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Menopause

What are the vasomotor symptoms of menopause?

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Estrogen and progesterone levels begin to decline in females at around the age of 40 years, and perimenopause, the transition to menopause, starts. A female can experience vasomotor symptoms as this transition progresses.

Vasomotor signs are those that arise due to blood vessels being constricted or dilated.

These include hot flashes, sweats at night, palpitations in the heart, and blood pressure changes. The most likely explanation why these symptoms may occur during menopause is that the mechanisms that regulate blood pressure and temperature control are impaired by hormonal fluctuations.

Hot flashes during menopause are encountered by up to 75 percent of women in the United States, according to the North American Menopause Society. Hot flashes typically happen over a span of 6 months to 2 years, but they may be experienced by a person for up to 10 years.

Menopause normally occurs between the ages of 45 and 58 years in the U.S. The average menopausal age is 52 years. 12 months after their last day a person enters menopause.

During perimenopause, hot flashes and other symptoms may begin when menstruation still continues, or they may begin after the end of a person’s periods. Not everybody has these symptoms, and within people, they can differ in severity.

Earlier in life, some individuals begin menopause. This can arise spontaneously in some circumstances, but in others it may be due to surgery, a health disorder, or some kinds of medical care.

Symptoms

Hot flashes are a common vasomotor symptom of menopause.
Hot flashes are a common vasomotor symptom of menopause.

Menopause is not a health condition. It is a natural change that most women will undergo in their lives. The hormonal changes it involves, however can lead to particular symptoms.

In the way the cardiovascular system functions, hormones play a part. They can affect the circulatory system because their levels fluctuate. They can also mess with how body temperature is regulated by the nervous system.

The main vasomotor symptom is hot flashes. A sudden sensation of heat impacts the chest, neck and face during a hot flash. The skin can become red in these areas.

In addition to hot flashes, a person may experience:

  • sweating, including night sweats
  • sleep disturbances
  • anxiety
  • heart palpitations

These symptoms appear to affect individuals for about a year. 17% of females, however may continue to experience them for many years.

If treatment, such as chemotherapy, starts with menopause, the person can find that the related symptoms stop and menstruation begins again once the treatment is over. This is not true for everybody, though. Is this a hot flash or something else?

Causes

The causes of hot flashes are likely to be neurovascular, meaning they occur when the portion of the nervous system that controls circulation changes.

Experts agree that changes in the part of the brain that controls body temperature result in hot flashes. Sudden drops in the levels of estrogen can cause them, but exactly what role this hormone plays is unclear.

There is evidence that the use of supplemental estrogen helps alleviate symptoms, but a link between circulating hormone levels and the severity of symptoms has not been identified by scientists.

Possible triggers for hot flashes include:

  • eating spicy foods
  • drinking coffee or alcohol
  • wearing clothing that is too warm for the environment
  • having a high temperature
  • smoking
  • stress
  • some medical treatments and drugs
  • some health conditions, such as diabetes, tuberculosis, or an overactive thyroid

They can also occur without any obvious cause, however.

Some forms of cancer care, irrespective of a person’s age or sex, may also contribute to hot flashes.

Risk factors

During menopause, vasomotor symptoms are common, but not everyone experiences them.

Smoking and obesity are factors that could increase the risk.

According to the National Institute on Aging, hot flashes can occur over a longer period in African American and Hispanic females than in white or Asian Americans.

Complications

Hot flashes and sweating are typically not dangerous, but they can lead to discomfort, and the exposure of the symptoms can make certain individuals feel humiliated.

Hot flashes do not contribute to menopause in some situations, but may result from nervous or vascular system issues. These hot flashes may be a symptom of changes, such as cardiovascular disease or dementia, that may lead to other conditions.

People should see their doctor if:

  • hot flashes interfere with their daily life
  • they have other symptoms, such as diarrhea, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, or a general feeling of being unwell
  • they are at risk of another health condition, such as diabetes or thyroid problems

Seeing a doctor will help an individual get medication to boost their levels of comfort and alleviate anxiety. Physicians may also recognise other root causes of vasomotor symptoms, should these be present.

