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If You Believe ‘Menopause Cures PCOS’, You Have to Read This

Menopause is a natural phase in every woman's life that marks the end of menstrual cycles due to hormone changes. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a prevalent hormone disorder among women that can cause various symptoms such as irregular periods, hirsutism, weight gain, and infertility. It is commonly believed that menopause can cure PCOS, but is this true? Let's check!

PCOS and Menopause: The Similarities

Both PCOS and menopause involve changes in sex hormones, particularly estrogen and testosterone. Women approaching menopause experience fluctuating estrogen levels, while PCOS is associated with increased testosterone levels. These hormonal changes affect both reproductive health and overall physical and mental well-being. Estrogen, for example, protects the heart and bones, and a decline in its levels can lead to osteoporosis.

On the other hand, PCOS can cause hirsutism, acne, male-pattern hair loss, irregular periods, weight gain, insulin resistance, or diabetes. Menopausal symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, joint pains, mood changes, weight gain, and vaginal dryness. In summary, while PCOS and menopause involve changes in sex hormones, they are distinct conditions with different symptoms and health implications.

A Deeper Glimpse Into Menopause

Menopause begins when the ovaries stop producing mature eggs, and androgen levels start to decrease. Once you have gone 12 months without a menstrual period, you have reached menopause and entered the postmenopausal stage. On average, menopause occurs at 51 years of age, typically between 50 and 55 for most women.

What Are the Stages of Menopause?

The medical term for the stage before menopause is perimenopause, which usually starts about 8 to 10 years before natural menopause. During perimenopause, women are still menstruating and can still get pregnant but may experience symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep problems, and vaginal dryness.

Menopause is 12 consecutive months without a period, indicating a natural decline in ovarian function.

Postmenopause refers to the years after menopause when menopause symptoms generally subside for most women. However, low estrogen levels during this stage can increase the risk of osteoporosis, vaginal and bladder changes, and heart disease.

PCOS and Menopause: 5 Myth-Bursting Facts You Didn't Know

Here are five less-well-known facts about PCOS that you should know.

  1. PCOS Sufferers Need To Monitor Their Blood Sugar Levels

Your body may become less responsive to insulin due to PCOS, resulting in high blood sugar levels. This may worsen your symptoms by increasing the high levels of male hormones (such as testosterone) in your body that PCOS brings on. Monitoring weight and blood sugar levels during this time is crucial because menopause, which can also increase insulin resistance, is a symptom of weight gain.

  1. PCOS May Appear At Any Age Following Puberty

The majority of women learn they have PCOS in their 20s or 30s. PCOS can manifest itself at any point during a woman's reproductive years, and it is not unusual for women to do so during the perimenopausal period.

  1. PCOS And Menopause Symptoms Can Be Very Similar

Menopause affects each person differently. However, a person with PCOS may also experience some typical menopause symptoms. Therefore, it can be challenging to distinguish between the two conditions, especially if a patient only starts exhibiting signs of PCOS in her 40s. 

These signs include missed or irregular periods, gaining weight, mood changes, trouble sleeping, and excessive facial hair growth. However, symptoms may vary from individual to individual.

  1. Women with PCOS may experience menopause later

Menopause may be postponed by 2 to 4 years due to PCOS. Also, prior patterns suggest that menstrual cycles may become more frequent as women's reproductive years end in those with PCOS.

It seems that androgens and the anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) are involved. AMH is a good indicator of your ovarian reserve and may indicate PCOS if levels are abnormally high. The AMH test determines how many potential eggs are still in your ovaries. A low level may signal the beginning of menopause or possible infertility. 

  1. Postmenopausal women who have PCOS exhibit hyperandrogenism

Androgen levels are known to be stable or even to rise as menopause sets in while oestrogen levels drop sharply. The health risks of PCOS and menopause are worsened by prolonged exposure to high androgen levels. Take insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, dyslipidemia, and obesity seriously due to their tendency to continue or worsen after menopause.

Now, The Big Fat Question Is; Does Menopause Cure PCOS?

It's a widespread misconception that PCOS ceases when a woman reaches menopause. Sadly, this is not the case. Ageing causes a gradual decline in circulating androgen levels. However, this does not imply that your PCOS will automatically go away. 

Other androgen levels, such as DHEA, DHEA-S, androstenedione, and androstenediol, remain higher or even rise during the menopausal transition. In contrast, testosterone levels may no longer be higher after menopause than in control women.

In healthy women, testosterone levels may drop by 50% between 20 and 40. A study discovered that women with PCOS experienced a slower decline. After menopause, androgen levels did not return to normal for 20 years. This explains why PCOS symptoms may continue even after you stop menstruating. 

Takeaway

Contrary to common belief, research has shown that PCOS may not go away with menopause. An increase in body fat, especially abdominal fat, is correlated with menopause and the hormonal changes it brings about. Don't panic or despair. Be it PCOS or menopause; your symptoms will significantly improve! Living a healthy lifestyle by focusing on healthy nutrition, regular exercise, proper sleep, and incorporating beneficial Ayurvedic herbs in your everyday life can help. Try Balance Ayurveda's Woman Care range, specially made to manage PCOD, heavy, irregular, painful periods, sexuality in women, immunity, and overall women's health.

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