Menopause is a time of life that most women dread, but if you're an endometriosis sufferer, menopause may be the break you've been waiting for. Why? Menopause is a normal part of aging that virtually every woman experiences. It is the time when estrogen levels drop and the ovaries no longer produce eggs. As a result, a woman no longer has a menstruation cycle due to the natural cessation of ovarian function. Menopause is the end of a woman's reproductive cycle.
Menopause usually occurs naturally for most women when they are in their late 40's or early 50's. However, some women may be pushed suddenly into menopause at any age if they have their ovaries removed, or take certain types of chemotherapies for cancer treatment.
Although menopause has its own host of unpleasant symptoms that a woman is forced to deal with as her body adapts to change, it has been known to have one positive side effect for endometriosis sufferers - It often puts an end to painful endometriosis symptoms.
To help you fully understand the positive influence menopause has on endometriosis, the following are some answers to common questions regarding the issue:
How does menopause improve endometriosis symptoms?
The hormone estrogen is no longer produced during menopause. Estrogen is what stimulates endometriosis growth. Thus, most women no longer feel pain, as the endometrial tissue no longer grows or breaks down because the menses cycle has ceased.
Does menopause cure endometriosis?
No, you need to understand that menopause does not cure endometriosis. However, for most women, it seems to put it in an eternal state of sleep. Nevertheless, symptoms of endometriosis can still occur at any time, even though for most women not taking hormone replacement therapy this is rare.
Can endometriosis symptoms still occur after menopause?
Yes. For some women, especially those who have a severe case of endometriosis and experienced strong symptoms prior to the stop of their cycle, endometriosis can still persist after menopause, especially if a woman has scar tissue. Often the reason why endometriosis persists is due to hormone replacement therapy that provides the body with estrogen, which is taken by women to help with menopausal symptoms.
Is hormone therapy necessary for menopause?
No. However, some women who go through menopause take hormone replacement therapy to help prevent and treat osteoporosis. Estrogen plays an important role in building and maintaining strong and healthy bones. Lack of estrogen causes cells that build bone to become less active, which increases the risk of bone loss.
Aside from keeping bones healthy, estrogen also plays a big role in keeping the vagina moist, helping it to guard against infection. Thus, many women take estrogen hormone replacement therapy for these reasons. Unfortunately, estrogen stimulates the growth of endometrial implants, which can lead to a recurrence in painful symptoms.
There are different ways you can help treat your menopausal symptoms caused by lack of estrogen without dramatically increasing your risk of reactivating endometriosis symptoms. Talk to your doctor about your condition. He or she may be able to provide you with treatment that limits the amount of estrogen you give back to your body, or they may be able to prescribe you creams or other treatments to help with vaginal dryness and other menopausal symptoms.
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