Its Best Not To Ignore Any Changes That Cause You Distress
You may cringe at the thought of talking to your gynecologist about sex. But rest assured, there is no reason to feel awkward. If youre dealing with these changes and are very much unhappy with them, talk to your doctor. Right now, this may be a conversation that needs to take place via telehealth due to the pandemic. If you feel dismissed, then Dr. Rowen encourages you to consider switching to another provider if at all possible. Go find someone who will listen to you and take your problems seriously, Dr. Rowen says. Together, you can come up with a treatment plan that may help you have a more fulfilling sex life, even after menopause.
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In Vitro Fertilization After Menopause
IVF after menopause has been successfully demonstrated.
Postmenopausal eggs are no longer viable, but there are still two ways you can take advantage of IVF. You can use eggs you had frozen earlier in life, or you can use fresh or frozen donor eggs.
You will also need hormone therapy to prepare your body for implantation and to carry a baby to term.
When compared with premenopausal women, postmenopausal women are more likely to experience both minor and major complications of pregnancy after IVF.
Depending on your overall state of health, IVF after menopause may not be an option for you. Its worth consulting with a fertility expert who has worked with postmenopausal women.
What Are Hot Flashes
Hot flashes can be a pretty unpleasant symptom of perimenopause and menopause. We dont totally understand the cause of hot flashes.
Most people describe a hot flash as a sudden hot feeling that spreads all over your body but mostly the upper body, like your arms, chest, and face. You may also get sweaty, and your fingers may tingle and your heart may beat faster. A typical hot flash usually lasts anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes.
Hot flashes at night are called night sweats. Sometimes they can get so severe that you soak your sheets with sweat.
Hot flashes are super common. More than 3 out of 4 people have them while going through perimenopause and menopause.
Nothing will make hot flashes stop completely, but there are some things you can do to help get some relief. Wearing light, loose clothes, keeping your room cool, drinking cold liquids, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine can help you stay cool.
Prescription hot flash treatments can be helpful, too. Hormone therapy works best to treat hot flashes, but other medicines like SSRIs and SNRIs and clonidine may also help. Research shows that herbs, vitamins, acupuncture, and reflexology dont help with hot flashes.
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It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
As you head toward the big change, keep in mind that diaper changes arent quite out of the picture just yet. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause defined as the years leading up to your final period.
This menopausal transition brings unpredictable ovulation cycles as estrogen and progesterone hormone levels go up and down. During these years of yo-yoing hormone levels, your ovaries continue to release eggs for fertilization. Translation: You can still become pregnant.
Premier Health Ob/Gyn physician J. Scott Bembry, MD, says hes seen a handful of patients in his own practice whove become unintentionally pregnant in their late 40s.
Treatment For Perimenopause Symptoms
Perimenopause often coincides with other life changes and stressors, such as kids going off to college, caring for elderly parents, divorce and illness. Depression is common among women of this age group. So treating symptoms of perimenopause often depends on how bad the symptoms have gotten and how much its messing up your life. Dr. Craparo advises asking ourselves: Is this life-threatening to me? Should I be doing something about it right now? Is it affecting my quality of life? Do I want to do something?
Dr. Craparo admits, the physician in her wants to fix things, to make her patients better, but people dont always want it to be fixed. Her approach begins with taking the time to educate her patients about this phase of their lives. She finds that many patients benefit from validation and education alone, simply understanding whats going on, knowing theyre not crazy, and that there are legitimate reasons why theyre not feeling good. Some women prefer to make improvements in diet and exercise and just let this phase of life play out while others prefer to correct problems medically or surgically.
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A Postscript From June Girvin July :
To all you lovely women who have commented on this blog THANK YOU.When I wrote this in 2015, I had no idea it would still be being read and resonating with women 5 years later. I also spent quite a while making my mind up whether to share such a personal experience. I am so glad I did if knowing that you are not alone has helped just one other woman, just one little bit, then it is so worthwhile. And to see so many of you posting and talking to each other about your experiences and supporting each other is a joy. I hope all of you find your way through, with or without medical help. Good luck.June
Changes In Menstrual Cycle
Women who are pregnant or in perimenopause will see shifts in their menstrual cycle because of hormonal changes. A missed period is a tell-tale sign of pregnancy, while irregular periods may mean the onset of menopause.
