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Can Periods Just Stop During Menopause

At What Age Do Most Women Reach Menopause

Can Periods Restart After Menopause?

The medical definition of menopause is no menstrual bleeding for a year, according to Lauren Streicher, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and the medical director of the Northwestern Center for Menopause and the Northwestern Center for Sexual Medicine in Chicago.

Most women experience menopause between age 40 and 58, and the average age at menopause is 51, according to the North American Menopause Society.

Many women are surprised when they go through menopause in their forties because they think theyre too young, but its not unusual, says Dr. Streicher.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • Do my symptoms indicate that I might be going through menopause?
  • My menstrual cycle is irregular. Could it be caused by something other than menopause?
  • Im uncomfortable and/or dont feel well. Is there a way to safely treat my symptoms?
  • Ive heard that soy products or herbal supplements may help. Are these effective? Are they good options for me?
  • Am I a candidate for hormone replacement therapy?
  • What are the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy?
  • Am I at risk for heart disease or osteoporosis?
  • Do I need any tests, such as bone density screening?
  • Now that Im going through menopause, what changes, if any, should I make to my diet and exercise?

What If You Want To Get Pregnant After You’ve Hit Menopause

Okay, so let’s say you’ve already hit menopausemeaning you haven’t had a period in 12 months or morebut you would still like to get pregnant. Luckily, if that’s your choice, science is on your side through a process called in vitro fertilization .

According to the US National Library of Medicine , IVF is essentially the joining of a woman’s egg with a man’s sperm, outside of the woman’s body . In women who are of childbearing age, there are five steps to IVF: stimulation, egg retrieval, insemination and fertilization, embryo culture, and embryo transfer. However, because women who have already gone through menopause are not producing eggs, they do not need to go through the first two steps, and will instead have to use eggs from a donor.

From there, it’s like any other IVF pregnancy: Once a fertilized egg divides and become an embryo outside of the body, per the NLM, it’s placed inside the woman’s womb, where she can carry the embryo, then fetus, to term.

The bottom line: If you havent yet reached menopause but are perimenopausal, you can definitely still get pregnant. But if youve already hit menopause when you decide you want to consider motherhood, its not necessarily too late” for that, either.

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Complementary And Natural Remedies

As menopause is a natural event, some women dont want any medical intervention, while others try complementary and natural remedies. These include:

  • phytoestrogens including soy extracts or red clover isoflavones
  • foods rich in vitamins B and E
  • black cohosh
  • evening primrose oil and
  • acupuncture.

Research into the possible benefits of such remedies is ongoing and some may not have any benefit at all. There is currently not enough evidence showing that complementary medicines are effective for doctors to routinely recommend their use. Also, natural or herbal remedies can have serious side effects just like other medicines. Black cohosh, for example, has been linked with several reports of liver damage.

My Periods Have Changed Is Menopause Around The Corner

How to know, is my period normal?

An ob-gyn explains the course of perimenopause.

    Its a common scene in any ob-gyn practice: A patient comes in, concerned that her periods have changed. Whats going on? she asks. Is this menopause?

    If youre a woman in your 40s, a change in your menstrual periods is the hallmark of perimenopause thats what we call the years leading up to your last menstrual period.

    Heres a look at how we diagnose perimenopause and menopause, and what else to expect as you enter this phase of life.

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    Healthy Diet And Menopause

    Suggestions for maintaining good health through diet at the time of menopause include:

    • Choose a wide variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, cereals, whole grains and small portions of lean meat, fish or chicken.
    • Increase fluids and eat low-fat dairy foods with high calcium content.

    The Course Of Perimenopause

    A change in your periods is often the first sign of perimenopause, but there are other signs to look out for. The most common are hot flashes, sleep problems, vaginal dryness, mood changes, and a decrease in sex drive. Not every woman will experience all of these symptoms. For those who have symptoms, they may come in any order.

    Once these symptoms arrive, most women can expect menopause itself to be a few years away.

    There are many treatments to help with bothersome symptoms like hot flashes and sleeplessness. Even a few years of hormone therapy can help you get through the worst of it.

    If you are prone to anxiety or depression, know that perimenopause can bring those conditions back to the surface. Finding a support network can make a big difference. Antidepressants also may be an option.

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    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.

    If You Are Having Very Difficult Symptoms Of Menopause Including Irregular Periods You Should Consider Some Changes To Your Lifestyle As Necessary

    What is the menopause?

    Please visit our Treatments page and Lifestyle pages for some information and inspiration on a wide variety of topics from Nutrition to Exercise, Sex and your changing home and wardrobe at midlife. Here at My Second Spring, we’re interested in chatting to you about all things midlife not just the pesky symptoms of menopause. We hope you’ll find lots of cool articles to read there and also on our blog.

