Menopause is a stage in a woman’s reproductive life when menstruation and the natural reproductive potentials cease.
To some Nigerian women, the stage is scary and to others, it is a sign of relief, especially for those who experienced painful menstruation.
Accordng to reports, 2.8 percent of women experience menopause before the age of 40. However, a consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Dr Adewoye Rotimi, described menopause below the age of 40 as premature menopause.
“Menopause is not sudden, it’s a gradual process. Any menopause that happens before age 40, is premature menopause,” he said.
Dr. Adewoye, who was guest on “Your View”, a TVC morning talk show on Tuesday, said that the causes of premature menopause include diseases, chemotherapy, radiation treatments and surgical removal of the ovaries for treatment of cancer. According to him, health workers who are exposed to radiation when taking x-rays can also experience premature menopause.
The signs and symptoms of early menopause are also those of typical menopause. They may include:
2. Vaginal dryness
3. Changes in cognition and memory
4. Hot flashes
5. Diminished desire for sex
6. Sleep disturbances
7. Night sweats
8. Vaginal pain during intercourse
The consultant also explained that there are three stages of menopause which are: perimenopause, menopause, postmenopause.
Perimenopause: At this stage the menstrual cycles become irregular, but does not stop.
Menopause: This is the stage a woman has her final menstrual period. When she gets to this stage, she won’t know it has happened until after a year without menstruation.
Postmenopause: This begins when a woman hits the year mark from her final period. Once that happens, she would be referred to as postmenopausal for the rest of her life.
Dr. Adewoye also stated that menopause affects women’s sexual life in different ways. According to him, while some women will have their libido lowered, others may have it heightened.
“But there are those whose libido would not be affected at all” he concluded.