Nadja Wagner is just 33 and already in the middle of the change – an event that most women may expect at the age of 50. If you meet the young, sparkling with lust for life woman, you can not imagine that their fertile years are already over. Nadja already has two children and planned no further. "But it's still a strange feeling," she says, "that nature has taken it out of my hands now." What is the exact reason for the early change? It's not known exactly. Like Nadja, more and more women seem to go. But is that statistically provable? And how bad is the change? After all, he is accompanied by side effects that can affect the quality of life quite. From the gynecologist Johannes Seidel (womanandhealth.com) we wanted to know what happens to the climacteric in the body and what you can do about it. And whether the fear of many women before a hormone replacement therapy is justified. From a social point of view, some women still have the feeling that they belong to the old iron because of the change. Under the hashtag #Klimawechsel a campaign wants to get the climacteric out of the taboo corner and give women a platform where they can share their experiences.
What happens during the change?
Hormonal crash. With the climacteric the fertile phase of the woman is over. Medically, it is called menopause if the bleeding did not occur for a year. Statistically, this happens between the ages of 49 and 55. "However, this is not a sudden process, the cessation of ovarian function takes years," explains Dr. med. Johannes Seidel. Many women find this a kind of hormone crisis. Reader Monika Wahl, for example, suffers from the same mood swings as her pubescent 16-year-old son. The fact is that by the end of egg maturation the hormone levels get mixed up. Estrogen and progesterone production decreases, later the male sex hormone testosterone. This can cause sleep disorders, dry skin and dry mucous membranes, weight gain, libido loss & mood swings to depression. In addition, many women go through a kind of mid-life crisis that does not improve with the symptoms of menopause. You can not keep the change, as Seidel knows. "But that's not a disease, it's just another change in the life cycle, so it's even more important that you discuss the therapeutic options with your doctor!" By the way, statistically it is not tenable for women to get into the bargain earlier. "There is a genetic predisposition that is likely to be prone to an early change, mostly around 40. That affects about five percent of all women," says Seidel. These numbers have not changed in the past decades. However, more is being talked about today and media attention has been drawn to it. If one thinks about when one will change one's self, the gynecologist can determine the level of the so-called anti-Mueller hormone level. If this is high, but the estrogen is low, the change over the next five years is likely. There is also a hint of early change cases in the family.
Can the lifestyle lead to a premature menopause?
Oocytes predetermined. In itself, the time of change with the end of the oocyte reserves is given. Of those, we have between 300,000 and 500,000 from birth, with each cycle consuming 40 to 60. An unhealthy lifestyle with too much alcohol and cigarettes, obesity, lack of exercise and poor nutrition can negatively affect the oocyte reserve – for a maximum of one to two years. "The oocytes are like small hard drives, they save everything," says gynecologist Seidel. If you pay too little attention to your health, it can affect your quality and thus the hormone production of the ovaries. Also operations on the ovary, in which egg cell material must be removed, eg. As when peeling cysts, this can result. Abdominal interventions such as ligation or uterine obliteration rather have little effect. Another topic is serious diseases like cancer. Due to the chemotherapy, the oocytes are badly damaged, many affected women get no more period. This is even desirable in the case of hormone-induced cancers (eg many breast cancers). Sufferers must anyway make an anti-hormone therapy.
Is the fear of hormone replacement therapy justified?
Bioidentical hormones. But what do you do now if you suffer from change symptoms? That's 70 to 80 percent of women, to varying degrees. Is one damned to get through this? By no means, Dr. Seidel. He sees hormone replacement therapy as a simple and by far most effective aid. However, many women are afraid of this because it is supposed to increase the risk of cancer. But these allegations are unfounded, as the expert explains: "There were two major studies in the 1990s that suggested an increased cancer risk, but the design of these studies was very questionable, with the majority of the women involved being over 60 years old Therapy started, an age when it does not make any sense, and we also worked with artificial hormones that did not work exactly like our body's own. " Today, many doctors use bioidentical hormones. These are biochemically built exactly like the body's own. Also, they are usually not taken orally, but applied in creams on the skin and so not metabolised by the liver. Thus, the side effects from the studies in question do not exist. On the contrary, the therapy even has positive effects: the risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's is decreasing. Skin and hair are also much thicker and denser due to the added estrogen. Although the risk of breast cancer increases slightly after five years of therapy, the risk of lack of exercise and obesity is much higher in comparison. "The important thing is to start the therapy at the right time, ideally within the first five years that the change sets in. And then, of course, you have to question it again and again – do you still need it?" Seidel. By the way, a premature change is an important indication for hormone replacement therapy: "These women lack hormonal ten years in the natural aging process, because you should already do something." Of course, it is always clarified in advance, if medical reasons speak against treatment. If a woman does not want to take hormones, there is also the possibility of plant preparations, so-called phytohormones. These dock in the body at the same receptors as the corresponding hormones and thus develop a similar effect. They certainly help against the risk of osteoporosis, aesthetic side effects and mild symptoms. However, they do not help against strong change symptoms, as Seidel knows.
New campaign: #change of climate
Blogging. Remains the fact that the female change in our society is still partly biased. Some women can not talk openly, they have to listen to stupid sayings about moodiness and getting older. The Phytohormonpr paratehersteller Dr. Schreiber has therefore launched the initiative # Climate Change. On einfach-besser-leben.at affected women blog about their very personal concerns on the topic and their related experiences. There are also other women looking for who want to share their experiences. Simply apply under experts <AT> dr-schreibers.at.