Reproductive Health

Menopause

 
he transition stage in a woman’s life which marks the end of childbearing, the ovaries stop producing eggs, menstrual activity decreases and ceases, and the production of oestrogen and progesterone decreases causing the body to react.


Perimenopause marks the start of this change, imbalances occur as hormone levels reduce, causing symptoms like weight gain, mood swings, depression, insomnia, worry, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, headaches, night sweats, restless legs, hot flashes, fatigue, poor memory, irregular bleeding, and heavy bleeding.

A gradual decrease of oestrogen allows the body to slowly adjust to the hormone change, but some women experience a sudden decrease causing the symptom severity. This sudden effect can also be seen caused by surgical removal of the ovaries.
Oestrogen is also responsible for the build-up of epithelial lining within the uterus which was shed each month (usually) - menstruation. The menopausal decrease in oestrogen prevents this build-up occurring. However, androgen hormones produced by the adrenal glands are converted to oestrogen which can occasionally cause postmenstrual bleeding. Usually this is nothing to worry about but any type of unusual bleeding should always be checked by your doctor.

Decreased oestrogen levels increase the risk of osteoporosis - calcium loss from bone - resulting in fragile or brittle bones.

Hormone replacement therapy to counteract these symptoms is controversial, and has been linked to many adverse conditions including cancer, hypertension & headaches.

Acupuncture has been used to treat menopausal symptoms for thousands of years with excellent results without side effects. Acupuncture can help regulate unstable hormone levels and relax and enhance the person’s quality of life.

According to a report in Yunnan Traditional Chinese Medicine, #5, 1993, 31 women with menopausal symptoms were treated with acupuncture. 87% showed significant improvement using acupuncture.