Post-Menopausal Syndrome—Could You Have It?
You’re probably familiar with Premenstrual syndrome. Ninety percent of women say they get the symptoms of bloating, headaches and moodiness a week before their period. But did you know that women can get very similar symptoms toward the end of their period? Post-menopausal syndrome can affect women at the end of their cycle, causing emotional and physical discomfort as well.
Women, particularly those who are about four years before their final period—in that transition called perimenopause—and through menopause, notice these symptoms that occur on a regular basis, affecting their quality of life. Although doctors aren’t sure of the cause, they believe that, just as in Premenstrual syndrome, hormone fluctuations can create these physiologic changes.
Symptoms of Post-Menopausal Syndrome
Women who have post-menopausal syndrome may have irregular periods, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood fluctuations and vaginal dryness. While some of these symptoms may be tolerated, talk with your doctor if they begin to disrupt your daily activities.
For example, if you:
- Can’t sleep because of night sweats
- Have a hard time focusing at work because of hot flashes
- Feel sad or blue and don’t enjoy life as you used to
- Have a period more often than every three weeks
- Have heavy bleeding during or spotting between periods
- Have gone through menopause with no periods for 12 months and begin bleeding, even a small amount of spotting
Post-menopausal syndrome is treated with hormonal options, antidepressants, antiepileptics and cognitive behavior therapy.
Unfortunately, post-menopausal syndrome can’t be prevented, and every person’s body reacts differently to the changes in hormones, so it is hard to predict who will or won’t be more affected.
On a daily basis, behavior modifications may help reduce the impact of the symptoms.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking makes hot flashes more intense.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
- Keep your thermostat turned down to be more comfortable during hot flashes.
- Put a cold, wet washcloth on your neck during hot flashes.
- Dress in layers so you can cool down when needed.
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time to avoid sleeplessness. Naps can make insomnia worse.
- Use lubricants for vaginal dryness.
- Try to stay active and social to ward off depression.
If you have begun to notice that the end of your period can cause similar discomfort as the beginning of your period, you are not alone. You may have post-menopausal syndrome. If home treatments don’t diminish your symptoms, talk with your doctor about additional options. Schedule an appointment today.
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