“Could it be menopause?” If you are feeling painful symptoms, it is recommended to undergo a detailed examination. Menopausal symptoms that reduce quality of life can be alleviated with treatment. Under the supervision of a doctor, a detailed explanation of the examination contents and the timing of visiting a hospital when menopausal symptoms appear!
Table of contents
- What is menopause
- Menopause self-checklist
- When is it time to see a doctor for menopause?
- Test contents for menopausal disorder
- Q&A related to menopause testing
- Menopausal Hospital Types
- Tips for choosing a hospital for menopause testing and treatment
- Symptoms are painful! Kampo medicine is recommended in such a case
- Maybe menopause? Get tested early for painful symptoms!
What is menopause
Menopause is one of four life stages that women go through. There are “puberty”, “sexual maturity”, “menopause” and “old age”, and menopause generally refers to the 10 years from mid-40s to mid-50s.
Menopause is a time of great change, when the amount of female hormones that have been secreted for many years suddenly decreases. A sudden decrease in female hormones affects the mind and body, and various symptoms called “menopausal symptoms” begin to appear.
The degree of symptoms varies from person to person, but if the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with daily life, it is called ” menopause .”
It is said that the various disorders seen in menopause gradually stabilize when the ovarian function completely stops toward old age. However, if it is difficult, it is important to visit a hospital as soon as possible and receive examinations and treatment without putting up with it.
Three typical symptoms of menopause
The various symptoms seen in menopause can be broadly classified into three categories as follows:
- Symptoms related to vasodilatation and heat dissipation
Hot flashes, sweating, etc.
- Physical symptoms
Palpitation, feeling of tightness in the chest, fatigue, dizziness, headache, stiff shoulders, shortness of breath, pain in the lower back and back, joint pain, coldness, numbness, swelling, dry eyes, dry throat, diarrhea, Constipation, heavy stomach, heartburn, nausea, menstrual irregularities, pain during sexual intercourse, urinary incontinence, etc.
- Psychiatric symptoms
Depressed mood, irritability, emotional instability, depression, loss of motivation, tearfulness, insomnia, etc.
The appearance of symptoms seen in menopause varies greatly from person to person. Some people feel almost no symptoms, while others experience painful symptoms that make them sleep.
Although there are no clear diagnostic criteria for menopause, painful symptoms can be alleviated by treatment.
Main treatments for menopause
In some cases, the symptoms of menopause can be improved by changing lifestyle and eating habits. However, if the symptoms are severe or do not improve, you should seek medical attention.
The main pharmacological treatments for menopause include:
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
- herbal medicine
- psychotropic drug
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an effective treatment for menopausal disorders, which improves symptoms by supplementing with estrogen (female hormone).
However, hormone replacement therapy is not available for people with breast cancer, endometrial cancer, or people taking drugs for thrombosis. increase.
If you have symptoms that you are concerned about and think, “Maybe I am also menopausal?”, check the menopause self-checklist .
You can easily diagnose it by checking a few questions.
When is it time to see a doctor for menopause?
Menopausal women experience a lot of stress and fatigue due to concerns about work, childcare, nursing care, and their own health. If you continue to put up with it, saying, “I’m stressed” or “I’m tired,” the symptoms may get worse.
Not only if there is a possibility of menopausal disorders in the self-check, but also if there is no problem in the self-check, it is a good idea to take an examination if you are concerned.
Also, if you have had painful symptoms and have been tested, but no other illness is found, it is time to get tested for menopausal disorders. For example, if the headache continues and is painful, and there is no abnormality after examination by a neurosurgeon or a neurologist, menopause may be the cause.
There are individual differences in how menopausal symptoms are seen, but it is said that they are often seen after the age of 40.
Test contents for menopausal disorder
If there is a possibility of menopause, it is possible to diagnose it by conducting tests such as interviews and blood tests. You should also have an examination to determine if it is a symptom associated with menopause or if it is caused by another disease.
First of all, a medical interview and a blood test are performed, and if menopausal disorders are diagnosed, it is common to perform various tests such as cancer tests and bone mass measurement.
The menopause test costs about 6,000 to 7,000 yen. It is a good idea to check with the hospital in advance, as the content and cost of the examination differ depending on the hospital.
From here, we will explain the contents of the menopause examination.
In the menopausal disorder test, we first ask you a question.
- About your current menstruation (whether you have a period, the time of your last menstrual period, menstrual cycle, amount of menstrual flow, etc.)
- period since menopause
- Symptoms you are currently concerned about
- A history of disease (especially breast, uterine, or ovarian disease)
- Presence or absence of illness
- Illnesses that family members have had in the past
- Lifestyle habits, luxury items (alcohol, tobacco, etc.), etc.
The above is the main inquiry content. It is recommended that you write down your menopausal symptoms when you decide to go to the hospital so that you can tell your doctor about any painful symptoms or problems you have.
Blood test (female hormone test)
If menopause is suspected, a blood test may be done to check the levels of hormones in the blood.
During menopause, levels of the gonadotropic hormones follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) rise, and estradiol (a type of estrogen) drops below 50 pg/ml.
In addition, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, liver function, and thyroid function will be checked.
Menopause is also the age at which thyroid disease becomes more common, so it is necessary to distinguish whether symptoms are due to menopause or thyroid disease.
