Menopause

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    The safest thing you can say about the effectiveness of botanicals marketed for treating menopause symptoms is this: Some might be worth a try.

    There are many different plant extracts and related dietary supplements aimed at women who are battling hot flashes, sleep problems and other menopause-related difficulties. That makes it impossible to say anything general about their effectiveness. What's more, these products simply haven't been well studied, as a rule. We know far less about how well they work than we know about the effects of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

    However, there is tantalizing evidence from the limited research that has been done to suggest that some of these natural products may help a woman struggling with menopause symptoms. Popular dietary supplements for menopausal women include products containing black cohosh, evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, red clover and soy extract. If you decide to try one, tell your doctor first and follow the label instructions to the letter. If you develop any new symptoms while taking a botanical product of any kind, stop immediately and contact your physician.
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    There are a number of home remedies that can help bring you relief from hot flashes. Try dressing in layers (of cotton, not synthetics or wool), so you can quickly take a layer off when you get a hot flash. You can also try deep, slow breathing when you get a hot flash. Relaxation techniques you learn through yoga, meditation, or tai chi can help.

    Try to figure out what brings on your hot flashes, whether it’s certain drinks (coffee or tea, for example), the weather (such as when it’s hot outside), stress, or certain foods. Keep ice water handy and a fan nearby. Make sure the temperature in your house or office is cool enough.

    For hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, some women find relief by going to an acupuncturist, getting enough exercise, drinking plenty of water, not smoking, and avoiding certain types of foods and drinks (such as spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine). Soy products are good to incorporate into your meals, because they might help prevent or decrease hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.

    At night, use cotton sheets on your bed, not silk or a synthetic blend. Also wear cotton pajamas when you sleep, which can make night sweats (hot flashes at night) more tolerable.
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    Menopause is when periods stop completely, but it is confirmed after one year of no periods and therefore only recognized 12 months after the fact. Conceiving, therefore, can't happen during menopause because eggs are no longer being released and the ovaries are no longer releasing hormones that make pregnancy possible. However, perimenopause is "the time around menopause" when periods are irregular and hormone levels are changing. Therefore, it could be possible to still conceive during perimenopause.
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    If you are truly in menopause, which is a permanent end to your periods, then by definition you are infertile. This is because you are no longer producing a monthly egg. You should consult a physician to ensure that you are truly in menopause because there are other reasons to stop having your monthly cycle, and if this is the case, then there may be a chance that you could still conceive.
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    A , Women's Health, answered
    A woman's fertility, ability to get pregnant, becomes unpredictible as she nears menopause. The hormones from the ovaries and the brain that communicate and control the maturing and ovulation of eggs each cycle are less reliable. Overall, women ovulate less frequently but they may ovulate either earlier or later in the cycle. This means an unplanned pregnancy can occur while at the same time a planned pregnancy is more difficult to acheive.
    Since many women are not aware they can still get pregnant as they approach menopause, they may not use contraception as carefully. A large study, the National Survey of Family Growth, showed that the rate of  unplanned pregnancies is highest in the teens, and the in the forties.
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    A answered
    After menopause, as you get older your risk for heart disease and stroke increase steadily. In fact, heart disease is a leading cause of death and disability in women. In the past, researchers thought estrogen protected younger women from heart disease, but the most recent clinical trials show that the reasons for this increased risk in older women aren't exactly clear. Estrogen therapy alone or in combination with progestin does not appear to protect women from heart disease or stroke and in fact, these hormones may even be harmful.

    Regardless of the exact cause, because of this increased heart disease risk, it's important that you exercise regularly, limit alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day, refrain from smoking and maintain a healthy weight to help reduce your risk of these forms of heart disease. If needed, there are prescription medications to lower your blood pressure and help regulate your cholesterol levels.
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    Many women with diabetes find they are more prone to vaginitis and yeast infections once they enter menopause. Yeast and bacteria can irritate the vaginal lining if they grow out of control. They thrive in warm, moist places with a good supply of food (glucose).

    Even before menopause, you are more likely to develop yeast infections when your blood glucose levels are high. After menopause, the risk increases. That’s because estrogen normally nourishes and supports the vaginal lining. Without it, yeast and bacteria have an easier time growing. These infections are not related to sexual activity or personal hygiene.

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    A answered
    The health risks associated with menopause include the following:
    • thyroid problems, such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid), which can cause fatigue, weight gain and depression
    • diabetes, which can contribute to heart disease
    • cancer, particularly of the breast and colon
    • bladder infections
    • continence problems
    • gastrointestinal problems such as diverticulosis, in which small pouches bulge from weak spots in the colon and can cause cramps, bloating and constipation
    • hiatal hernia, a painful condition in which the intestine slips through a weak spot of the abdominal wall
    It's always a good idea to ask a healthcare professional about any physical or emotional changes. Some are typical to this life stage, while others may need more serious consideration.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered

    Especially after menopause, it is important for women to stay active and eat healthy. Stop smoking and stay away from second-hand smoke. Make sure you are taking care of other health conditions, such as diabetes, and that you are taking medications properly. Sometimes women may need to take vitamin supplements, such as calcium or vitamin D, for improved health. Talk to your doctor about other ways to reduce the risk of heart disease.

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    Research from the WHI Estrogen-plus-Progestin study has shown that women taking combined hormone therapy had the following benefits: One-third lower risk of colorectal cancer than women taking the placebo. In absolute terms, this meant 10 cases of colorectal cancer per 10,000 women per year who took hormone therapy compared with 16 cases of colorectal cancer per 10,000 women per year who took the placebo. In the initial study report, women taking combined hormone therapy had a lower risk of colorectal cancer than women who took the placebo.However, the colorectal tumors that arose in the combined hormone therapy group were more advanced at detection than those in the placebo group. There was no difference in either the risk of colorectal cancer or the stage of disease at diagnosis between women who took estrogen alone and those who took the placebo. However, a subsequent analysis of the WHI trials found no strong evidence that either estrogen alone or estrogen plus progestin had any effect on the risk of colorectal cancer, tumor stage at diagnosis, or death from colorectal cancer.

    This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.