Treatment

To help people control hot flashes, a doctor can prescribe medication.

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy works at regulating the body’s hormone levels. It can help alleviate hot flashes and other symptoms, but since it can lead to side effects, it is not ideal for everyone.

For patients with a history or a high risk of specific conditions, like cardiovascular disease, stroke, breast cancer, uterine cancer, and liver disease, a physician does not prescribe hormone therapy.

Antidepressant drugs

Antidepressants might help, such as paroxetine (Paxil). For menopause symptoms, a doctor will typically prescribe a lower dose than for depression. Headaches, nausea, and drowsiness are potential side effects.

During menopause, many individuals have mild symptoms and do not use medicine. An individual should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using drugs with their physician.

Lifestyle remedies

During menopause, some lifestyle practices can help an individual handle hot flashes.

These include:

  • avoiding known triggers, such as spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine
  • quitting smoking, if applicable, or avoiding secondhand smoke
  • dressing in layers so that it is easy to remove a layer if a hot flash occurs
  • carrying a water bottle containing ice water to sip if a hot flash starts
  • keeping a portable fan nearby
  • keeping the bedroom cool at night
  • avoiding exercise immediately before bedtime
  • practicing deep breathing and relaxation exercises
  • following a healthful diet and getting regular exercise
  • reaching or maintaining a moderate weight

A 2012 study indicated that during menopause, women who lost 10% or more of their body weight through dietary changes experienced a decrease in or end of vasomotor symptoms. The scientists looked at data from 17,473 women.

Alternative therapies are used by certain persons, such as black cohosh, dehydroepiandrosterone

(DHEA), for hot flashes, or soya isoflavones. However there is no evidence that they can benefit, according to the National Institute on Aging, and their long-term effects are uncertain.

Before using any herbal therapies, supplements, or other types of menopause medicine, it is best to talk to a doctor.

Outlook

A common feature of menopause is vasomotor symptoms, especially hot flashes. They’re not experienced by everyone, and they can affect people differently.

Anyone who feels that their daily life is greatly impaired by vasomotor symptoms should talk to a doctor who can prescribe medications or lifestyle changes that may help.

Read more about what you should expect during menopause here.

Menopause

Does keto assist with menopause?

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Some people find that adopting dietary and lifestyle changes helps them cope with the symptoms of menopause. However, there is no proof that the keto diet, in particular, is advantageous at this time.

Menopause is the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Perimenopause, the time before menopause, is when people begin to experience symptoms such as hot flashes and nocturnal sweats. This is caused by a decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels in the body.

Although no diet will prevent hormone levels from falling, dietary adjustments can help manage the symptoms that come with this shift. It’s unclear whether the keto diet can assist with this.

In this post, we’ll look at whether keto could be a good option for women approaching menopause, as well as the diet’s possible side effects and risks. We also take a look at different sorts of diets that may be useful.

Gender and sex exist on a spectrum. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to the sex assigned at birth. To learn more, visit here.

What is the keto diet?

keto diet

The ketogenic (or keto) diet induces ketosis in the body. This indicates that the body burns fat for energy, converting it to ketones. It then substitutes these ketones for sucrose.

To enter ketosis, a person must cut carbohydrate consumption dramatically and replace it with fat. The keto diet usually consists of the following foods:

A person’s diet may include a variety of things. While in ketosis, they can eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and good fats, but they can also eat a lot of red meat and saturated fat.

Is the ketogenic diet beneficial to menopausal symptoms?

The keto diet may aid in weight loss, but its effects on other menopausal symptoms are less apparent.

Impact on weight gain

Some people gain weight during menopause, which might be due to changes in hormone levels and a slowed metabolism.

