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Do All Women Go Through Menopause

Older Women Still Suffer From Hot Flashes And Night Sweats Years After Menopause Study Finds

PART ONE: Should Menopausal Women Be Given Time off from Work?
Date:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Women still have hot flashes and night sweats years after menopause, a new study finds. Hot flashes and night sweats are the main physical signs of the menopause, however their prevalence, frequency, severity and duration vary considerably.

Women still have hot flushes and night sweats years after menopause, finds a new study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Hot flushes and night sweats are the main physical signs of the menopause, however their prevalence, frequency, severity and duration vary considerably.

The average age of the menopause in US and European women is 50-51 years and it is generally assumed that HF/NS last between 2 to 5 years.

This study looked at 10,418 postmenopausal women aged between 54 and 65.

The average age of the participating women was 59 and the majority were white, living in urban localities and of slightly above average socioeconomic status.

The study looked at the impact of age, BMI, hysterectomy, hormone therapy use, lifestyle and mood on women’s experience of HF/NS.

The participating women completed a questionnaire, which included sociodemographics, weight and height, and medical history. Three and a half years later, they were sent a follow up questionnaire asking them about lifestyle factors, skirt size at age 20, current skirt size, hot flushes and night sweats and current hormone therapy use.

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The Vulva Looks Different

Menopause triggers changes to more than just the vagina; it can also alter the look of the vulva. We see an actual thinning and flattening out of the labia minora, says Streicher. Over time, some women completely lose their labia minora.

Heres why thats important to know: Its not always enough to treat the inside of your vagina; outside problems can make penetration impossible, she says. At your appointment, a doctor should evaluate both areas.

What Can Be Done

Lifestyle factors

A healthy lifestyle can minimize the effects of the menopause, helping to keep the heart and bones strong. Many women feel that this is a good time to review the way they treat their body. Here are some tips to consider:

Complementary & alternative therapies

These have become a popular choice and many women use them, although limited scientific research has been done to support their effect or indeed their safety. They may sometimes help with troublesome symptoms, but they are unlikely to have a significant impact on bone strength, the heart or blood vessels.

Choosing a complementary or alternative therapy can be a challenge; so many different ones exist. Acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal treatments, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, yoga and reflexology have all been reported as being helpful in the menopause.

To find out more about available therapies, please consult the WHC fact sheet Complementary/alternative therapies for menopausal women.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy is the most effective and widely used treatment for menopausal symptoms. As its name suggests, it is simply a way of replacing the hormone oestrogen that is lost during the menopause.

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Are Women Who Arent Experiencing Menopausal Symptoms Still Fertile

No matter when you experience natural menopause, your chances of getting pregnant after the age of 40 are low, says Faubion. But you can still become pregnant as youre transitioning to menopause, and you still need to use birth control if you don’t want to conceive, she adds.

Streicher confirms, saying, Fertility and menopause are not the same thing; there are plenty of women who are pumping out estrogen and menstruating and are not fertile. If youre sexually active, its important to consult with your doctor before making any decisions about birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

On the other hand, dont assume that just because you are still menstruating that you can get pregnant. Women who are concerned that they may have trouble conceiving or think they may experience menopause early and still want children should discuss options such as egg freezing with their doctor, says Streicher.

When To See A Gp

Menopause: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment  Healthsoul

Its worth talking to a GP if you have menopausal symptoms that are troubling you or if youre experiencing symptoms of the menopause before 45 years of age.

They can usually confirm whether youre menopausal based on your symptoms, but a blood test to measure your hormone levels may be carried out if youre under 45.

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Why Does Perimenopause Rage Happen

Your perimenopause rage doesnt mean that youre going crazy. You wont feel this way forever. Theres a chemical reason for what youre experiencing.

Estrogen affects the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a mood regulator and happiness booster. When your body produces less estrogen, your emotions may feel off-balance. Your emotions should stabilize after your body adjusts to the decrease in estrogen.

You may find that your feelings of rage are touch and go. It may be more prominent for a week or two, then disappear for the next month or so. This is because your estrogen levels are declining over time. Your estrogen-serotonin balance will be thrown off with each period of decline.

Whats The Difference Between Perimenopause And Menopause

Perimenopause refers to the period of time right before menopause begins.

During perimenopause, your body is beginning the transition into menopause. That means that hormone production from your ovaries is beginning to decline. You may begin to experience some symptoms commonly associated with menopause, like hot flashes. Your menstrual cycle may become irregular, but it wont cease during the perimenopause stage.

Once you completely stop having a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months, youve entered menopause.