Signs of irregular menstruation include changes in blood flow, light spotting, and longer or shorter periods. Its important to remember that irregular periods could indicate another condition. Speak with your doctors about any concerns.
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You Can Still Get Pregnant During Perimenopause
Perimenopause is defined as the years leading up to menopause, which formally occurs one full year after your last period. During this time, women may experience all the trademark symptoms usually associated with menopause like night sweats, hot flashes, and mood swings. These symptoms make it seem like you cant get pregnant anymore, but thats not entirely true. As long as you still have your periodno matter how irregularyou can still get pregnant.
What Are Common Menopause Symptoms
Some common menopause symptoms are:
Irregular periods: Periods becoming shorter, longer, heavier, lighter. Skipping periods.
Hot flashes: A hot flash is a sudden, sometimes intense feeling of heat that rushes to your face and upper body. Hot flashes can be really uncomfortable, but they usually only last a few minutes. They can happen a few times a day, a few times a week, or a few times a month.
Night sweats: Hot flashes that wake you up in the middle of the night.
Sleep problems: You may have insomnia trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. You may also start to wake up much earlier than you used to.
Vaginal changes: The lining of your vagina may become thinner, drier, or less stretchy. This can cause dryness or discomfort during sex.
Urinary or bladder infections: You may have to pee more often or get more frequent urinary tract or bladder infections.
Mood changes: Hormone changes can make you feel anxious, irritable, and tired. Your sex drive might change, too.
Weaker bones: Your bones will probably weaken during menopause. If its really bad, it can lead to osteoporosis after menopause. Getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D, and exercising for at least 30 minutes most days of the week can help you maintain bone health.
Some people may have a long and difficult perimenopause, up to 1012 years. But most people find that the common menopause symptoms are temporary and only last 35 years.
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Menopause No Weight Gain Look 8 Months Pregnant Abdomen Swollen
kyall65 over a year ago
Guest over a year ago
stinkdier over a year ago
I’m 49 and started having irregular periods when I turned 40. My doctor told me I was too young for menopause but I suspected otherwise! I haven’t had a period for over 2 years so figure I’m now post menopausal. What has disappointed me is that only 2 years ago I was a relatively trim size 12 and now I weigh what I did at the end of my second pregnancy which was 21 years ago.
Admittedly I don’t exercise but I am careful with my food intake and do eat healthily. While I feel I got off fairly easily with menopause symptoms the weight gain is depressing. I don’t want to excuse my weight gain by saying “oh, I’m post menopausal so that’s my excuse” but I hate looking 9 months pregnant – especially as I’m only 5’1″ high! I don’t even have height on my side to conceal it!
Hot Flashes & Night Sweats
Hot flashes and night sweats are common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, with over 85% of women reporting hot flashes. Hormone changes affect your bodys internal thermostat. A hot flash feels like a wave or sensation of heat across your face, neck, and chest. It can last for several minutes. Hot flashes can happen a few times a day, a few times a week, or less often.
Hot flashes that happen at night are called night sweats, which can cause women to wake up drenched in sweat and disturb sleep. Women are more likely to report hot flashes at night.
What Can I Do If I Have Trouble Sleeping
Youre not alone50 percent of women ages 40 to 59 report poor sleep quality. Try following these tips to improve your sleep hygiene:
- Be physically active during the day.
- Avoid large meals, smoking, and working right before bed.
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool.
- Avoid napping.
- Limit the bedroom to sleep and intimacy.
- Wear lightweight clothing.
How Does Menopause Affect My Bladder Control
Unfortunately, bladder control issues are common for women going through menopause. There are several reasons why this happens, including:
- Estrogen. This hormone plays several roles in your body. It not only controls your period and promotes changes in your body during pregnancy, estrogen also keeps the lining of your bladder and urethra healthy.
- Pelvic floor muscles. Supporting the organs in your pelvis your bladder and uterus are called the pelvic floor muscles. Throughout your life, these muscles can weaken. This can happen during pregnancy, childbirth and from weight gain. When the muscles weaken, you can experience urinary incontinence .
Specific bladder control problems that you might have can include:
- Stress incontinence .
- Urge incontinence .
- Painful urination .