Menopause is also affected by psychological factors. Depending on the person, the results of the blood test show that the female hormone level is low, which makes them anxious, and the symptoms of menopause may become stronger.
Therefore, some doctors may not recommend a blood test if the symptoms are thought to be caused by stress or the environment.
If you have symptoms such as irregular bleeding in addition to menopausal symptoms, and you have not undergone cervical cancer screening for a while, you may have a pelvic examination or ultrasound to understand the condition of your uterus and ovaries. may be performed.
Various cancer tests
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is often used to treat menopause.
Therefore, we perform “cytological examination (uterine body cancer, cervical cancer examination)”, “palpation, ultrasonography, mammography (breast cancer examination)”, etc. to detect the possibility of endometrial cancer, cervical cancer, and breast cancer. must be denied.
Menopause is an age when various diseases increase, but among them, it is necessary to pay attention to ” uterine cancer “, which has similar symptoms to menopause . The age at which endometrial cancer is likely to occur is said to peak in the 50s and 60s.
Bone mass measurement
If menopausal symptoms are suspected, a bone mass measurement is also performed. Bone density in women begins to decline around the age of 45, when female hormone levels begin to decline.
Estrogen, a female hormone, has the effect of suppressing bone resorption, and its deficiency leads to osteoporosis . 80% of people with osteoporosis are women, and about 24% of women over the age of 50 are said to develop osteoporosis, so be careful.
In addition, we may also perform height and weight measurements, blood pressure measurements, heart examinations such as electrocardiograms, abdominal circumference, thyroid examinations, blood clotting susceptibility examinations, and psychological tests.
In addition, when treating menopausal disorders with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), examinations are required once or twice a year.
In that case, the inspection items are as follows. Additional tests may be required depending on the treatment policy of the hospital doctor.
- Blood test
- blood pressure measurement
- breast cancer screening
- Uterine cancer screening
- gynecological ultrasound
- bone density test
- arteriosclerosis test
- urine test etc.
In addition, if you have palpitations, you should also visit a cardiology department to check for arrhythmia, or see a department other than gynecology according to your symptoms.
Q&A related to menopause testing
From here, we will introduce Q&A related to testing for menopausal disorders.
Menstruation (physiology) is coming, but menopausal symptoms are present…Do I need an examination?
It is a good idea to have an examination even if you are menstruating, as “I thought it was a symptom of menopause but it turned out to be another disease”.
Physical disorders that are often mistaken for menopausal disorders include:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- Pituitary anomaly
- Sjögren’s syndrome
- leukemia, etc.
What if there are no menopausal symptoms but there are changes in the menstrual cycle?
The balance of female hormones begins to be disturbed after the age of 40. As a result, various menstrual troubles such as increased bleeding, lingering menstruation, and irregular bleeding outside of the menstrual period can be seen.
If you have such changes, even if you don’t have menopausal symptoms that interfere with your daily life, it’s a good idea to have an examination to confirm that it’s not some other disease.
Menopausal Hospital Types
We will introduce the types of hospitals where menopausal disorders can be examined and treated.
Ladies Clinic (Gynecology)
Women’s Clinic (Gynecology) is characterized by specializing in medical treatment for women. They tend to have a wealth of knowledge and experience in treating menopausal symptoms and menopause, so you can expect friendly counseling.
On the other hand, specialized treatments such as cancer may not be available.
General Hospital/University Hospital
General hospitals and university hospitals are well-equipped with equipment for detailed examinations, and can comprehensively respond to various symptoms and diseases.
Depending on the clinical department, specialists may be enrolled, and many hospitals have menopausal outpatients. If the test finds cancer, treatment or surgery may be available.
Tips for choosing a hospital for menopause testing and treatment
From here, we will introduce the points of choosing a hospital for examination and treatment of menopausal disorders.
expertise and achievements
Since there is no clear definition of menopausal disorder, judgment from a comprehensive perspective is required. If you are a highly specialized hospital, such as a menopausal outpatient clinic or a women’s outpatient clinic, you can expect to be examined by a doctor with a wealth of experience.
Equipment for testing and treatment
Cancer and osteoporosis tests may be required when treating menopausal disorders. Therefore, it is one of the points to choose a hospital that has various examination facilities.
If you have a chronic disease, you may want to consider a hospital with inpatient facilities.
Personality such as ease of talking, compatibility, hospital environment
Psychiatric symptoms may also occur in menopause. Whether you are a doctor who can calmly talk about your painful symptoms, whether the environment in the hospital is calm, and whether it is easy to talk and consult is an important point.
Ease of access
When treating menopausal disorders, you will need to go to the hospital.
The symptoms of menopause can be painful, and going to a hospital can be a hassle, so it’s a good idea to choose a hospital that you can easily access and go to.
Symptoms are painful! Kampo medicine is recommended in such a case
“My symptoms are painful, so I want to be tested and treated for menopausal disorders. But I don’t have time to find a gynecologist that suits me, and going to the hospital is troublesome.” It is also recommended to take Chinese herbal medicine.
In addition to HRT, the use of Chinese herbal medicines is also one of the standard treatments for menopausal disorders.
Kampo medicines are made from a combination of natural herbs and work to restore the disturbed balance of the mind and body as a whole, so they are particularly effective for menopausal women who complain of various symptoms.