There hasn’t been any research done to see if the keto diet may help women maintain a healthy weight throughout menopause. A big 2017 research including approximately 89,000 females aged 49 to 81 years examined four diets to assess how effective they were. The researchers performed the following tests:

  • a Mediterranean-style diet
  • a diet consistent with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • a low fat diet
  • a low carbohydrate diet

Researchers discovered that people who ate a low-carb diet had a decreased risk of postmenopausal weight gain than those who ate a high-carb diet.

The low carbohydrate diet in this trial, on the other hand, limited carbs to 163 grams (g) per day. The keto diet is far stricter than this, reducing carbs to less than 50 grams per day.

Impact on cravings

During perimenopause and menopause, people may notice an increase in appetite or food cravings. According to some study, the keto diet may assist with these symptoms by reducing appetite.

For example, a 2019 research looked at the keto diet and changes in appetite in 55 female and 40 male obese patients.

The female participants’ levels of the appetite-regulating hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 rose after 8 weeks of following the keto diet, according to the researchers. Surprisingly, the male participants’ levels of this hormone dropped.

The research did not, however, particularly look at appetite loss following menopause. The women in the study ranged in age from 18 to 65, so there was a mix of pre- and postmenopausal women.

Impact on insulin

Insulin sensitivity might decrease after menopause. Insulin is a hormone that helps sugar move from the circulation into cells. High blood sugar, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, can occur if someone does not make enough insulin.

The ketogenic diet may assist to keep insulin levels in check. Reduced carbohydrate consumption, according to studies, can lower insulin needs and improve insulin sensitivity.

Females with endometrial and ovarian cancer who followed a ketogenic diet for 12 weeks improved their insulin sensitivity, according to a 2018 research.

Is keto beneficial for hormone balance?

The consequences of dropping estrogen and progesterone levels are unclear because there is no study on whether the keto diet supports or inhibits the balance of reproductive hormones after menopause.

Is it possible to get out of menopause with keto?

No, no diet, supplement, or medicine can make menopause go away or be reversed. It is a normal period of life in which the body produces less estrogen and progesterone.

Hormone treatment, on the other hand, can replenish the hormones that are being lost, which can help to ease symptoms.

Keto side effects

The keto diet might have negative side effects, especially when initially starting off. As the body enters ketosis, many people experience “keto flu,” a cluster of symptoms. These can include the following:

Following a ketogenic diet might make getting enough of key nutrients more difficult. Those who adopt a keto diet, for example, ingest less fiber, according to one study

In order to avoid carbs, people may consume less fruits and vegetables, which means they get fewer vitamins, minerals, and prebiotics. Beneficial bacteria in the gut are fed by prebiotic fiber.

Focusing on eating enough of fiber and fresh fruit while on the keto diet is one method to counteract this.

Risks

The keto diet’s long-term effects are still being studied, although research show there are certain risks.

Kidney stones

The ketogenic diet may raise the risk of kidney stones. The prevalence of kidney stones in children who adopt a keto diet is roughly 5.8%, according to a study and meta-analysis published in 2021. Adults had a rate of 7.9%.

Cardiovascular health

According to some research, the keto diet raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol.

One tiny study indicated that after three weeks on the keto diet, LDL cholesterol climbed by 39%. In addition, 59 percent of the participants in the research had LDL cholesterol levels that were greater than the amount advised for avoiding cardiovascular disease.

Menopause raises the risk of heart disease, thus adopting a keto diet while going through the process may increase the risk.

Bone health

Menopause has an impact on bone health. Estrogen deficiency lowers bone mineral density, raising the risk of osteoporosis.

Ketosis was also connected to a reduction of bone density in a 2020 study that looked at the effects of a short-term keto diet. The study looked at 30 athletes who followed the diet for 3.5 weeks and discovered that they had less new bone development and more bone degradation.

Even after the patients returned to their typical diets, their capacity to manufacture healthy new bone did not return to normal, according to the researchers.

However, in this study, the majority of the athletes were male, with only five girls. The participants were 28 years old on average. More study is needed to determine how the keto diet may affect menopausal people.