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    Cancer Risk And Age At Menopause

    According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, women who experience late-onset menopause have an increased risk of uterine and breast cancer. This is due to having an increased exposure to hormones such as estrogen. As women menstruate longer, they have more ovulations which also increases the risk of ovarian cancer. Women with a long reproductive life, menarche before the age of 12 years and menopause after age 55 years have an increased risk of these hormone-dependent cancers. A pooled analysis of data from more than 400,000 women found for every year older a woman was at menopause, breast cancer risk increased by approximately 3%.

    Alternative And Natural Treatments And Supplements For Menopause Symptoms

    There is no scientific consensus on the benefits or risks of any complementary or alternative treatment for menopausal symptoms. Many small trials may show individual benefits, but when data from multiple studies is analysed together the results are difficult to draw conclusions from . This important area of research is greatly underfunded, leaving people to test things on their own, or take other routes.

    Some examples of treatments that have been explored:

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    Your Diet And The Menopause

    A natural menopause occurs because as you age your ovaries stop producing eggs and make less oestrogen . The average age of the menopause in the UK is 51. Your menopause is said to be early if it occurs before the age of 45.

    There are certain things that may cause an early menopause – for example:

    • If you have surgery to remove your ovaries for some reason, you are likely to develop menopausal symptoms straightaway.
    • If you have radiotherapy to your pelvic area as a treatment for cancer.
    • Some chemotherapy medicines that treat cancer may lead to an early menopause.
    • If you have had your womb removed before your menopause. Your ovaries will still make oestrogen. However, it is likely that the level of oestrogen will fall at an earlier age than average. As you do not have periods after a hysterectomy, it may not be clear when you are in ‘the menopause’. However, you may develop some typical symptoms when your level of oestrogen falls.
    • An early menopause can run in some families.
    • In many women who have an early menopause, no cause can be found.

    If your menopause occurs before you are 40, it is due to premature ovarian insufficiency. Read more about premature ovarian insufficiency.

    Does The Age My Mother Reached Menopause Mean Anything

    Period won

    Most likely your moms age at menopause will provide a clue. When we look at the things that are the greatest determinants for when someone is going to go through menopause, genetics seems to be one of the most important things, says Streicher.

    A womans race or ethnicity can influence when she goes through menopause, too, she says. Findings from the Study of Womens Health Across the Nation indicate that women of color tend to begin perimenopause and menopause at earlier ages than white women.

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    The question I always ask women when they ask when theyre going to go through menopause is, When did your mom go through menopause? because that is very often predictive, says Streicher.

    Theres a lot of truth in that. You may follow what happened with your mother if she went through menopause early or late, you may, too, she says.

    Certain medical conditions such as autoimmune problems, issues, and can make a woman go through menopause earlier, adds Streicher.

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    Should I Be Worried About Late

    Posted4 years agobyAndreas Obermair

    At what age do you expect menopause to occur? How does it affect your health and cancer risk?

    Menopause occurs when a womans ovaries stop releasing hormones. Naturally, a womans production of estrogen and progesterone hormones decrease in her late forties, which may cause menstrual periods eventually stopping. The age where most women become menopausal is between 50 and 54 years. In this context menopause is defined as not having a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months. As the hormone levels decrease, this may come with symptoms such as hot flushes, headaches, insomnia, mood swings and depression. Some women dont have symptoms at all. Others may have symptoms at varying severity for 5 to 10 years.

    Periods Get Closer Together

    For other women, their periods will start to get closer together. So instead of 28 days, it can go down to 24, 25 days. Sometimes, these periods get closer together, they can get longer, so instead of being maybe four or five days, they might start to go six to seven days as well. So you’ve got this phase of periods getting closer together, possibly getting longer, and possibly getting a bit heavier as well at this particular point.

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    What Can I Do About Hot Flashes

    Hot flashes occur from a decrease in estrogen levels. In response to this, your glands release higher amounts of other hormones that affect the brain’s thermostat, causing your body temperature to fluctuate. Hormone therapy has been shown to relieve some of the discomfort of hot flashes for many women. However, the decision to start using these hormones should be made only after you and your healthcare provider have evaluated your risk versus benefit ratio.

    To learn more about women’s health, and specifically hormone therapy, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health launched the Women’s Health Initiative in 1991. The hormone trial had 2 studies: the estrogen-plus-progestin study of women with a uterus and the estrogen-alone study of women without a uterus. Both studies ended early when the research showed that hormone therapy did not help prevent heart disease and it increased risk for some medical problems. Follow-up studies found an increased risk of heart disease in women who took estrogen-plus-progestin therapy, especially those who started hormone therapy more than 10 years after menopause.

