Trouble Focusing And Learning
two-thirds of women may have difficulty with concentration and memory.
Keeping physically and mentally active, following a healthful diet, and maintaining an active social life can help with these issues. For example, some people benefit from finding a new hobby or joining a club or a local activity.
Do Phytoestrogen Treatments Reduce The Number And Severity Of Hot Flushes And Are They Safe And Acceptable
Cochrane evidence: A Cochrane review includes 43 randomised controlled trials with over 4000 women, but many were small, brief and poor quality, and looked at many different types of phytoestrogens.
There is no conclusive evidence to show that phytoestrogen supplements effectively reduce the frequency or severity of hot flushes and night sweats in perimenopausal or postmenopausal women.
Please note, we cannot give specific medical advice and do not publish comments that link to individual pages requesting donations or to commercial sites, or appear to endorse commercial products. We welcome diverse views and encourage discussion but we ask that comments are respectful and reserve the right to not publish any we consider offensive. Cochrane UK does not fact check or endorse readers comments, including any treatments mentioned.
Are There Any Health Risks Associated With Perimenopause
There are health risks associated with menopause, which happens right after perimenopause.
Estrogen plays an important role in preserving your bones. Osteoporosis is a condition where the insides of your bones become less dense and more fragile. This increases your risk for bone fractures. Your healthcare provider may recommend a multivitamin, calcium supplement, extra vitamin D or more weight-bearing exercises.
People in menopause are also at an increased risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular health conditions.
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How Is Premature Menopause Early Menopause And Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Diagnosed
If you begin to have symptoms of menopause before the age of 40, your healthcare provider will do several tests and ask questions to help diagnose premature or early menopause. These tests can include:
- Asking about the regularity of your menstrual periods.
- Discussing your family history of menopause at an early age.
- Testing your hormone levels .
- Looking for other medical conditions that may be contributing to your symptoms.
Women who have not had a menstrual period for 12 straight months, and are not on any medication that could stop menstruation, may have gone through menopause.
General Recommendations For Ht
Current guidelines support the use of HT for the treatment of severe hot flashes that do not respond to non-hormonal therapies. General recommendations include:
- HT may be started in women who have recently entered menopause.
- HT should not be used in women who have started menopause many years ago.
- Women should not take HT if they have risks for stroke, heart disease, blood clots, and breast cancer.
- Currently, there is no consensus on how long HT should be used or at what age it should be discontinued. Treatment should be individualized for a woman’s specific health profile.
- HT should be used only for menopause symptom management, not for chronic disease prevention.
Before starting HT, your doctor should give you a comprehensive physical exam and take your medical history to evaluate your risks for:
- Heart disease
- Breast cancer
While taking HT, you should have regular mammograms and pelvic exams and Pap smears. Current guidelines recommend that if HT is needed, it should be initiated around the time of menopause. Studies indicate that the risk of serious side effects is lower for women who use HT while in their 50s. Women who start HT past the age of 60 appear to have a higher risk for side effects such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or breast cancer. HT should be used with care in this age group.
Women who should not take hormone therapy include those with the following conditions:
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Changes In Your Breasts
The decline in estrogen hormonal levels will affect the skin in pretty sudden ways.
Your skin will become dry and less elastic.
Your breasts will lose firmness and fullness, and, in many cases, you will change cup sizes.
Furthermore, the dip in hormone levels will affect the breasts’ connective tissues and muscles.
According to the experts at Healthline, some of the changes include a stretched appearance, nipple displacement and lumpiness.
If you do feel something on your breast that feels too out of the ordinary , see the doctor for a checkup.
This article was written by Angel Chang for LittleThings.com.
Hormone Replacement Therapy For Menopause Symptoms
Hormone replacement therapy , also called hormone therapy, is sometimes prescribed during or after the menopausal transition to help relieve certain symptoms, like hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. HRT involves taking synthetic or âbioidenticalâ forms of estrogen and often synthetic progesterone. âSystemicâ HRT goes throughout the whole body and can be taken in several forms, like pill, patch, gels, creams, and sprays. For people who are only experiencing vaginal symptoms, âlocalâ HT used inside the vagina in the form of a cream, ring, or tablet may be recommended .
Also, data suggest that systemic HRT lowers the risk of osteoporosis, coronary heart disease and overall mortality in people who take it around menopause, particularly for those who have had a hysterectomy and use estrogen-only HRT, but more information is needed (39.
Systemic HRT also carries risks, including an increased chance of developing breast cancer, stroke, and blood clots . Risks vary by whether your form of HRT contains a progestin or not . Also, the risk of negative effects increases when people begin taking it after menopause, particularly 10 or more years from menopausal onset . The U.S. Federal Drug Administration currently recommends that people who choose HRT take it âat the lowest dose that helps and for the shortest timeâ .