- Nocturia .
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It Can Help To Think About Ivf Years Before Perimenopause
While in-vitro fertilization is a popular option for many women waiting to start their families, its not an option for everyone. For example, freezing your oocytes before age 35 can contribute to healthier IVF pregnancies and births later in life.4 Starting these conversations earlier with your doctor can help you best match your life stage to your life goals, and stay in control of your reproductive health.
How To Stay Healthy
So what can we do to counteract the negative impacts of menopause on our immune system? We can make our immune system as robust and vigorous as possible.
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Cholesterol Changes And Increased Risk Of Heart Disease
A loss of estrogen can cause an increase in LDL cholesterol, sometimes referred to as bad cholesterol. It can also lead to a decrease in HDL, or good cholesterol. This increases your risk of heart disease.
increased six-foldTrusted Source for women ages 35-44, on average. Birth rates have also increased for women over 45. Additionally, birth rates in this age range have increased by 5 percent in 2015. At the same time, many women start to experience menopause symptoms between 45 and 55 years old. The average age for perimenopause is 51, and an estimated 6,000 women in the United States reach menopause every day.
If youre still having menstrual periods, its possible to become pregnant.
Uterine Bleeding: Whats Normal Whats Not
One concern for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women is knowing whether irregular uterine bleeding is normal. Most women notice normal changes in their cycle as they approach menopause. Periods are often heavy or more frequent, and they may stop and start. But abnormal uterine bleeding may be a sign of benign gynecologic problems or even uterine cancer. Consult your physician if any of the following situations occur:
- You have a few periods that last three days longer than usual.
- You have a few menstrual cycles that are shorter than 21 days.
- You bleed after intercourse.
- You have heavy monthly bleeding .
- You have spotting .
- You have bleeding that occurs outside the normal pattern associated with hormone use.
When you report abnormal vaginal bleeding, your clinician will try to determine whether the cause is an anatomic problem or a hormonal issue. He or she also will investigate other possible causes. In addition to identifying the cause, he or she will help you manage any excess bleeding, which sometimes leads to anemia.
On rare occasions, postmenopausal women experience uterine bleeding from a ârogue ovulation,â which is vaginal bleeding after a hiatus that may be preceded by premenstrual symptoms such as breast tenderness. Presumably, the ovaries are producing some hormones and maybe a final egg.
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How To Bring It Up To A Healthcare Professional
Mention symptoms of perimenopause to a healthcare professional as soon as you begin noticing them. This can go a long way toward helping you get relief.
That said, theres no denying many professionals dismiss milder symptoms or seem disinterested in making the effort to understand your distress. This can be disheartening but dont feel obligated to continue seeing a doctor who doesnt respect your understanding of your own body.
If possible, consider seeking out a healthcare professional you can trust who truly listens and works to help you find relief.
If thats not an option, keep restating your concerns until they listen. Be clear and specific about:
- symptoms you experience
- how symptoms affect your life
- the methods youve tried to find relief
It may help to keep a daily diary, noting:
- physical symptoms
- mood changes and mental health symptoms
- self-care strategies or home remedies youve tried
Bring this diary to your appointments, so you can show your doctor.
The most important tool for navigating thoughts of death and suicide is connection and support, Botnick says.
Support might include:
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Are There Any Other Emotional Changes That Can Happen During Menopause
Menopause can cause a variety of emotional changes, including:
- A loss of energy and insomnia.
- A lack of motivation and difficulty concentrating.
- Anxiety, depression, mood changes and tension.
- Aggressiveness and irritability.
All of these emotional changes can happen outside of menopause. You have probably experienced some of them throughout your life. Managing emotional changes during menopause can be difficult, but it is possible. Your healthcare provider may be able to prescribe a medication to help you . It may also help to just know that there is a name to the feeling you are experiencing. Support groups and counseling are useful tools when dealing with these emotional changes during menopause.
How Does Menopause Affect Iron Levels In My Blood
If you are still having periods as you go through menopause, you may continue to be at risk of a low iron level. This is especially true if your bleeding is heavy or you spot between periods. This can lead to anemia. Talk with your doctor about the amount of iron thats right for you. Good sources of iron include spinach, beans, and meat. Your doctor may also suggest that you take an iron supplement.