Listen to this article
Just like periods, menopause is a part of life which is fairly uncomfortable for women. It is the phase where women stop menstruating as their ovaries decrease hormonal production. This decreased levels of hormones are what wreaks havoc on the body and cause uncomfortable symptoms.
Menopause symptoms may also arise as the result of radiotherapy to the pelvic field, surgical removal of the ovaries, or systemic chemotherapy. When such procedures occur in pre-menopausal or peri-menopausal women, they often result in sudden and sometimes irreversible menopause that is accompanied by more frequent and severe menopause symptoms.
Various cancer-treating endocrine therapies, such as the use of tamoxifen, can also amplify symptoms, especially hot flashes. A new study involving nearly 300 women who sought to investigate the association between self-reported physical activity and menopause symptoms.
A little physical activity doesn’t harm anyone. Moreover, it has plenty of benefits, and now a new study published in the journal of The North American Menopause Society also suggests that the intensity and volume of physical activity could mitigate some of the amplified symptoms of menopause.
In addition, the researchers evaluated whether intervention targeting lifestyle behaviour could improve changes in physical activity levels and menopause symptoms. Results suggest that menopause symptoms are less severe in women with medium to high levels of physical activity than in women with low levels of such activity. The intervention, however, was not determined to play a role in increasing physical activity in women being treated for breast, reproductive, or blood cancers.
Although this is not the first study to examine the association of physical activity with menopause symptoms, it is the first to look specifically at the volume and intensity of physical activity.
Severe menopause symptoms, including poor mental well-being, are associated with a sedentary lifestyle and low physical activity, even in women experiencing natural menopause.
Researchers of the current study additionally found that women being treated for breast cancer, for example, who experience worse menopause symptoms are less likely to engage in health-promoting behaviours.
“This study highlights some of the many known benefits of exercise in women with or without cancer. Although the exercise was not associated with less bothersome hot flashes, findings consistent with prior studies, it may help with other menopause symptoms, including mood and sleep disturbances,” said Dr Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.