Other diets for menopause

For many people, the keto diet entails significant adjustments, but there are alternative options that might assist in achieving or maintaining a healthy weight.

The Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like olive oil and almonds. It prohibits the consumption of saturated fats, red meat, and alcoholic beverages.

Researchers discovered that the Mediterranean diet was not as successful for weight reduction as a low carbohydrate diet, but it was more effective than a low fat diet in a 2017 study comparing the Mediterranean diet to three other diet types in postmenopausal females.

In postmenopausal women, the Mediterranean diet was linked to better bone density and muscle mass, according to a research published in 2021.

Plant-based diets

Avoiding animal-derived foods in favor of plant-based foods is part of a plant-based diet. According to a 2018 study that compared perimenopausal and menopausal vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores, eating a diet rich in vegetables and low in meat was associated with fewer troublesome menopausal symptoms.

Similar findings were found in a 2012 study of nearly 17,000 postmenopausal women. Researchers urged 40 percent of the individuals to eat a low-fat diet with a higher consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

These individuals were three times more likely to lose weight and have menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats disappear.

Conclusion

A ketogenic diet consists of meals that are low in carbs, moderate in protein, and high in fat. It puts the body into ketosis, a weight-loss-friendly metabolic state.

The keto diet may assist with weight gain, which is one of the symptoms of menopause. However, a keto diet raises LDL cholesterol, which might be dangerous because menopause raises the risk of heart disease. A keto diet will not be able to reverse menopause, but it may help to alleviate its symptoms.

The Mediterranean diet and plant-based diets are two other diets that may aid women going through menopause. Before beginning any new diet, people should get medical advice.

Sources:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC8161846/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29704911/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7082414/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC8496516/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3972600/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5728369/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6209021/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/keto-and-menopause
  • https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2019.00880/full
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428489/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6537934/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/
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  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6784052/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6931312/

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Alcohol / Addiction / Illegal Drugs

Does CBD oil help with the symptoms of menopause?

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Cannabidiol (CBD) is a substance generated from the cannabis plant that has medical use. CBD oil may be beneficial in alleviating some of the symptoms of menopause.

CBD is one of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, which contains more than 100 different cannabinoids. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is a more well-known cannabinoid, CBD does not generate a euphoric high like THC.

CBD is psychoactive, which means that it can have an effect on a person’s mood, but it is non-toxic and non-impairing.

Menopause, like any other natural transition, can bring about unpleasant side effects such as hot flashes, sleep problems, and mood swings, among other things. Several herbal and natural therapies for these symptoms have been investigated, with varying degrees of success reported by the researchers.

Recently, there has been considerable interest in the potential advantages of cannabidiol (CBD), and some study suggests that it may be able to alleviate specific symptoms associated with menopause.

However, this application of CBD has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since its approval in June 2018, the only approved uses have been for the prevention and treatment of two uncommon kinds of epilepsy.

In spite of the fact that CBD has become a popular alternative medicine and that some women may find it useful for menopause symptoms, there is presently no scientific evidence to support this use.

Is Cannabidiol (CBD) legal? CBD products derived from hemp that contain less than 0.3 percent THC are allowed under federal law, but they are still banned under several state regulations. CBD-derived products manufactured from cannabis, on the other hand, are prohibited under federal law but allowed under some state regulations. When travelling, especially in foreign countries, always sure to check local legislation. It’s also important to remember that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved nonprescription CBD products, which may be labelled incorrectly.

CBD oil and menopause

CBD oil and menopause
Image credit: ronstik/Getty Images

The endocannabinoid system, also known as the cannabinoid receptor system, is a collection of cell receptors found in the brain, other organs, and tissues throughout the body.

This system plays a significant role in the process of menopause, and cannabis and CBD have an effect on how well it functions. It is possible that cannabis and CBD could have an impact on the consequences of menopause on the body, according to this notion.