    The WHI recommends that women follow the FDA advice on hormone therapy. It states that hormone therapy should not be taken to prevent heart disease.

    Practical suggestions for coping with hot flashes include:

    Should I Continue Using Birth Control During The Transition To Menopause

    Should I worry if periods stop suddenly? What could be the reason? – Dr. Sukirti Jain

    Yes. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause, the transition to menopause, even if you miss your period for a month or a few months. During perimenopause you may still ovulate, or release an egg, on some months.

    But it is impossible to know for sure when you will ovulate. If you dont want to get pregnant, you should continue to use birth control until one full year after your last period. Talk to your doctor about your birth control needs. Learn more about different birth control methods.

    You cant get pregnant after menopause, but anyone who has sex can get sexually transmitted infections . If you are not in a monogamous relationship in which you and your partner have sex with each other and no one else, protect yourself by using a male condom or dental dam correctly every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. After menopause you may be more likely to get an STI from sex without a condom. Vaginal dryness or irritation is more common after menopause and can cause small cuts or tears during sex, exposing you to STIs.

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    What Do You Need To Know About The Menopause

    The menopause is the natural process women go through as they reach a certain age and signals the point when a womans monthly periods have come to an end.

    Although reaching the menopause technically means you have had your last ever period, we often use this phrase to describe the lead up to your periods stopping. Periods rarely just stop suddenly, many women experience irregular periods for some time. This might include heavier, more painful periods or lighter, less frequent ones these patterns can go on for a number of years. Every woman is different but you are generally considered to be fully through the menopause after not having a period for at least two years.

    Alongside the often irregular periods, many women often experience a whole number of symptoms in the lead up to the menopause as oestrogen begins to drop, this can be anything from hot flushes to joint pain.

    On this page I give a quick overview of what the menopause involves and specifically the effects it can have on the menstrual cycle. Visit A.Vogel Talks Menopause for more in-depth information and video blogs from our menopause expert Eileen.

    Hormone Levels Fluctuate Leading To Menopause

    As you approach menopause, the production of female hormones by the ovaries starts to slow down. Hormone levels tend to fluctuate, and you may notice changes in your menstrual cycle such as:

    • period cycles may become longer, shorter or totally irregular
    • bleeding may become lighter
    • bleeding may become unpredictable and heavy .

    Eventually, your hormone levels will fall to a point where your ovaries stop releasing eggs, your periods stop and menopause is reached.Although fertility after the age of 45 is low, you still need to use contraception to prevent pregnancy. Its recommended to continue contraception until you have had one year without a natural period if youre over 50 years old, or two years without a natural period if youre under 50.

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    What Is Perimenopause Or The Transition To Menopause

    Perimenopause , or the menopausal transition, is the time leading up to your last period. Perimenopause means around menopause.

    Perimenopause is a long transition to menopause, or the time when your periods stop permanently and you can no longer get pregnant. As your body transitions to menopause, your hormone levels may change randomly, causing menopause symptoms unexpectedly. During this transition, your ovaries make different amounts of the hormones estrogen and progesterone than usual.

    Irregular periods happen during this time because you may not ovulate every month. Your periods may be longer or shorter than usual. You might skip a few months or have unusually long or short menstrual cycles. Your period may be heavier or lighter than before. Many women also have hot flashes and other menopause symptoms during this transition.

    Other Causes For Period Changes

    15 symptoms that telling when menopause will start

    The regular monthly period is not the only reason why people may bleed.

    Because a persons periods are often irregular during perimenopause, they should pay extra attention for any abnormal symptoms particularly as some uterus-related conditions are more common during and after perimenopause.

    People may bleed because of:

    • Endometrial atrophy. Low estrogen in perimenopause and menopause can cause the tissue of the uterus to get very thin, which can cause irregular bleeding.
    • Uterine polyps. These are benign growths that can grow inside the uterus and cervix. Polyps do not always cause symptoms, but some people notice bleeding after sex.
    • Endometrial hyperplasia. Hormonal shifts can cause the lining of the uterus to thicken in perimenopause. When the body has too much estrogen without enough progesterone, this thickness may cause bleeding. Bleeding is its most common symptom. Endometrial hyperplasia is treatable but can increase a persons risk of cancer.
    • Uterine Cancer. Uterine cancer happens when abnormal or atypical cells progress into cancer. Though rare, it generally presents with heavy bleeding or postmenopausal bleeding.

    Perimenopause is not a disease and does not require treatment. It can, however, increase peoples risk of developing certain diseases. Moreover, the menstrual cycle can change for reasons other than perimenopause.

    Anyone experiencing changes in their menstrual cycle should see a doctor for a diagnosis.

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