Is menopause a disease? this is what the experts say

One of the stages that most distresses most women is the famous menopause. This is because for many years it has been considered a season of pain and not very pleasant symptoms.

However, the experiences of menopause are not all negative and this stage of life should not be seen as a medical problem, according to experts.

Specifically, menopause is the time that marks the end of menstrual cycles. It is diagnosed after twelve months go by without a woman having a menstrual period. This can occur between 40 and 50 years, but the average age is 51 years, in most cases, according to the Mayo Clinic.

JoAnn V. Pinkerton, a physician at the University of Virginia Health System, notes that this occurs because, as you age, your ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. During the years before menopause, the production of progesterone and estrogen begins to decline and menstrual periods and ovulation occur less frequently.

Between 16% and 40% of women experience moderate to severe symptoms during menopause, – Foto: Getty Images

Now, in an article published last Wednesday in the British Medical Journalobstetrician Martha Hickey, from the Royal Women’s Hospital in Victoria, Australia, and three professors of women’s health from the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia, analyzed the social and cultural attitudes towards the stage of life in which the majority of women they stop having menstruation, usually between the ages of 45 and 55, and defended the need to “normalize” menopause.

By 2021, a global survey revealed that between 16% and 40% of women experience moderate to severe symptoms during menopause, such as muscle aches, tiredness, hot flashes, and trouble sleeping.

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Currently, one treatment offered to relieve these symptoms is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which uses medications to replace hormones lost during menopause and, in turn, relieve these symptoms.

While several studies have shown its effectiveness in helping women get through menopause, and while there are risks, such as an increased risk of breast cancer, the benefits are thought to outweigh these risks.

However, Hickey and her co-authors argue that while effective treatments like HRT are important for those with bothersome symptoms, “viewing it as a medical problem can increase women’s anxiety and apprehension about this natural stage of life.”

“The medicalization of menopause risks reducing the wide range of midlife experiences associated with this natural process into a narrowly defined disease that requires treatment and tends to emphasize the negative aspects of menopause,” the experts add.

Likewise, the four experts maintain that, although “women with hot flashes and severe night sweats often benefit from menopausal hormone therapy, and most women consider menopause to be a natural process and prefer not to take medication”.

Finally, Hickey in an interview for CNN stated: “The medicalization of menopause makes women afraid and reduces their ability to face it as a normal event in life.”

menopausal symptoms

  • Sleeping problems.
  • Changes in mood.
  • Weight gain and slow metabolism.
  • Hot flushes.
  • Shaking chills.
  • Night sweats.
  • Hair thinning and dry skin.
  • Loss of volume in the breasts.
  • Irregular menstrual periods.
  • vaginal dryness