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What’s The First Sign Of Perimenopause
The first perimenopause sign is typically a disruption of your menstrual cycle. For many women, your period starts earlier or later than normal. For example, if your menstrual cycle has always been 28 days, during perimenopause, your period could come as early as 21 or as late as 35 days. Some women start skipping months entirely and then experience heavier-than-normal periods when they do have them.
What Are Treatment Options If You Have A Lower Sex Drive During Perimenopause
If you do experience a loss in libido and are unhappy about it, there are some things you can do to help. Experts recommend asking your doctor about Hormone Replacement Therapy, using over-the-counter lubricants, exercising to improve your mood and self-esteem, communicating with your partner to let them know what youre going through, and, whether you have a partner or not, changing things up.
Perimenopause and menopause are natural stages of life, but they can be challenging ones as well. Its nice to know that along with hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia, some perimenopausal women are finding that their sex drives are skyrocketing, and that they are experiencing magic. Heres hoping you are one of these women and if not, that you get the help you need to turn up the heat!
This article was written by Kelly Dwyer, a published novelist, playwright, and freelance writer.
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At What Age Do Most Women Reach 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.
What Is The Difference Between Early And Premature Menopause
Early or premature menopause happens when ovaries stop making hormones and periods stop at a younger age than usual . This can happen naturally or for a medical reason, such as when both ovaries are removed in a hysterectomy.
Early and premature menopause can have the same causes. The only difference is the age at which it happens. Menopause that happens before age 45 is called early menopause. Menopause that happens before age 40 is called premature menopause.
Women who have gone through early or premature menopause cannot get pregnant.
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What Are The First Signs Of Perimenopause
Generally, the first sign of perimenopause is irregular periods. Most people will go from having fairly predictable menstrual cycles to unpredictable cycles. A lot of people also experience the most common signs of menopause like hot flashes and vaginal dryness fairly early into the menopause transition.
Hormonal Changes And Weight Gain
As you approach menopause, the levels of estrogen in your body drop rapidly. At the same time, levels of a hormone called androgen increase . This can cause a hormonal imbalance, which in and of itself can cause weight gain.
People who have a hormonal imbalance may also experience a new level of hunger. You may also notice that youre hungry for different types of foods. Just like your periods might make you crave salty, sweet, and carb-rich foods due to hormonal shifts, menopause can do the same.
The average weight gain for women during and after menopause is around .
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Should You Get Tested For Perimenopause
The short answer: No.
The blood tests that measure your ovarian reserve are rarely accurate during perimenopause. FSH and estrogen change by the day and throughout the day so they are generally not helpful.
We do consider testing these hormones if you experience perimenopausal symptoms under the age of 45. We generally will also check other pituitary hormones, like TSH and prolactin, if you are experiencing these symptoms prematurely.
Keeping a menstrual diary is generally the best test you can do. This will give you and your OBGYN insight into what your body is doing and for how long.
Any time you experience abnormal uterine bleeding , checking in with your doctor is a good idea to make sure it is normal and that no other work-up is needed.
Is This Increase In Sex Drive Normal
And among my acquaintanceship, there are quite a few women who are indeed enjoying this symptom during this time in their lives. Lynn from Arlington, VA, for example, is 49, and while she has some traditional symptoms of perimenopause, such as irregular periods and night sweats, shes also experienced an increase in her sex drive for the last few years. Jordan, 43, from San Jose, CA, experienced a decrease in libido a few years ago, but recently, as other perimenopause symptoms have kicked in, shes definitely seen an upsurge in her libido.
Journalist and adventurist Jill Gleeson is 51 and hasnt had a period in about a year she says that since becoming perimenopausal, her sex drive, while always high, has skyrocketed. What Nina has found is that the swings are higher. For example, the week before her period, she says she has no interest in sex at all, but in the days before her period, shes insatiable! This surge in desire lasts for about three days every cycle. Ive always enjoyed sex and had ebb and flow of desire, but this is crazy!
This explanation of increased libido coming with a drop in fertility and a lessened fear of pregnancy makes sense: after all, the largest sexual organ in the body is the brain.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
Discuss your perimenopause symptoms with your healthcare provider. It might help to keep a journal of your menstrual cycles including when they start and stop and the amount of bleeding.
Some questions you should ask are:
- Are these symptoms of perimenopause?
- What can I do to relieve my symptoms?
- How long do you think I will have these symptoms?
