HIV/AIDS is the third leading cause of death in women aged 25 to 44. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, which greatly weakens the body’s immune system, causing infections and illnesses, that people cannot fight off. Women experience menopause between the ages of 45 and older, with the average age being 51. However, studies have shown that women living with HIV can experience menopause at a much earlier age. What can be confusing about HIV and menopause, is that menopausal symptoms can be the same for both HIV and menopause.
Due to the discovery of highly effective antiretroviral therapy treatments, HIV men and women are living longer lives. For women with an increased life expectancy into their 50′s and 60′s, they will experience menopausal symptoms with still infected with HIV. The mean age of menopause in HIV infected women is around 47 or 48 years of age. You can always use something like Profemin during your meanopause to get rid of the hot flashes and get a better sleep.
The HIV disease can accelerate the body’s aging system in various ways, including, like menopause, causing hormone levels to rise and fall, which creates menopausal type symptoms. This can mean that HIV women can experience night sweats just like menopause related hot flashes, vaginal dryness can be confused as a yeast infection. Menstrual cycles can be interrupted or stopped, just like menopausal menses interruptions.
Older women with HIV is a field of study that continues to be researched due to reports of increased severity of menopausal symptoms that are greatly affecting their daily lives. Although annoying, menopausal symptoms can be coped with, but HIV affected women seem to have a more difficult time to deal with their HIV/menopause type symptoms. The latest studies show that HIV menopausal women suffering from hot flashes, also suffered in greater amounts, from a reduction in bone density by 5% in uninfected menopausal women.
HIV medication and drug treatments have proven to have a hand in creating the onset of early menopause in women. Symptoms experienced by non-menopausal women included hot flashes and mood swings, like depression. Depression in women on antiretroviral drugs was the most common of symptoms, including the dosage given, which affected certain hormonal imbalances. Antiretroviral drugs and treatments not only lengthens a woman’s HIV infected life, but it will bring on menopause symptoms earlier than the normal age for this naturally occurring change of life event.
For HIV infected women over the age of 50, going through menopause, are receiving the same routine medical care which focuses on the HIV disease. The HIV drugs often addresses the menopausal symptoms that women experience, such as night sweats, depression, vaginal dryness, mood swings, infections, decreased libido, bone density, osteoporosis, and sleep disturbances. HIV drugs have been shown to reduce the effectiveness of hormonal treatments, like birth control pills, which contain estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen products also causes a decrease in the effectiveness of HIV drugs and treatments.
Research continues for a better understanding of how HIV/menopausal women can expect to age healthier during and after menopause. Women with HIV and who are at menopausal age, do not have any more difficulty with their symptoms than for other women. Studies continue to be conducted into how menopause and HIV influence one another, to help women live a longer and more productive life. HIV infected women of all ages must get support from family, friends, and their physicians to keep a positive attitude to help give them a healthier outcome and longer life status in managing both HIV and menopause.