Main Diseases in Menopause

Menopause is a very important moment in the woman’s life. Despite being a physiological stage it’s linked to a variety of disorders.

Short term Menopause diseases are the first to onset. They are:menopause

  • Disorders of the psychological sphere (particularly anxiety, irritability, depression, insomnia).
  • Hot flashes (also called hot flushes) are annoying unexpected heat sensations with sweating. When associated with disorders of the psychological sphere can significantly reduce performances;
  • Altered vaginal tissue tropism together with decreased lubrication often leads to dyspareunia (pain during sex intercourse). Altered urethral tissue tropism (same embryological origin of vaginal tissue) predisposes to inflammatory phenomena and formation of so-called urethral wattles (mucous membrane protrusions that bleeding easily);
  • Increased total cholesterol and sometimes blood pressure. Many women experience a weight gain independent of dietary factors with a predominant (androgen) distribution of fat on abdomen correlated with an increased metabolic diseases risk. All this leads to a higher incidence of cardiovascular diseases and accidents.

Long term Menopause diseases are the ones that appear later in life. They are:

  • Supporting tissues alterations : uterine prolapse, urinary incontinence. In these situations is definitely present a family or constitutional component and it is also important to control the obstetric history (number of pregnancies, type of birth, birth weight). The lack of estrogen, however, has an important role in a disease that manifests itself particularly after menopause.
  • Osteoporosis. It is a disease linked to a progressive loss of mineral with subsequent bone fragility that predisposes to vertebral collapse and fractures (frequent wrists and femoral). It begins asymptomatically (it is in fact defined “silent disease”) and occurs only when a complication arise with sudden severe pain, functional limitation and, in case of femur fracture, with massive and sometimes fatal bleeding.
  • Alzheimer’s disease (or progressive dementia). It is a disease linked to the progressive and irreversible destruction of brain neurons and to the reduction of synapses (connections between structures of nerve cells). Its etiology (cause) is unknown. Arise very late (after 70 yr) and predominantly affects the female sex. Onset of the family forms of this disease may be more precocious.
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Filiberto Di Prospero
Medical Doctor, Consultant in Gynecology and Obstetrics, Endocrinology and Metabolism. Director of Gynecologic Endocrinology Unit at Civitanova Marche General Hospital (Italy). Private clinics in Civitanova Marche, Rome and Milan.