Late menopause occurs when menopause occurs later than normal in a woman’s life. Symptoms include the cessation of menstruation, but also risks such as the appearance of fibroids and breast cancer. The causes, remedies and benefits of any drug treatment may be different. Let’s find out more about it.
What are the symptoms, causes, remedies, risks and benefits of late menopause? Generally, this term refers to the condition in which a woman enters menopause after the age of 55: normally, in fact, menopause occurs in the life of a woman between 45 and 55 years of age. What to do in case of late menopause? Are there any consequences in old age? Let’s find out more about it.
- What is late menopause
- Symptoms and risks
- The causes
- The diagnosis
- The remedies and benefits
- The prognosis
What is late menopause
Menopause is not a pathology, but a physiological period that occurs, at a certain age, in the life of every woman: to be precise, menopause represents the loss of ovarian follicular function, which involves the cessation of the menstrual cycle . In short, it is that period in a woman’s life when reproductive activity ends.
During menopause, in addition to the definitive end of the menstrual cycle, the female sex hormones produced by the body – that is, progestin and estrogen – also undergo a drastic decline: this is the reason why many of the typical symptoms of menopause occur.
READ ALSOMenopause: symptoms, consequences and remedies
So what is late menopause? Unlike early menopause – which appears before the age of 40 – this occurs, in general, after the age of 55: normally, however, menopause occurs around the age of 45-55.
Symptoms and risks
How does late menopause manifest itself, and what risks does it entail when it comes so late? Let’s see what are the symptoms and what are the risks of this condition.
The symptoms of late menopause are the same as those of menopause: there is, in fact, no difference between the symptoms manifested by those who enter late menopause and by those who live this moment of their life from 45 to 55 years of age. We can therefore highlight:
- Cessation of the menstrual cycle;
- Hot flushes ;
- Sleep disturbances ;
- Increased body weight, due to the slowing down of the metabolism ;
- Night sweats
- Depression ;
- Decreased sexual desire
- Vaginal dryness ;
- Pain during sexual intercourse ;
- Urinary incontinence ;
- Irritability ;
- Tachycardia or palpitations ;
- Mood swings;
- Anxiety ;
- Hypertension ;
- Dryness of the skin .
Also typical of menopause is the loss of bone mineral density, which can lead to the onset of osteoporosis , if not promptly diagnosed and treated.
The period of menopause, in old age or not, increases the risk of the appearance of certain diseases , such as hypertension and obesity. Among the risks and consequences of late menopause, at 60 years as much before, there is also the onset of tumors: in addition to the possible appearance of cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis, in fact, women in menopause are more exposed to the onset of breast cancer, fibroids, uterine cancer and various malignant neoplasms.
There are several studies that, over the years, have shown a correlation between women who entered menopause at a late stage and those who developed breast cancer, for example: this could be explained by the fact that the breast tissue of women who enter menopause after 55 years of age is longer exposed to the action of estrogen than normal. Therefore, the importance of prevention is not to be underestimated : it is advisable, in fact, to carry out periodic medical examinations, so as to diagnose the onset of any pathologies in time.
Even today, the causes of late menopause are not entirely clear , so there is no exact answer. It seems, however, that some risk factors may affect and, among these, there are:
These pathologies – as seen previously – can also represent the consequences of late menopause.
What to do in case of late menopause? When symptoms and signs of this condition appear, it is advisable to contact your doctor and / or gynecologist who – thanks to a series of specific tests and analyzes – will be able to establish the correct diagnosis and possible therapy , if needed.
In addition to the medical examination and the study of symptoms, it could be useful to carry out further in-depth tests to exclude or confirm the presence of any pathologies present: for example, the hormone dosage for monitoring the levels of female hormones, densitometry could be useful to understand bone mineral density, blood pressure checks and, finally, pap smears and mammograms to diagnose any tumors in the uterus and breast.
The remedies and benefits
Are there any remedies for late menopause? Since it is not a real pathology, there is no real cure for this condition, but it is possible, in any case, to alleviate the resulting symptoms: for this reason, it is possible that the doctor prescribes a pharmacological treatment aimed at controlling the symptoms to improve the quality of life of patients. Let’s see some remedies and benefits:
- Hormone replacement therapy : this involves the administration of estrogen and progestin to compensate for the decreased production in the body, thus counteracting most of the typical symptoms of menopause;
- Vitamin D and calcium supplements : these are used to combat the loss of bone mineral density and, therefore, prevent the onset of osteoporosis;
- Vaginal creams, gels and lubricants : these can be used to counteract annoying vaginal dryness;
- Antidepressant drugs : they can be useful against depressive disorders that can affect women due to the hormonal upheavals typical of the period of menopause.
Obviously, in addition to the remedies mentioned above, it is possible that additional drugs may be prescribed if other diseases are present, such as tumors, osteoporosis or cardiovascular diseases.
Finally, the prognosis of late menopause will depend on some factors, such as the timeliness of intervention, the triggering causes, the age and state of health of the patient: it is good, however, to remember that the results will only concern the symptoms, as it is an irreversible condition.