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Written by May Chen Mei Fei, Pharmacist 

What is menopause?

  • When a woman is unable to get pregnant naturally and stops having periods 
  • Normally occurs between 45 and 55 years of age. In Malaysia, the median age was 58 years old

Symptoms 

 

  • Last around 4 years after your last period and can begin months or even years before your periods stop
  • Hot flushes- sudden sensation of heat in the upper body which may start in the face, neck, or chest and progress upward or downward
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Difficult to sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Memory problem 
  • Concentration problem 
  • Palpitations
  • Joint stiffness and pains
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Osteoporosis – which bone strength and density decrease

Treatments 

 

  1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly. If you have strong and fit body, it can reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis and improve some menopausal symptoms
  2. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – tablets, gel, skin patches and implants replacing oestrogen. Thus relieve menopausal symptoms
  • Helps balance the your body’s hormone levels by providing supplemental estrogen and a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone 
  • HRT is not advisable for those who have had certain types of breast cancer or are at high risk of getting breast cancer or other medical conditions 
  1. Vaginal oestrogen creams, lubricants or moisturisers for vaginal dryness
  2. For hot flushes, you can wear light clothing, keep your bedroom cool at night, take a cool shower or use a fan
  3. Try to reduce your stress levels
  4. Avoid spicy food, caffeine, smoking and alcohol that can triggers anxiety
  5. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – a type of talking therapy that able to improve anxiety and low mood
  6. Practise good sleeping habits and getting enough of rest
  7. Joining club member, volunteering, or taking up a new hobby

 

Reference 

  1. Abdullah, Bahiyah & Moize, B. & Ismail, B.A. & Zamri, M. & Nasir, N.F.M.. (2017). Prevalence of menopausal symptoms, its effect to quality of life among Malaysian women and their treatment seeking behaviour. Medical Journal of Malaysia. 72. 94-99.
  2. Brazier, Y. (n.d.). Menopause: Symptoms, causes, and treatments. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/155651.php
  3. (n.d.). Retrieved August 29, 2018, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/
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