Scientifically, the menopause It is a phase of a woman’s life in which menstruation naturally stops, as female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, are no longer produced by the ovaries.
This phase usually occurs, on average, between 48 and 51 years of age. But, for many women, the arrival of this phase of life can be frightening and due to myths and prejudices.
Menopause marks a transition period in a woman’s reproductive life, with a long duration, which can be 20 to 25 years, depending on the date of the last menstruation. At this stage, gynecologists can help prevent diseases such as breast cancer and osteoporosis, for example.
THE CNN Vital Signs this week reveals that there are no reasons to be afraid and that it is possible to live very well with menopause. The replay of the program presented by the cardiologist Roberto Kalil airs this Saturday (21), at 7:15 pm.
Signs and symptoms of menopause
In the episode, experts explain that some relevant symptoms appear in the period of transition to menopause and post menopause in general.
“Women may experience vasomotor instability during this period, which are hot flashes or hot flashes, and menstrual alterations – cycles begin to become irregular”, says gynecologist Edmund Baracat, professor at the University of São Paulo (USP) – see the interview above .
“These are sudden attacks of heat in general, affecting the upper part of the chest, neck and face. The heat wave comes, it lasts a few minutes, but the impression is that it lasts much longer, due to the discomfort of this symptom. In general, there is an accelerated heart rate and perspiration of heat accompanied by sweating. These symptoms generally occur at night, impairing the woman’s sleep”, adds physician César Eduardo Fernandes, professor of gynecology at the Faculdade de Medicina do ABC.
In the episode, the presenter Solange Frazão one of the first fitness muses in Brazil, tells a little about her experience.
“Menopause arrived in my life a little slowly. She turned 52 to 53 when her periods started to fail. The cycles in my life never bothered me. I was a woman who didn’t have cramps, I didn’t have delays, they were always very straight. So much so that I never needed to take contraceptives, everything was on a schedule, everything was just right. And when the menopause started to show signs, I started to feel the absence of the cycle”, reports Solange.
Healthy lifestyle icon, Solange intensified her exercises during this period, cut sugars and maintains a balanced diet, in addition to doing hormone therapy on a timely basis.
“As I really like taking care of my health, I already asked the gynecologist. And he said: I think menopause is coming. I arrived and looked at myself, at the mirror and said: very nice menopause, welcome”, says the presenter.
Doctor Rogério Bonassi Machado, president of the Brazilian Climacteric Association, says that care during menopause aims beyond symptom relief, considering women’s health as a whole.
“When we talk about treating climacteric, treating menopause, we are talking about general attention to female health. First, tracking chronic diseases, seeing the women who are most harmed at that moment, promoting lifestyle measures. Encouraging physical exercise, adequate diet, smoking cessation, all of this is part of a global action”, says Machado.
The specialist explains that hormone therapy involves the administration of the hormone that is lacking for the woman at that moment, which is estrogen.
“We know that this treatment is effective against hot flashes, improves urogenital atrophy and prevents osteoporosis. This is the tripod of hormonal treatment for menopause. Not all women will need hormone therapy. All this is done one by one, there is no universal recipe for all women. In fact, this is the most important thing: that each woman has a treatment that is the most appropriate for her”, she points out.
Doctor César Eduardo Fernandes says that hormone therapy is still surrounded by myths, which can harm women’s adherence to treatment.
“The first and most relevant issue that women are very afraid of is gaining weight. And the second is about the risk of cancer,” she says.
According to the specialist, after menopause, women have an attenuation of the so-called basal metabolism. “It is accepted that the basal metabolism drops more or less 2% per decade. So, it is important to advise women that they need less caloric intake and more energy expenditure at this stage of life, ”he explains.
Regarding breast cancer, Fernandes says that hormone treatment has already been considered a concern in relation to the disease, but that scientific evidence indicates that the risks are the same for those who do not undergo hormone therapy.
“Nowadays, we also know that if they take the hormone within five years, it does not increase the risk of breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer in a hormone therapy user in the first five years compared to a non-hormone user is the same”, she says.
Quality of life
Journalist and presenter Ana Paula Padrão, who participates in the episode, says that she benefited from hormone therapy, without contraindications.
“I know that there is still a lot of prejudice around hormone replacement, there are doctors who do not recommend it and there are women who do not adapt, who have a lot of symptoms that are more harmful than the hormone loss itself. There are a lot of things that we have to discuss, but there are women like me, who adapt very well to replacement. For me, it did a lot of good,” says Ana.
The journalist says that the search for the best type of hormone replacement should be an individualized process, considering the characteristics of each patient.
“What I think you need to have is information. For you to choose, woman, if you are going to do the classic hormone replacement, if you are going to opt for some other type of hormone replacement, because there are several, if you don’t want to do that and you want to go through the symptoms, but you want them to be less aggressive, go take something just to lessen your symptoms, you can choose,” he says.
Source: CNN Brasil
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