Cannabinoid receptors are engaged in the following processes:

  • mood regulation
  • the functioning of the immune system
  • pain
  • sleep
  • memory
  • fertility and reproduction
  • temperature regulation

It has been hypothesised that a poorly functioning endocannabinoid system can result in a variety of health problems. Chemicals such as CBD, which influence the activity of the endocannabinoid system, may be useful in the treatment of certain disorders.

There are cannabinoid receptors throughout the female reproductive system, and menopause appears to cause a disruption in the endocannabinoid system, according to research. In light of these considerations, it is likely that CBD oil could help to relieve some of the symptoms of menopause.

Which menopause symptoms may it treat?

There have been no research conducted specifically on the effects of CBD on women going through menopause. This means that researchers are unsure whether it works or whether it is a safe alternative.

Many research, on the other hand, have looked at the impact of CBD on specific symptoms in various other populations.

For example, according to a 2020 review, CBD may be beneficial in the treatment of chronic pain, the improvement of sleep, and the reduction of inflammation. These impacts, on the other hand, were identified in people who had specific health conditions, not in women going through menopause.

There is no evidence that CBD oil helps alleviate all of the symptoms of menopause, although it may be beneficial for the following:

Mood changes

The risk of sadness and anxiety increases around the time of menopause, and this may be attributed to hormonal fluctuations, other menopause symptoms, or a combination of the two.

Animal studies, including a 2014 review of relevant research in mice, have discovered that CBD can help to alleviate the symptoms of sadness and anxiety.

The authors of a 2020 review point out that there has only been extremely limited linked study in people, which they believe is a cause for concern.

A small number of case studies have been conducted in which individual persons with a history of depression have reported improvements after using CBD, according to the researchers.

It is also included in the material that is included on the package of an FDA-approved CBD product called Epidiolex, which mentions depression and suicidal ideation as potential adverse effects.

Sleep disturbances

It is common for women going through menopause to have difficulties getting quality sleep, and this can have a substantial influence on their everyday lives.

According to the 2020 review described above, endocannabinoids play a role in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle and other bodily functions. This shows that CBD may have an impact on sleep.

The researchers draw attention to the fact that there have only been a few, restricted human investigations on CBD and sleep. In conclusion, greater doses of CBD appear to cause sedative effects in certain people.

So it’s possible that CBD oil can aid with sleep difficulties associated with menopause – but there isn’t any conclusive data to support this claim.

Bone density loss

Following menopause, people begin to experience bone mass loss. Osteoporosis affects one in every four females over the age of 65.

Because low bone density can increase the risk of fractures, it is critical to get treatment as soon as possible.

According to the findings of a 2008 animal study, CBD interacts with a cannabinoid receptor that may be involved in bone density reduction in humans. Because of this, CBD may be able to slow the rate of bone density loss that might occur during menopause, which is beneficial.

However, this has not been proved in humans – no research has shown that CBD can help to reduce bone density loss associated with menopause or other conditions.

Legality

According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and hemp-derived products with a THC concentration of less than 0.3 percent are allowed to possess and use.

The legal status of CBD and other cannabinoids, on the other hand, differs from state to state. If a person in the United States is considering using CBD, they may find out more about the legislation in their area here.

Safety and potential dangers

CBD is generally well tolerated by most people, while it might induce adverse effects such as diarrhoea, nausea, and drowsiness in some individuals.

When CBD is combined with certain drugs and supplements, particularly those that interact with grapefruit, it can have harmful consequences.

Furthermore, it has the potential to interfere with the way the body metabolises or breaks down drugs.

CBD products are available for purchase over-the-counter. These goods, on the other hand, have not been approved by the FDA and are not regulated by the FDA in the same manner that pharmaceuticals are.

As a result, it is impossible to determine whether or not the product is safe to use. Many over-the-counter products that are not governed by this form of regulation do not include the components that are listed on the labels of the items.

Other strategies and treatments

According to the Office of Women’s Health, remaining active, maintaining good sleep hygiene, and finding strategies to minimise stress can all assist to alleviate the symptoms of menopause.

