Women’s health Archives - Eurobio

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Menopause is a natural biological process, which is defined as a complete year without menstrual bleeding for 12 consecutive months. Menopause is a natural part of ageing, and will be experienced by all women normally between 45-55 years of age.  During menopause, the ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and this marks the end of the reproductive years of a women’s life.

There are three stages or transition phases of menopause, which include perimenopause (when the body hormones begin to change before menopause, menstrual periods become irregular, menstrual flow may become heavier or lighter); menopause (refers to 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period); and post-menopause (refers to the years after the last period, when the symptoms begin to subside).

The symptoms of menopause can last for several years.Some women have no trouble during the menopausal transition. For others, menopausal symptoms can be severe and affect their daily activities as the symptoms may disrupt their quality sleep, lower their energy levels and affect their emotional health. Menopausal symptoms are different for every woman but the common menopausal symptoms include:

  • Irregular periods e.g. periods that are shorter, longer, lighter or heavier than usual
  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sexual activity
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Mood swings

Besides the reproductive function, estrogen also plays a role in keeping the cholesterol in control, slowing the natural break down of bones and regulating heart health. Therefore, it is very important for post-menopausal women to change their eating habits and get more physical activity as they are more vulnerable to heart diseases and osteoporosis.

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet that consists enough vitamins and minerals, especially calcium
  • Increase physical activities especially weight bearing exercises to strengthen the bones
  • Maintain a healthy weight and stay fit
  • Undergo regular checkups to keep an eye on cholesterol level and blood pressure
  • Cut down on daily coffee intake to reduce the consumption of caffeine

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A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that begins in the urinary system. The urinary system is composed of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Any of these organs can become infected, but most infections involve the urethra and the bladder. UTI typically occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract and begin to multiply.

 

Women are most at risk of developing a UTI, and many women experience more than one infection during their lifetimes. Risk factors specific to women for UTIs include:

  • Female anatomy. Woman has a shorter urethra than man. This shortens the distance for bacteria to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause infections.
  • Menopause. After menopause, a decline in circulating estrogen causes changes in the urinary tract that make you more vulnerable to infection.

Symptoms of UTI typically involve lower abdominal discomfort, such as:

  • Feeling a sense of urgency
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Passing frequent and small amount of urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Red or bright pink colored urine – a sign of blood in the urine
  • Strong-smelling urine

There are a number of things that we can do to reduce the risk of getting a UTI. These include:

  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water.
  • Go to the toilet as soon as there is a need to urinate, rather than holding it in.
  • Wipe from front to back after going to the toilet.
  • Empty bladder as soon as possible after intercourse. Also, drink a full glass of water to help flush away bacteria.
  • Probiotics help to improve the balance of micro flora in the urinogenital areas and reducing the risks of UTI. Probiotics also help to restore and maintain the natural flora of the vagina.

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Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS, is a group of symptoms linked to the menstrual cycle. PMS symptoms occur in the week or two weeks before period (menstruation). The symptoms usually go away after the period starts. PMS can affect menstruating women of any age. It is also different for each woman. It is estimated that up to 80% of menstruating women suffer from symptoms of PMS on a monthly cycle. Cyclic changes in hormones seem to be an important cause. Fluctuations in one of a brain chemical signal may affect the mood and body.

PMS is a cluster of recurrent symptoms that occur prior to menstruation, which is a complex combination of:

  1. Mood disturbance eg. Irritability, mood swing, anger, anxiety and depression
  2. Physical symptoms eg. Breast swelling and tenderness, cramp, backache, headache, acne, fatigue, feeling of bloating and weight gain

We can manage or sometimes reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome by making changes in the way we eat, exercise and approach daily life:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Limit salt and salty foods to reduce bloating and fluid retention
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Get enough sleep
  • Try yoga or massage to relax
  • Quit smoking
  • Include Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) in your diet. EPO helps to relieve PMS symptoms

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