Dolly Parton sang it already in PMS Blues: ‘As soon as this part’s over, then comes the menopause.’ No more bleeding, hurrah? Yes and no. After the menopause, the oestrogen production drops dramatically: it declines with 80%. This can lead to serious health issues. To raise awareness for these risks, the 18th of October is World Menopause Day. Because although you can choose to menstruate or not to menstruate, menopause is something that will happen to all women. It’s wise to be prepared.
Literally, menopause means ‘last menstruation’. In the time before this climacteric (the perimenopause), the ovaries produce less female hormones. The hormonal changes caused by this lower amount of oestrogen can lead to a number of complaints. A small collection: heavy and/or irregular menstruation, hot flashes, night sweats, hairs on your chin, hair loss on your head, insomnia, fatigue, loss of libido, mood changes, anxiety, memory lapses, dry skin, vaginal dryness, joint pain. And that’s just a start.
After the menopause, serious health issues can arise
The premenopause can last for up to ten years. Usually the stereotypical symptoms disappear in the time after the menopause – the postmenopause. That aside, some women still get hot flashes when they’re in their 70s. After the menopause, the production of oestrogen declines with 80%. The body tries to compensate this by producing oestrogen in fatty tissue (hello belly fat, bye bye slim waistline). However, the dramatic decline can also lead to serious health issues, like osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, dementia, cardiovascular diseases, depression and certain types of cancer. That’s why the International Menopause Society (IMS) advises all women aged 50 and above to visit their GP each year, to check on their cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar, and eliminate eventual health risks. And that’s also why the 18th of October has been chosen as World Menopause Day.
This year’s theme: Premature Ovarian Insufficiency
Every year, this day has a different theme. The theme for World Menopause Day 2020 is Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). The impact of POI has far-reaching consequences due to its influence on general, psychological and sexual quality of life, fertility prospects and long-term bone, cardiovascular and cognitive health.
Besides a theme for #worldmenopauseday, there is also an annual theme. This year’s awareness campaign concentrates on sexual wellbeing after menopause. In other words: the state of physical, emotional, mental and social wellbeing related to sexuality after menopause. It’s not uncommon for postmenopausal women to experience sexual problems which can severely impair their relationships, mental health, social functioning and overall quality of life. This distress is the hallmark of female sexual dysfunction (FSD).
On the IMS website you can find White Papers that provides the latest information regarding FSD, POI and other distress caused by hormonal changes due to menopause.
Have a healthy #worldmenopauseday!
10 Reasons to be happy with your period
5 Reasons to visit your GP
Could I have a bleeding disorder?
Perimenopause: it’s sooner than you think, by Kate Codrington
6 Signs you might be in perimenopause, by Emily Barclay