Menopause


Menopause is defined as the stage in a woman’s life when she has not had a period for a year, and can no longer have children. Each female is born with a limited number of eggs, which are stored in the ovaries and released during her child-bearing years. Menopause takes place when the ovaries no longer release eggs and menstruation stops, usually between the ages of 45 and 55. While this is a normal part of aging, women who undergo surgery to remove the ovaries, have a hysterectomy or suffer damage to the ovaries due to any reason, can go through menopause sooner.

Natural menopause occurs gradually, with the process spread out over several years. This stage, called the Perimenopause, is characterized by lower production of the hormone oestrogen and irregular periods. Women in this stage may also report some symptoms of menopause. Menopause is the point when it has been 12 months since the last period, indicating that the ovaries have stopped releasing eggs, and making most of the oestrogen. Postmenopause refers to the years after menopause, during which women face a range of health issues including osteoporosis, heart disease, urinary incontinence, weight gain etc.


Women reaching menopause may report some of the following complaints:

  • Hot flashes – a sudden feeling of warmth spreading over the upper body, sweating and blushing

  • Night sweats

  • Irregular periods

  • Depression, irritability and mood swings

  • Insomnia

  • Fatigue and lack of energy

  • Heart palpitations

  • Urinary problems

  • Vaginal dryness and painful intercourse

  • Changes in libido

  • Headaches

  • Thinning of scalp hair

  • Increase in facial hair

  • Dry skin

  • Changes in breast size, loss of fullness, or tenderness

If you are in the menopausal age, and experience the above symptoms, it is best to reach out to Women’s Health Care Services​ at The Aga Khan University Hospital. This is important because your Menopause can be difficult to deal with, both on a physiological and a psychological level, and symptoms and related problems can be better managed under the supervision of a well-trained physician. Furthermore, if at any point after menopause, you experience vaginal bleeding or spotting, it is advised that you make an appointment with your physician, as that is not normal and may be a sign of a serious medical condition.


For a preliminary examination, you can also consult a doctor working with the Family Health Services at The Aga Khan University Hospital.

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here​ are some tips to help get you started.

In most cases, there no tests for menopause; symptoms and their duration suffice in arriving at the diagnosis of the condition. However, in cases, where the physician is concerned about the patient’s health or to screen for postmenopausal health problems, certain lab tests such as Tyroid profile and Lipid profile may be prescribed. If the physician is concerned about breast cancer or bone health, radiology tests such as Mammography and Bone Mineral Density tests may be prescribed.

Menopause is a natural stage in woman’s life, and as such treatment only exists for relieving the symptoms and treating medical conditions that arise as a result of menopause. These may include Hormone Replacement Therapy, topical creams, calcium and vitamin pills and other medicines. Your physician would also advise you to maintain a healthy lifestyle which includes a balanced diet and regular exercise to help manage the problems common in the postmenopausal years.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.
 
The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
 
The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.



The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.​