- Would hormone therapy be an option for me?
- Do I need to start taking medication or vitamins?
- Are there any tests that should be done?
- Can I still become pregnant?
Why Am I Gaining Weight During Perimenopause
The shift in hormones slows down your metabolism. Its very common for women in perimenopause to gain weight once their estrogen levels start to decline. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise can help prevent weight gain during the transition to menopause.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Perimenopause is the transition to menopause. During perimenopause, you may start having menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings or vaginal dryness. Most perimenopause symptoms are manageable. But if you need help managing symptoms, medications and other treatments are available. Perimenopause ends when youve had no period for a full year. At that point, you enter menopause.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/05/2021.
Symptoms Of Premature And Early Menopause
The symptoms of early menopause are the same as for menopause at the typical age and can include:
- menstrual cycle changes, including changes to the usual bleeding pattern, particularly irregular bleeding
- hot flushes
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Mood problems like depression can spike during perimenopause, especially among women who have previously experienced them. Many of our listeners wrote in to say that during perimenopause, they felt incredibly irritable and quick to anger in a way that they had never experienced before.
And of course, many â but not all â women experience hot flashes, though they may not recognize them. “It’s hard, because no one sits us down and teaches us, ‘Here’s what a hot flash feels like,’ ” Stuenkel says. “I’ve seen women who think they’re having panic attacks, or heart palpitations. That can be frightening.”
Other common symptoms include more frequent urinary tract infections, difficulty sleeping through the night, vaginal dryness that can make sex painful, night sweats and a decrease in libido.
What treatments are there for symptoms?
Some symptoms, like heavy or irregular periods, can be managed with an oral contraceptive, which can “shut down the body’s own erratic hormonal fluctuations,” says Stuenkel.
“This can kind of be a lifesaver,” she says. Such medication may help with hot flashes, too.
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Emotional Impact Of Early Or Premature Menopause
Premature menopause can be emotionally devastating. Some of the common issues women may face include:
- grief at the prospect of not having children
- fear of ‘growing old before their time’
- concern that their partner wont find them sexually attractive anymore
- self-esteem problems.
Psychological counselling and support groups may help women come to terms with their experience of early or premature menopause.
Can Perimenopause Be Treated
There isnt any treatment to stop perimenopause. Perimenopause is a natural part of life. The cure for perimenopause occurs when your periods stop and you enter menopause.
But your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter or prescription perimenopause treatment to help ease symptoms. Your provider may recommend:
- Antidepressants: These medications help with mood swings or depression.
- Birth control pills. These medications stabilize your hormone levels and typically relieve symptoms.
- Estrogen therapy: This treatment stabilizes estrogen levels. You may take estrogen therapy as a cream, gel, patch or swallowable pill.
- Gabapentin : This medicine is a seizure medication that also relieves hot flashes for some women.
- Vaginal creams: Your provider can tell you about prescription and over-the-counter options. Treatment can decrease pain related to sex and relieve vaginal dryness.
Your healthcare provider will discuss the risks and benefits of perimenopause treatment with you and recommend the best option based on your needs. Certain lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, light exercise and avoiding foods or activities that trigger hot flashes can also help.
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Trapped In A Never Ending Menopause: For Some Women The Misery Of ‘the Change’ Can Last For Two Decades
- Penny Jaquet began the menopause at 42
- Her hot flushes were preceded by terrifying panic attacks
- She still suffers more than a decade later
- Jackie Hogarty also went through the change at 42
- She had mood swings and felt hot all the time
- Lesley Tanner had symptoms for 13 years
- Experts says more needs to be done to help women
- Many will suffer in silence
18:03 EST, 13 November 2013 | Updated:
Distress: Penny Jaquet has been battling symptoms for 18 years
When Penny Jaquet began the menopause at 42, her hot flushes were preceded by terrifying panic attacks. Several times a day, she would suddenly feel flustered and distressed as she struggled to catch her breath and her heart pounded.
For a few awful moments, shed lose track of where she was and what she was doing, before the flush kicked in, turning her scarlet and leaving her dripping with sweat.
The symptoms seemed to abate three years ago. But then, to her horror, they began again. Penny is 60, and an astonishing 18 years after her menopause started, she’s still suffering from hot flushes.
Once or twice a week, the jewellery designer from Cheltenham finds her entire body burning.
‘I can’t believe the hot flushes have come back,’ she says. ‘My menopause went on for 15 years and drove me to despair, which manifested itself in panic attacks. I’ve given up hoping it’ll ever end.’
Hot flushes are caused by hormonal changes that disturb the hypothalamus, a part of the brain known as the body’s thermostat.