Properly Diagnosing and Managing Menopause, Avoids Complications of Chronic Diseases

17 March 2022

Issues related to menopause are very rarely talked about openly, making women go through it in silence as they are often associated with something negative, awkwardness and stigma.

On the other hand, talking about menopause is advantageous to women who are or will be going through that phase to learn to manage their life transitions better with support from the right treatment options and environment.

Consultant Gynaecologist, Gynaecology Oncology and Robotic Surgeon at Sunway Medical Centre, Dr Thangesweran Ayakannu said the community should encourage more conversations and share knowledge about menopause.

“Knowledge about menopause is very important so that society has a better understanding of what and why it happens.

"This is a good first step to understanding the symptoms of menopause so that women can go through the transition healthier," he said.

Menopause is a natural phase for women

He said menopause is a natural phase of life for all women that occurs with the passage of time and aging.

Women are born with ovaries that produce eggs and the hormones estrogen and progesterone that regulate menstruation. Menopause occurs when the ovaries no longer produce eggs and hormones.

However, menopause can occur earlier if the ovaries are surgically removed or damaged as a result of exposure to chemotherapy. This is known as premature menopause.

Most women reach menopause between the ages of 50 and 51 years. However, menopause can occur at any time around the age of 45 to 55 years.

Meanwhile, perimenopause can occur in women in their mid or late 40s.

Symptoms of menopause

Menopausal symptoms can have a huge impact on daily life especially for women who contribute their skills and expertise in the workforce.

Among the symptoms are hot flushes, night sweats, chills, emotional changes, sleep problems, vaginal dryness, discomfort during intercourse, decreased sexual drive, thinning hair, dry skin, weight gain, slow metabolism, urinary problems such as incontinence and urinary tract infections. as well as memory problems.

Every woman experiences menopause differently

Many women wonder how long menopausal symptoms will last and the answer is that it varies for every woman.

The nature, severity and arrangement of symptoms also vary. For example, hot flushes usually occur over a period of one to two years but they can also persist for up to 10 years or longer. On average, menopause lasts between five to 10 years.

Dr Thangesweran said although menopause is a natural process, if the symptoms are troubling and you are unable to continue your daily activities properly, you should seek medical treatment.

"If not diagnosed and managed properly, certain complications such as heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis may occur in some women," he said.

He also shared tips for women to cope with menopause well:

1. Educate yourself about menopause and make the necessary lifestyle changes as needed.
2. Get used to conversations about menopause with family, friends and colleagues.
3. If you have a partner, family member or friend of someone who is menopausal, try giving them support and understanding.
4. Learn to identify symptoms, especially if they begin to affect your daily life and seek professional medical help.
5. Celebrate this transition as a beautiful part of a woman’s journey.

To support women's health, Sunway Medical Centre, Sunway City has set up a dedicated Menopausal Clinic that provides a safe space for women to be supported with the right care and treatment.