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Information about Menopause:
Menopause is a very common condition that every woman goes through at some point in their life. It occurs when menstruation stops and usually occurs in a woman’s mid-40’s to early 50’s signaling the end of her reproductive period.
Although natural, menopause can be extremely uncomfortable for women. As a result, many women treat the condition with hormone replacement or antidepressants. These treatments carry risk and are not always effective.
What Is Menopause
Menopause takes place in three different phases – perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Perimenopause, the body’s estrogen creation reduces at the last phases of menstruation. Menopause represents the first 12 months after a woman’s last menstruation. When menopause ends the postmenopause phase begins, which is when there is a decline in menopausal symptoms.
What causes Menopause
All women are born with a certain number of eggs that are all reserved in the ovaries. The ovaries are responsible for the production of estrogen and progesterone that regulates menstruation and ovulation. Once the ovaries cease to discharge an egg each month and menstrual cycles end, menopause sets in.
Every woman on this planet is likely to go through menopause sometime after 40 years old. However, there are situations where women experience menopause earlier due to a variety of reasons. This is called premature menopause. Menopause can also occur late (after the age of fifty). Late menopause is generally a result of a genetic predisposition and often runs in families.
Here are some causes of menopause symptoms:
- Hysterectomy – When a woman’s uterus is removed along with the ovaries, this will result in menopause right away. Menstruation will cease immediately, quickly resulting in hot flashes and various menopausal symptoms.
- Decrease of Reproductive Hormones – In a woman’s late 30’s she produces less progesterone and estrogen, which control menstrual cycles and lead to a lack of fertility. Once they reach their 40’s, menstruation can shift in how frequent they occur and the length of time, then suddenly by age 51, it completely stops.
- Radiation and Chemotherapy – Cancer treatment therapies can cause menopause, which leads to symptoms like hot flashes while undergoing treatment or once it is complete. While it can happen, fertility does not always stop completely after chemotherapy; and a woman can still become pregnant.
- Primary Ovarian Insufficiency – A tiny percentage of women go through menopause before hitting the age of 40. Some women’s ovaries do not develop the right levels of reproductive hormones due to autoimmune disease or hereditary circumstances. Women who experience this are treated for menopause symptoms until they reach an age where menopause is more likely to occur to prevent future issues with the heart, brain, and bones.
What are the symptoms of Menopause
By the age of 51, most women would have already started menopause, indicated by the occurrence of the last menstrual cycle – a sign that the reproductive cycle is coming to an end. From there, menopause occurs in three distinct phases each having a different cause of symptoms.
This most common sign of menopause that just about every woman experiences is hot flashes. Hot flashes produce sporadic warm sensations throughout the upper portion of the body, that may include sweating and blushing.
Hot flashes can range from moderate to intense depending on the person.
Here are additional signs of approaching menopause:
- Frequent mood swings
- Abnormal or missed periods
- Changes in your sex drive
- Vaginal dryness
- Increased heart rate
- Issues controlling your bladder
- Joint and muscle aches and pains
Keep in mind that every woman will experience a different range of symptoms Menopause also significantly increases the risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition characterized by brittle bones.
Current Treatments for Menopause
Medical treatment is not necessary for effectively handling menopause as it is a natural occurrence. Treatments for menopause tend to be more preventative and help manage the chronic ailments that come along with age. They can also lessen the discomfort experienced with menopausal symptoms.
Here are some examples of menopausal symptoms:
- Vaginal Estrogen – Estrogen provides relief from vaginal dryness, urinary problems, and uncomfortable sexual intercourse.
- Low-Dose Antidepressants – Antidepressants such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors can lessen menopausal hot flashes when estrogen supplements are not sufficient.
- Hormone Therapy – Estrogen supplements are the most common treatment for menopause symptoms.
The current treatments for menopause are definitely not without risks. Hormone therapy is very complex, and doctors must work carefully to find the correct amounts. Incorrect dosage is risky because estrogen replacement therapy can lead to side-effects such as an increased risk of breast cancer, stroke, blood clots or heart disease.
Antidepressants, although often low-dose, also carry significant risks of side effects.
CBD and Menopause
CBD is a chemical found in medical marijuana that provides several benefits including stress and pain relief. Unlike other chemicals in marijuana, it does not cause increased heart rate, dizziness or sleepiness. The beauty of CBD is that it can be consumed for better health and pain relief without any side effects.
Since there isn’t much research on the direct effects cannabis has on menopause, it is hard to know how much you’ll need to provide all-day relief from menopausal symptoms. However, many studies address the use of CBD for its symptoms of depression, joint and muscle aches, and pain. CBD also does not cause fatigue, unlike THC.
When using marijuana to treat menopause symptoms, consider which menopausal symptoms you are trying to address. Also, think about rather you’d prefer a psychoactive or nonpsychoactive experience.
Medical Research on Medical Marijuana and Menopause
Marijuana is an excellent way to cope with the various challenges of menopause as women age. According to research in an article by medicalmarijuana.com, titled Menopausal Syndrome, cannabinoids in the marijuana plant are helpful in providing relief for symptoms of menopause. Cannabinoids are a way to prevent vasomotor symptoms and certain psychological problems that come with post-menopausal syndrome.
Cannabis has virtually no side effects when used for menopausal syndrome, and there are a number of ways to consume it. Cannabis is also an excellent way for a woman to balance her hormones.
For women experiencing peri-menopause, the pain can be overwhelming. Marijuana has been proven to reduce chronic pain and help with severe migraine headaches. Since fatigue and pain are also effects of perimenopause, women will find cannabis consumption useful once again due to its ability to offer relief in this area.
Medical Research on CBD and Menopause
Because CBD is excellent for any form of chronic pain, women experiencing menopause can consume CBD to help with the cramping, muscle aches and many other symptoms including hot flashes.
Research also shows that cannabidiol (CBD) is also known to help withstand bone breakage and even enhance the healing process of broken bones. This makes CBD even more beneficial for helping post-menopausal women refrain from osteoporosis and deal with any fractures that may happen.
CBD vs. THC
Studies have shown that the marijuana plant is one of nature’s most powerful forms of healing, stress and pain relief known to man. CBD and THC are essential chemicals contained within marijuana that serve unique purposes for women in menopause.
Both CBD and THC are excellent for enhancing mood. When taken in low doses, THC becomes a strong antidepressant. One thing that makes CBD vary from THC is that it is nonpsychoactive which works great for women who need menopausal syndrome relief without “getting stoned.” CBD is useful for reducing any anxiety, hunger or sleepiness caused by the consumption of THC. Both THC and CBD are very helpful in reducing pain and discomfort.
How to Take Medical Marijuana for Menopause
Consuming up to 10mg THC edibles can help ensure a restful sleep, by minimizing night sweats. During the day, a smaller dose of 5mg or less might lead to a more functional day.
During menopause, it is vital to stabilize the hormones, and daily consumption of marijuana can help with this if not undergoing hormonal estrogen treatment. Vaporizing, also known as one of the healthier options in comparison to smoking marijuana, is an excellent method for getting your daily dose of marijuana during the day time for menopausal symptom relief.
At the end of the day, enjoy tea made with some added CBD oil to help relax your body after a long day.
Growing Your Own Menopause Medication
Nowadays it is easy to enjoy the convenient benefits of growing cannabis yourself. Medical marijuana is a great herb used to aid patients worldwide seeking relief from chronic pain and the same goes for women suffering from menopausal syndrome. If you have menopause or have to deal with high stress, fatigue or severe pain, growing marijuana may be suitable for you.
Alternatively, women may choose to grow a high THC strain and include daily doses of CBD oil.
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