Menopause

"It is the decrease in blood estrogen levels that causes the symptoms of menopause".

DR. TANIA ERRASTI ALCALÁ
SPECIALIST. GYNAECOLOGY AND OBSTETRICS DEPARTMENT

Menopause is a physiological period in women's lives conditioned by hormonal changes. It consists of the permanent cessation of menstruation.

The symptoms can begin several years earlier. Some of the symptoms of menopause can last for months or remain for several years.

The average age at which it occurs in developed countries is between 51 and 52 years.

The Clinic has a Multidisciplinary Menopause Unit to provide comprehensive care for women during this stage of life.

A team of specialists advises the woman from the beginning, with the objective of preventing and treating these symptoms through personalized treatment guidelines, eating routines or exercises to avoid osteomuscular deterioration.

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What are the symptoms of menopause?

The most characteristic symptoms are the appearance of hot flushes, typically referred to as a sensation of heat that arises in the chest and radiates to the neck and face and can be accompanied by intense sweating. They usually last a few minutes, although they can be longer.

Other symptoms that may be associated in the short term are vaginal dryness, burning of the genitals, frequency and urgency of urination, and an increased frequency of urinary infections. Also characteristic is the loss of skin elasticity and changes in texture, size and consistency of the breasts. Many women report episodes of anxiety, depression, irritability, memory loss, and insomnia.

Also characteristic is a decrease in libido, i.e., in sexual appetite, which can be aggravated by discomfort during sexual intercourse due to vaginal dryness.

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Learn what symptoms menopause produces and how to treat it (only in spanish)

The most common symptoms are:

  • Hot flushes.
  • Vaginal dryness.
  • Increased frequency of urinary infections.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

It may have started with menopause

What are the causes of menopause?

Menopause occurs due to the cessation of the function of the ovaries, when the eggs are exhausted in them. This cessation of ovarian function will lead to a marked decrease in estrogen levels (hormones produced by the ovaries).

This decrease in estrogen levels in the blood is responsible for the appearance of the symptoms that accompany menopause.

What about menopause?

The average age at which this occurs in developed countries is between 51 and 52 years old.

During menopause, a woman's ovaries stop producing eggs and produce less estrogen and progesterone. Also, there is a decalcification of the bones.

The decrease in estrogen contributes to the development of an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Osteoporosis is usually rapid in the first 5 years after menopause occurs. The main risk of osteoporosis is bone fracture.

How is menopause diagnosed?

For the diagnosis of menopause, the doctor takes into account the symptoms, the woman's age and a gynecological examination.

To diagnose menopause, a blood test can also help determine the concentration of different female sex hormones, such as FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and estradiol.

In the climacteric the levels of hormones show a typical evolution: estradiol decreases and FSH increases.

As a general rule, certain life habits are recommended such as quitting smoking, adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D in the diet, regular exercise and avoiding excessive weight loss.

It would be advisable for every woman who reaches menopause to see a specialist to evaluate the convenience of starting hormone replacement therapy.

How is menopause treated?

In the Multidisciplinary Menopause Unit a coordinated action is established among the specialists to respond to their specific needs

Since most menopausal symptoms are related to a drop in blood levels of estrogen, hormone replacement therapy based on estrogen or its derivatives may often be recommended.

The most widespread forms of estrogen intake are the transdermal patch and oral route.

All women who have not had their uterus removed should also receive progesterone, as it has a very important effect in preventing the development of hyperplasia and endometrial cancer.

Contraindications:

  • Active liver disease.
  • Pathology of the gallbladder.
  • History of deep vein thrombosis in relation to oestrogens.
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, without an accurate diagnosis.
  • History of estrogen-dependent cancer, such as breast cancer or endometrial cancer.

Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy

In the short term it will relieve most patients of hot flashes and sweating, genitourinary discomfort and emotional and libido changes. It will not have a major impact on breast and skin changes.

In the long term, it decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. It also improves the blood lipid profile.

Side effects

They are basically due to the taking of progesterone. Typically they are: headaches, breast tension and lower abdomen discomfort.

Where do we treat it?

IN NAVARRA AND MADRID

The Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics of the
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Comprehensive care that includes a wide range of consultation and treatment options from regular preventive screening to the most advanced diagnostic and treatment options for obstetric and gynecological problems at all ages.

The department also offers routine pregnancy monitoring that includes a variety of diagnostic and screening procedures to identify potential problems of the fetus as well as its proper growth and development.

Diseases we treat

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Why at the Clinica?

  • Highly specialized team of doctors, nurses and midwives.
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