Menopause is a natural condition that triggers after 45 years of age in females in India. Menopause in simple language means stopping of the menstrual cycle or periods. If a female does not get periods for 12 months she is said to have reached menopause. Menopause doesn’t happen all of sudden, infact it happens gradually over 6-8 years. The process of menopause starts with decrease in production of hormones called estrogen and progesterone. Both these hormones are produced in ovary and are responsible for the fertility in females.
Most of the females face lot of changes in the behaviour as well as body in the period leading up to Menopause. Most common are the hot flashes i.e. face turning red and getting drenched in sweat in 5-10 mins period. Apart from these there may be situations like severe mood swings, depression, forgetting things, anxiety etc. These changes can be really troublesome for the females. As per Dr Amita Shah, Head of Global Women’s Clinic, Gurgaon, ” Menopause is very natural but it certainly comes with lots of baggage like depression and mood swings. The best way to cope up with it is knowledge and counseling. My every patient who is approaching menopause gets proper counseling which helps them handle the condition much better”.
During the year leading to Menopause a female passes through various phases which vary from irregular menses to heavy menses to no menses at all. During this period females may shift between extreme high to sudden low. The incidence of depression doubles during this time. Women who have struggled in the past with depression or anxiety might also see an increase in symptoms. These 6-8 years are very critical in a woman’s life and she needs support from the family and the most from her husband. Dr Amita Shah says,” Mood swings and depression cannot be attributed 100% to hormonal changes. They can also happen due to lack of sleep or irregular sleep pattern which is very common with the growing age. When we counsel the patient we always call the woman with her husband so that the counseling can be done for both. Spouses also need to understand what a female is going through while approaching menopause.”
It is very important to understand that mood swings or depression during the menopausal period is temporary and can be taken care of through:
A woman can also opt for hormone replacement therapy to cope up with the menopausal period. However it increases the risk of developing breast cancer. This is the reason hormone replacement therapy is advised only in extreme conditions. Most of the time it is lifestyle management dovetailed with counseling sessions that work very well.
Dr Amita Shah is a leading gynaecologist in Gurgaon with vast experience in treating all major and minor female problems. She is founder of Global Women’s Clinic, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon. For more information or appointment with Dr Amita Shah please call +91- 9773957611.