Menopause/ Hot flashes
What is menopause?
Menopause is a natural aging phenomenon that usually affects women between the ages of 45 and 55. The average age of menopause is around 52. It is characterized by the definitive cessation of menstruation, and therefore of fertility. Permanent cessation of menstruation is defined as the absence of menstrual periods over the last 12 months.
More precisely, this is due to the fact that the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. As women age, the production of these hormones fluctuates and menstruation and ovulation become less frequent.
In addition to the cessation of menstruation, women may experience other symptoms. These include the notorious flashes, including night sweats. Since the ovaries produce fewer hormones, the resulting deficiency can trigger flashes, which can be exacerbated by stressful activities.
Some 75-85% of women experience hot flashes, and many of them are bothered by those and require treatment. These vary from one woman to another, and can last from 30 seconds to a few minutes. They are often followed by cold sweats. Hot flashes can be classified as mild to severe. This is because some women experience sensations of heat without perspiration, without affecting their activities.
Other women, on the other hand, are more affected, experiencing heat sensations accompanied by sweating, which can lead to the cessation of their activities. On average, hot flashes can last from 4 to 5 years, but in many women, they can persist for up to a decade. And those who suffer the most can experience these up to 15 to 20 times a day.
Other symptoms of menopause
Menopausal women may also experience other symptoms, such as breast tenderness, mood swings, irritability, sleep disorders, fatigue, weight gain, vaginal dryness and worsening migraines.
Menopause is diagnosed when menstruation has been absent for one year, but certain clinical examinations may also be carried out to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment for menopause consists mainly in alleviating the symptoms. Hormonal treatment may be prescribed, as well as non-pharmaceutical measures.
To find out more about the studies currently being recruited, please contact the Alpha Clinical Research team at 418-704-1112 (Lebourgneuf) or 418-847-1112 (Val-Bélair).