Meanwhile, hormone replacement therapy can especially assist in the relief of symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood swings that may occur.

Anyone who is feeling sadness or anxiety may find it beneficial to consult with a doctor or a mental health expert for assistance.

Many women seek relief from menopause symptoms through natural therapies, which include:

  • black cohosh
  • red clover
  • soy

However, while some women report that these cures provide relief, they are not FDA-approved menopausal medications, and research into their efficacy has yielded conflicting results.

Conclusion

At this time, there is very little credible evidence that CBD oil can be used to alleviate the symptoms of menopausal discomfort.

In the early stages of research, scientists are only beginning to grasp how the endocannabinoid system functions and the roles that it may play in a variety of health-related conditions.

More research will be required to test the theories about the effect of CBD in the menopause. Until then, doctors will not know whether CBD oil has any beneficial effects on women going through the menopause.

Sources

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7204604/
  • https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/cannabis-marijuana-and-cannabinoids-what-you-need-to-know
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322078
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  • https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/grapefruit-juice-and-some-drugs-dont-mix
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  • https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2016.0034
  • http://molpharm.aspetjournals.org/content/73/2/441.long
  • https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7331870/
  • https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/osteoporosis
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  • http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx

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Cervical Cancer / HPV Vaccine

What are the effects of surgical menopause?

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Menopause is a transitional phase, during which pregnancy is no longer possible. Typically, the process starts when a person hits their 40s, but in certain cases, it can happen sooner.

Early menopause can result from certain procedures, medical treatments, and health conditions.

For instance, undergoing surgery to remove one or both of the ovaries can cause estrogen and progesterone hormone levels to dip. Trying to remove both ovaries will stimulate surgical menopause.

Find out more about surgical menopause in this post, including what to expect and some lifestyle remedies.

Surgery and menopause

Surgeons
Some people may experience early menopause after undergoing certain types of surgery.

Female reproductive organs may be damaged by various forms of surgery. The removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, and either or both ovaries requires these operations.

After undergoing bilateral oophorectomy, surgical menopause may occur. This is a procedure in which both ovaries are separated by a surgeon. Depending on the reason for the operation, they may also remove the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the cervix, or a combination of these.

This is also a hysterectomy, when a surgeon removes the uterus.

If both ovaries are removed by the surgeon, menopause will commence immediately after the procedure. If the uterus, fallopian tubes, or both are removed but one or both ovaries are left intact, menopause will likely begin within 5 years.

The symptoms of surgical menopause may be similar, but may be more acute, to those of natural menopause. This is because, rather than over many years, the hormonal shifts can occur unexpectedly. As soon as the procedure is finished, the modifications will usually start.

Causes or reasons for surgery

There are many reasons for choosing to have surgery. For example, to address endometriosis or to prevent cancer, a person may seek treatment. As a part of sex reassignment surgery, some may opt for surgery.

Certain medical reasons for getting an oophorectomy include:

  • easing endometriosis
  • treating benign or cancerous tumors or cysts
  • easing ovarian torsion, in which an ovary becomes twisted
  • preventing ovarian cancer in those at high risk

People with a personal family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or both can be checked to see whether they have a genetic function that raises their cancer risk, such as variations in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2.

The person will decide to have surgery to decrease their risk of cancer in the future if these characteristics are present.

Research shows that the risk of developing ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer later in life may be substantially decreased through surgery.

Anyone who is contemplating ovarian surgery for any cause should discuss with their healthcare provider the benefits and risks.

Medical menopause
Sometimes the symptoms of menopause may cause such medical treatments. Doctors call this “medical menopause.” Depending on the intervention, the effect can be temporary or permanent.

For example, chemotherapy for breast cancer can cause a temporary menstrual pause and the symptoms of menopause. Within weeks or months of starting the procedure, this will begin.

In certain cases, within a year of the completion of the procedure, menstruation will return. This is not the case for everyone, however.

