In women, the time when the menstrual period becomes less frequent, and finally stops altogether, is known as menopause. It may occur at any time between the ages of 40 and 55, although most women experience the symptoms in the ages from 47 to 50.
Apart from the physical changes of menopause, many women experience other problems. Adaptation to the idea of approaching old age and the end of childbearing is often extremely difficult. Some women become severely depressed.
Clinical symptoms usually accompanying menopause may include:
- Hot flushes
- Nervous tension and irritability
- Sleep difficulty
Hormonal replacement is perhaps the most commonly used therapy in western medicine to relieve some of the troublesome symptoms of the menopause. However, some patients experience side effects, including nausea, breast tenderness and weight gain. Recent research has shown that hormonal replacement therapy increases the risk of cancer of the uterus.
Menopause is a natural phenomenon which every woman living long enough will experience. The troublesome symptoms of menopause last on average for up to two years. However, some women may still suffer some of the difficulties after five years of menopause.
In terms of traditional Chinese medicine, menopause is due to the declining or exhaustion of kidney Qi. This breaks the balance between Yin and Yang and disturbs the harmony within the body. As a result, women in menopause suffer various symptoms listed previously.
Strengthening the functions of the kidney and to restore the balance between Yin and Yang is, therefore, important. Some of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause can be relieved or reduced by treatment using herbal medicine and/or acupuncture.
Traditional Chinese medicine has been proved to be effective in relieving menopause syndrome and the side effects, if any, are negligible compared to the chemicals used in west medicine.