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Start Your Day With Acv Or Lemon Water

Kick-start your bodys natural detoxification process first thing in the morning by drinking a glass of water with lemon or apple cider vinegar in it.

The acetic acid in vinegar helps your body burn fat and rids your body of toxins. It also gives you a little energy boost to start your day.

The benefits of apple cider vinegar or lemon in your water are endless! Just add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar, or slice a lemon and squeeze it into your water.

How Is Menopause Diagnosed

Would You Want to Know When You’ll Go Through the Menopause? | Loose Women

There are several ways your healthcare provider can diagnose menopause. The first is discussing your menstrual cycle over the last year. If you have gone a full year without a period, you may be postmenopausal. Another way your provider can check if you are going through menopause is a blood test that checks your follicle stimulating hormone level. FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland this gland is located at the base of your brain. However, this test can be misleading during the beginning of menopause when your body is transitioning and your hormone levels are fluctuating up and down. Hormone testing always need to be interpreted in the context of what is happening with the menstrual period.

For many women, a blood test is not necessary. If you are having the symptoms of menopause and your periods have been irregular, talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider may be able to diagnose menopause after your conversation.

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Menopause: Changes And Challenges

Alta Bates Summit Medical CenterBerkeley, California

US Pharm. 2018;43:13-16.

Menopause is the cessation of menstruation in a woman, typically occurring between the ages of 45 and 55 years. Smokers and women with chronic diseases may experience earlier menopause.1 This is a natural biological process, not a disease.

Menopause and perimenopausethe period of transition beginning 2 to 8 years before and lasting up to 1 year after a womans final menstrual periodoccur because as women get older, the ovaries begin to shut down.1 Eventually, ovaries stop producing estrogen and other hormones. Since the body has depended on these hormones for years, when hormone levels decrease, the changes are noticeable and may result in emotional reactions and bodily changes.2 These may include physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, decreased energy levels, and sleep disruption, as well as mood-related symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. Over time, these symptoms gradually disappear.1 Although menopause ends fertility, women can stay healthy, vital, and sexual. This article will briefly review the physiology and types of menopause, signs and symptoms, and symptomatic treatment.

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Health Problems Connected To Menopause

Reaching infertility is independent medical occurrence, meaning that once you reach infertility, it does not mean that you all of a sudden cured of any other medical issues . After youve reached menopause, there are health problems both directly related and loosely related to the lack of estrogen in your body and no longer having your period.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition where your bones become weak, causing them to be at greater risk for fractures and breaks. This disease progressively gets worse, and it usually isnt discovered until you easily fracture a bone at an older age. If you have osteoporosis and break a bone, you are more likely to break the same bone again and more easily because its difficult to grow back strength in the bone.

Women over the age of 50 have the greatest risk of developing the disease, which falls just in line with the timeline of when women are either going through or reaching menopause. Osteoporosis is also related to the lack of estrogen that comes along with menopause. The Cleveland Clinic notes that after menopause, bone degeneration happens more frequently than bone regrowth, causing an overall loss of bone mass. That loss of bone mass can lead to osteoporosis.

There is no cure for osteoporosis, though there are recommended treatments including exercise in addition to supplements and medications.

Cardiovascular Disease

Autoimmune Disorders

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What Are Hot Flashes And How Long Will I Have Them

Hot flashes are one of the most frequent symptoms of menopause. It is a brief sensation of heat. Hot flashes arent the same for everyone and theres no definitive reason that they happen. Aside from the heat, hot flashes can also come with:

  • A red, flushed face.
  • Sweating.
  • A chilled feeling after the heat.

Hot flashes not only feel different for each person they also can last for various amounts of time. Some women only have hot flashes for a short period of time during menopause. Others can have some kind of hot flash for the rest of their life. Typically, hot flashes are less severe as time goes on.

Cancer Risk And Age At Menopause

Menopause Women : Side Effects and Symptoms

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%.

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Can Menopause Cause Facial Hair Growth

Yes, increased facial hair growth can be a change related to menopause. The hormonal change your body goes through during menopause can result in several physical changes to your body, including more facial hair than you may have had in the past. If facial hair becomes a problem for you, waxing or using other hair removers may be options. Talk to your healthcare provider about your options to make sure you dont pick a product that could harm your skin.

What Are The Effects Of Early Or Premature Menopause

Women who go through menopause early may have or similar to those of regular menopause.