25-50 percent of 30-year-olds who undergo this form of treatment will start menstruating again, according to some data. Research also indicates that a person may undergo menopause sooner than they would have if they hadn’t had the procedure, even if menstruation returns.

Here, learn more about menopause.

What to expect

Over a period of years, normal menopause occurs, but surgical menopause happens unexpectedly. The abruptness of the transition may mean that the effect of surgical menopause is slightly different from that of natural menopause, although everyone experiences menopause differently.

Menopause occurs when estrogen and progesterone levels dip. This change can lead to different effects, including:

  • hot flashes and night sweats
  • vaginal dryness
  • changes in libido
  • difficulty sleeping
  • mood changes
  • problems with thinking, focusing, and memory

Depending on the nature of the operation, these effects can start to occur within hours or days of the surgery.

Complications

Similar to puberty, menopause is a natural process that the body goes through. Some of the changes that occur with natural menopause may not be due to menopause but to the aging process. Around midlife, normal menopause typically occurs. People are likely to undergo other physical changes at this age as well.

Hormonal changes occurring with either natural or surgical menopause, however can cause or increase the risk of certain complications irrespective of the age at which menopause begins.

Osteoporosis and heart disease are among these complications, as estrogen plays a central role in both.

Estrogen helps sustain healthy bones, for instance. Bone density will decline as estrogen levels dip, and the bones can become weaker and more likely to break, potentially giving rise to osteoporosis.

Estrogen also plays a part in cardiovascular health and may have a greater risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular problems for women who have experienced menopause.

That said, there could be a lower risk of some of these complications for people who eat a varied diet and get regular exercise.

Fertility changes

It will no longer be necessary to become pregnant after the removal of both ovaries, and menopause will follow. People who still want to have children after treatment should speak to their doctor or a specialist counselor about the choices.

If a person undergoes medical menopause and there is a risk that they may restart menstruation, they may want to consider preserving some eggs to increase their chance of having a healthy pregnancy later in life, such as by freezing them.

Discussing these risks with a healthcare provider will help a person make an informed choice.

Treatment

To decrease the impact of menopause, a doctor might prescribe hormone therapy after surgery.

Hormone therapy is not suitable for everyone. For instance, people with a high risk of stroke might not be capable of using it.

Other forms of therapy can also help people control the symptoms, including low mood, anxiety, hot flashes, and issues with sleep.

Learn more about hormone therapy here.

Lifestyle remedies

Trying some lifestyle treatments may help minimize the effect of menopause surgery. Such remedies include:

  • Avoiding the triggers of hot flashes: Alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, stress, and warm temperatures can all trigger hot flashes.
  • Keeping cooling items to hand: It may help to keep a portable fan and a bottle of ice water nearby.
  • Using a lubricant during sex: This can help make sex more comfortable and enjoyable.
  • Keeping the bedroom cool and quiet: This can help make sleeping easier. Other tips include avoiding large meals and fluids before bedtime, following a regular routine for going to bed and getting up, and leaving mobile devices outside of the bedroom, if possible. Also, a person may wish to keep a fan near their bed.
  • Taking steps to relieve stress: Some tips to relieve stress include getting enough sleep, exercising, taking walks in nature, meditating, and practicing yoga.
  • Seeking help when needed: A doctor, counselor, or other healthcare provider can offer support and treatment if a person has any physical or mental health concerns.
  • Joining a support group: A person can ask their healthcare provider about local support groups for people with menopause or surgical menopause. In many cases, friends or family will also be willing to help.

Outlook

The hormonal changes that define menopause can influence the mental and physical health and well-being of an individual. Surgical menopause allows these effects to occur immediately, while they can develop progressively over time during natural menopause.

Before going ahead, someone who is considering preventive surgery should explore the benefits and disadvantages with a healthcare professional.

They should seek medical attention if a person experiences serious or worsening menopause symptoms after surgery. Usually, a doctor may recommend ways to better mitigate these symptoms.

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