Epidemiology of Menopause
Menopause is a condition that involves the cessation of a woman’s reproductive ability. It normally occurs in the women aged between 40 and 50. It signals the end of the women’s reproductive phase. If a woman had no children, it creates a social corner in the community. During this period, the ovaries lose their function which lead to the cessation of menstrual periods. The transition from a reproductive to nonreproductive phase causes a lot of concern to the woman. However, it is a consequence of biological aging which occurs over the years. The signs and symptoms that occur after the years of menopause can disrupt their activities of daily life as well as their sense of well-being (Melby & Lampl, 2011).
Menopause is a gradual process that usually does not occur within a day or overnight. There are 487 million women aged 50 years worldwide and they will number 1200 million by 2030. Before menopause is a premenopausal period that involves a transition. It is a different experience for women. The average age of experiencing menopause is 52 years for a majority of women. However, menopause may arise as early as 30 years or as late as 60 years for some women (Nelson, 2008). If a woman experiences menopause under the age of 45, it is referred to as premature menopause.
Public Health Issues for Women due to the Menopause
Menopause is a very important public health concern for many reasons. Midlife is a period associated with increased risk of depression in women. Some of women report mood swings, irritability, anxiety, tears fullness, and feeling of despair. Sociologically, when a woman is above 50 years, her expectation of life is another than at the age of 33. Thus, at this point, women who experience menopause are still actively employed but their expectations of life reduce. Physiologically, it has some effect on a woman. Menopause is not a disease but it gives rise to many problems of the whole body (Melby & Lampl, 2011).
It is associated with osteoporosis and cardiovascular problems as the long-term effects. Urinary incontinence, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and night sweats are associated factors. Some of the women go ahead to seek treatment. The only available alternative treatment for such women’s comndition is estrogen. However, the treatment is beneficial but unnecessary as the women are not sick since it is rather a physiological process (Wilson, 2003). Economically, the cost of the medical treatment and regular reviews is very expensive in addition to the increased pension of these women. The improved quality of life associated with medical treatment could be an added dimension of the classical evaluation of the risk versus benefit ratio.
Relationship Between the Menopause and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis refers to a medical term when the bones become weak by decreasing their strength, thus they can easily break. The first sign that notice osteoporosis is a bone that cracks. It happens when a woman twists or strains on a joint (Lahdenper, Lummaa, & Russell, 2004). The bone constantly changes: the old cells are removed and replaced by the new ones. Estrogen plays a crucial role in the rebuilding of new bones in the body. Thus, with the decline of estrogen levels in women, the rate of bone remodeling reduces. Therefore, such women are at risk of osteoporosis (Burger, Dudley, Robertson, & Dennerstein, 2002).
Women over 50 years will probably experience a break or a fracture later in life because of osteoporosis. Areas of fracture include the hip joint and once it fractures, they cannot live independently. Other areas of fracture are the wrist and the spine. Osteoporosis is very severe health condition since bending over or coughing strongly may cause a fracture.Some women have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis than others, especially if someone in the family experienced it (Wilson, 2003).
Some women can use a menopausal hormone therapy in order to treat menopause. Such therapy involves treatment of hot flashes and other symptoms that accompany menopause. It reduces instances of osteoporosis and other health related issues. There are various types of hormone replacement therapies (Wilson, 2003). They include taking estrogen or it can be a combination of estrogen and progestin. However, such treatment can cause complications to the women. It is associated with complications to those who have pancreatic, liver or gallbladder diseases and migraine headaches. Hormone replacement therapies are not recommended for those individuals who have a history of breast cancer in the family. The hormones have the potential to cause the development of cancerous tumors in the breasts. It is also associated with risk of endometrial cancer (Burger et al., 2002).
Relationship Between Female Sexual Dysfunction and Menopause
Many females experience decrease in their sex drive after menopause. It can be caused by a reduction in hormone levels in the body. After menopause, the level of estrogen and progesterone goes down dramatically. Women’s libido also goes down because of the reduced levels of testosterone, which is responsible for libido. It is further explained by the dryness that occurs in the vagina due to the reduction in vaginal discharge. The vagina becomes thin and dry. It results in such problems as painful sex and bleeding during sex due to loss of libido (Giblin, 2005).
There are no any reliable researches analyzing the start of menopause in a woman. The age of the beginning of one’s menstruation during puberty is not associated with the start of menopause. Symptoms of menopause are vaginal bleeding, especially after coitus, mood changes and hot flashes. Complications include osteoporosis and heart diseases. Treatment is available and directed at alleviating uncomfortable and distressing symptoms.