But some women with early or premature menopause may also have:

  • Higher risk of serious health problems, such as and , since women will live longer without the health benefits of higher estrogen levels. Talk to your doctor or nurse about steps to lower your risk for these health problems.
  • More severe menopause symptoms. Talk to your doctor or nurse about to help with symptoms if they affect your daily life.
  • Sadness or over the early loss of fertility or the change in their bodies. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of depression, including less energy or a lack of interest in things you once enjoyed that lasts longer than a few weeks. Your doctor or nurse can recommend specialists who can help you deal with your feelings. Your doctor or nurse can also discuss options, such as adoption or donor egg programs, if you want to have children.

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Sex Can Be Uncomfortable Or Even Painful

Premenopause, the vagina has a thick wall thats comprised of rugal folds, which are accordion-like wrinkles that allow the vagina to expand to accommodate a baby or penis, says Streicher. During menopause, she says, many women experience a thinning-out of that layer; whats more, those rugal folds flatten, preventing the vagina from expanding.

The result of these changes: Penetration may be painful, even if you are aroused, says Streicher.

If intercourse is particularly painful think: stabbing, or fiery pain there may be a problem near the opening of your vagina. For example, doctors will sometimes see inflamed red patches in this area, says Streicher. If a doctor touches a here, people will say its painful, she says.

Aside from intercourse, you may feel irritation or vaginal burning in general.

To improve comfort during intercourse or alleviate dryness, try using over-the-counter vaginal lubricants or moisturizers. If youre feeling dry, theres no reason not to try one and see what it can do for you, says , a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and host of a series of menopause videos on MadameOvary.com.

If those options dont work, you may want to talk to your doctor about whether you should take vaginal estrogen.

What Is Perimenopause

What It’s Really Like to Go Through Menopause

Perimenopause has been variously defined, but experts generally agree that it begins with irregular menstrual cycles courtesy of declining ovarian function and ends a year after the last menstrual period.

Perimenopause varies greatly from one woman to the next. The average duration is three to four years, although it can last just a few months or extend as long as a decade. Some women feel buffeted by hot flashes and wiped out by heavy periods; many have no bothersome symptoms. Periods may end more or less abruptly for some, while others may menstruate erratically for years. Fortunately, as knowledge about reproductive aging has grown, so have the options for treating some of its more distressing features.

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What Is The Menopause

The menopause refers to that time in every womans life when her periods stop and her ovaries lose their reproductive function. Usually, this occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, but in a few exceptional cases women may become menopausal in their 30s, or even younger. This is then known as a premature menopause, or premature ovarian insufficiency.

The menopause is influenced by hormones or more correctly, by a change in hormone levels. During a womans fertile years, her ability to produce an egg each month is associated with the release of three reproductive hormones , that are referred to collectively as oestrogen. Oestrogen is mainly produced by the ovaries, though small amounts are also made by the adrenal glands and by the placenta of a pregnant woman.

It is oestrogen which stimulates female characteristics at puberty and controls a womans reproductive cycle: the development and release of an egg each month for implantation in the uterus , and the way in which the lining of the womb thickens to accept a fertilized egg. The monthly period happens because no implantation has taken place there is no pregnancy and the lining of the womb is shed.

At around the age of 50-55 years, the monthly cycle stops completely so no more ovulations, no more periods and no more pregnancies. This is the menopause.

What Age Is Considered Early For Menopause

If you reach menopause before age 40, that is considered premature menopause, says Faubion. This occurs in about 1 to 2 percent of women, she says.

Experiencing menopause at 40 to 45 years of age is called early menopause, and that occurs in about 5 to 7 percent of the population, so its safe to say that at least 7 percent of women are going to go through menopause early or prematurely, says Faubion. Menopause at age 46 or older is considered normal, she says.

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When Does Menopause Happen

Menopause occurs in every female at a different time. There isnt one certain age where menopause definitively starts. The average age for a woman to start menopause is 51, though the process can start from mid-40s to mid-50s.

There are some general factors that play into how early or how late a woman goes through menopause:

When their mother went through it: This is the most telling sign as to when women will go through menopause. Menopause is strongly genetically linked, so youre very likely to fall within a few years either way of the age your mother was at menopause, said Nanette Santoro, MD of the University of Colorado-Denvers School of Medicine.

Chemotherapy: Women being treated for cancer with chemotherapy may be introduced to the symptoms of menopause early, though rarely does chemotherapy directly start the menopause process. Chemotherapy can also damage the ovaries, causing menopause to be escalated or delayed. After chemotherapy is completed, its natural for symptoms to last for years.

Smoking: Studies have found that smokingeven just for a couple years in your younger yearscan cause you to undergo menopause years earlier. Smoking also increases the variance at what age you undergo menopause, making the process far less predictable.

There are some factors that have been perceived to play a role in when a woman goes through menopause, but the following DO NOT play a role in when the process begins:

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