Bumisuka.com – If you enter menopause, your family must be the main support system. Menstruation and menopause is a necessity for women. Menopause is not as simple as stopping menstruation, but hormonal changes that affect physical and psychological conditions.
Women who experience menopause need to be surrounded by a good support system. This is because of the many inconveniences they feel. Of course it is not easy for them to face it alone.
The issue was thoroughly discussed by the Indonesian Menopause Association (PERMINESIA) in a virtual press conference with the theme “Life After 40, Happy and Healthy”.
The resource persons presented were Dr. dr. Tita Husnitawati, Sp.OG (K) Fer, as the President of PERMINESIA, and Dr. dr. Natalia Widiasih R, Sp.KJ (K) MPdKed, who is a specialist in psychiatry. Listen carefully!
1. Menopause doesn’t happen suddenly
Menopause is defined as the permanent cessation of menstruation due to the loss of ovarian follicular activity. This is a phase of life that every woman will definitely experience.
There are four stages of menopause that occur sequentially, namely:
- Pre-menopause: Still having regular menstrual cycles and menopause symptoms have not appeared.
- Perimenopause: The transitional stage between pre-menopause and menopause, which begins in your 40s and lasts for several years. Menstrual cycles start to become irregular, but you can still get pregnant.
- Menopause: Menopause is categorized if there is no menstruation for 12 consecutive months. This is because the ovaries have stopped working and are no longer releasing eggs. Onset at 51.3 years.
- Post-menopause: The last stage a woman goes through for the rest of her life. The risk of osteoporosis and heart disease increases due to a decrease in the hormone estrogen.
2. Physical symptoms felt during menopause
At menopause, not only the hormone estrogen decreases, but there is an increase in luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). In addition, prolactin and cortisol fluctuations occur.
Physical symptoms that are usually complained of are hot flashes (sudden burning sensation in the upper body), night sweats, musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular disorders, atrophy (thinning or shrinking) of the skin and breasts, and senile vaginitis (inflammation or irritation). vagina).
3. Cognitive function is also impaired
According to dr. Natalia, about 44-62 percent of women experience a decline in cognitive function during menopause, in the form of memory problems (becoming forgetful and reduced learning abilities), brain fog (difficulty focusing and remembering things), and verbal communication disorders (difficulty in understanding and issuing words). .
Why this happened? A decrease in the hormone estrogen causes mitochondrial dysfunction, which interferes with the formation of brain energy. As a result, there is impaired memory processing and neural formation.
4. In addition, the psychological side is also affected
Biological changes coupled with social stressors have an impact on the psychology of postmenopausal women. They may experience mood swings (sudden mood swings), loneliness, decreased libido, to lack of confidence because they feel they are no longer beautiful.
Based on a study published in the Journal of Maternity Care and Reproductive Health in 2019, of 105 women who were in the perimenopause phase, 36.19 percent experienced mild anxiety, 57.14 percent experienced moderate anxiety, and 5.71 percent experienced severe anxiety. Symptoms are shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and sweaty palms.
Not a few also experience depression, as research published in the journal Menopause in 2010. Of 685 women aged 45-59 years, 41.8 percent have symptoms of depression, such as prolonged sadness, feeling worthless, and hopeless.
5. Support from family and closest people is needed
Research conducted by AARP Magazine revealed a surprising fact that more than 60 percent of divorce cases were initiated by women aged 40-60 years. They admit to losing intimacy and romance in a relationship due to menopause.
What support is needed by women who are about to enter or are entering menopause? Starting from giving attention and affection, spending quality time together, listening to their complaints, even supporting your partner to seek professional help if the symptoms interfere with daily life.
One of them is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to change negative perceptions. In many cases a pharmacological approach may be required, such as hormone replacement therapy or antidepressant drugs.