonal changes, cause a number of physical and psychological changes that we often do not know how to cope with, and ultimately affect daily activities and quality of life. Menopause occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 as a result of the aging of the ovaries, which causes estrogen and progesterone levels to decrease, causing typical symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain and fat accumulation in the abdominal area. , difficulty sleeping, increased sweating, headaches, palpitations, vaginal and skin dryness or mood changes, to name a few, as well as an increased risk of certain conditions.
The most common diseases that usually appear at this time in women’s lives are mainly related to bones, osteoporosis. After age 35, bone mass is naturally lost, causing bones to become weaker, more fragile, and at greater risk of falls and therefore fractures. Lack of vitamin D, calcium, tobacco and alcohol use can speed up this process. The risk of developing osteoporosis is higher in women due to hormonal changes that occur during menopause. Fun fact: 200 million people worldwide live with osteoporosis, and by the age of 80, 70 percent of women have the disease.
Less estrogen and more problems
Decreased estrogen production during menopause leads to a risk of cardiovascular disease. Fat in the body is redistributed, lipid metabolism changes, the level of bad cholesterol increases, and coronary arteries narrow. That’s why it’s important to exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and keep your weight within a healthy range, as this can reduce your risk of heart problems. Another problem associated with hormonal changes during menopause is urogenital. Urinary tract infections occur when certain pathogens enter the urinary tract through the urethra and multiply in the bladder. Decreased estrogen levels cause changes in the vagina, external genitalia, urethra and bladder, as well as an imbalance of vaginal flora and dryness, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter the genitourinary system.
Why do we gain weight during menopause?
Some time after menstruation stops, usually about two years, body fat doubles and muscle mass gradually decreases. Women, of course, gain between 5 and 8 percent of their weight during this period. This value varies greatly depending on the person and his daily activities. Hormonal changes during this biological phase lead to the deposition of more fat in the abdominal area, which usually leads to weight gain. In addition, loss of muscle mass, lifestyle changes, emotional problems associated with hormonal changes make us more anxious and more willing to eat, and not particularly healthy foods, so weight gain is inevitable or not.
Help at this stage
To cope with all these problems that women face during this period of life, we have opened a menopause department at the Quironsalud Toledo Hospital. Here, a team of doctors specialized in gynecology and obstetrics, including Dr. Jonathan Sánchez Oliver, gynecologist and obstetrician of this center and Quironsalud Talavera Day Hospital, conducts an assessment to determine the type of care or therapy needed to prevent possible problems that may arise . may cause menopause. From hormone therapy to lifestyle, nutrition and exercise changes to help women cope better with this time of change.
Not everything is so negative
At this stage of life, women experience many diseases associated with menopause, but this does not mean that they should appear always and in all cases, so the appropriate medical care we offer and a preventive approach are necessary to take advantage of this. a vital moment for maintaining and improving health and a normal rhythm of life. From this space we can help resolve any doubts that may arise on this or any other topic related to a woman’s health at any stage of life. At the Menopause Unit we are here to inform, give advice and try to solve women’s problems and facilitate the changes that occur during menopause.