I am experiencing hot flushes. Why is this?
Hot flushes are a very common symptom of the menopause and affect around 75% of women. Although they may feel dramatic, they are generally harmless.
They occur because of a hormonal disruption: the secretion of oestrogen is reduced, leading to a hormonal imbalance which unsettles the internal mechanism for regulating body temperature.
On average, hot flushes appear for around 3 to 5 years, and can arrive sporadically several times per day, often in the middle of the night.
In order to evaluate them, a series of examinations is necessary, such as a hormonal assessment of the blood with the calculation of sexual and thyroid hormones.
To calm hot flushes, a personalised treatment will be prescribed, taking into account the risks and the advantages. There are several possible approaches: a substitutive hormonal treatment, phytotherapy or dietary supplements.
Why has my sex drive decreased?
A drop or absence of sexual desire can be caused by many factors. For example, your libido may drop in the case of a hormonal disorder, as well as during difficult or stressful periods. It may also be related to a disease, medicine you are taking or your psychological state.
In order to obtain an accurate diagnosis, to discover the cause of the problem and to seek help, it is important to consult with your gynaecologist and to complete a few examinations, including a hormone assessment.
A variety of treatments may be offered, ranging from psychological coaching to the introduction of certain hormones, or phytotherapy.
Why is my skin dry?
The texture of the skin and its level of hydration are often dependent on the quantity of liquid consumed during the day. A good level of hydration – a minimum of 1.5 litres per day – enables the prevention of dryness.
For older women, dryness of the skin is related to a reduction in hormones: the skin effectively tends to retain water less efficiently.
Dryness can be prevented by the local application of a hydrating cream, good water-drinking habits, and if necessary, by the introduction of a substitutive hormonal treatment.
Why am I unable to concentrate?
Problems with concentration can arise when your hormones are imbalanced. They may also be accompanied by other symptoms: hot flushes, dryness and mood swings.
However, the reason for the difficulty you are experiencing on focussing your attention on something may also be the result of a physical or psychological overload.
In any case, a medical check-up could help to shed light on the situation. This will generally involve a hormonal assessment in order to measure various aspects and to exclude anaemia, thyroid disorders or a hormonal imbalance.
Treatment options will be decided upon depending on the diagnosis.
When should I start going for breast cancer screening?
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer to affect the female population in Switzerland, with almost 6000 cases per year. It is also the main cause of cancer-related deaths. The earlier it is detected, the better your chances for a successful treatment.
If your family does not have a history of cancer, it is recommended that you schedule a screening by mammogram when you are 50 years old. A canton based screening programme (https://www.swisscancerscreening.ch/fr) enables you go for screening every two years. This will be reimbursed by your basic health insurance.
If a close relative has had breast cancer, it is recommended to begin screening earlier.