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How Do You Know If Menopause Has Begun

Bioidentical Or Traditional Hormone Therapy

How to tell if youve started the menopause if youve had a hysterectomy or ablation

Traditional hormone therapy uses plant derived, man made hormones or hormones found in the urine of pregnant horses. Patients can take it orally, via patch, or topically to the genital area.

Bioidentical hormones are plant derived or man-made hormones similar to the ones your body produces. Some bioidentical hormones are the same as those used in conventional products. Others are not FDA approved and are available only from compounding pharmacies.

Bioidentical products can include a variety of estrogens, progesterone, testosterone or other hormones. Common bioidentical preparations include one or more of three estrogens: estradiol, estriol, and estrone. The estradiol in a traditional hormone therapy regimen is the same as in a bioidentical one. Typically bioidentical hormones are prescribed topically at a dose designed to affect the whole body. They can also be used topically in the vaginal area or given orally.

If a woman still has her uterus, it is important to combine both bioidentical and traditional preparations of estrogen with progesterone to prevent uterine cancer.

According to the Food and Drug Administration , bioidentical hormones arent safer or more effective than the traditional hormones, however, there is some debate in this area. There is some data that topical estrogens are safer than oral. Groups like the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists caution against the use of compounded products specifically, citing safety concerns.

Do All Menopausal People Experience A Decrease In Sexual Desire

Not all people experience a decreased sexual desire. In some cases, its just the opposite. This could be because theres no longer any fear of getting pregnant. For many, this allows them to enjoy sex without worrying about family planning.

However, it’s still important to use protection during sex if not in a monogamous relationship. Once your doctor makes the diagnosis of menopause, you can no longer become pregnant. However, when you are in the menopause transition , you can still become pregnant. You also need to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections by wearing a condom. You can get an STI at any time in your life . STIs like HPV can lead to cervical cancer.

Chances Of Getting Pregnant During Perimenopause And Postmenopause

If you hope to become pregnant during perimenopause, and you have not conceived even after six months of trying, you should consult a doctor. The below measures can increase your chances of getting pregnant:

  • Intercourse during ovulation: Observe the signs of ovulation such as breast tenderness, abdominal bloating, increased sex drive, slight cramping, and white discharge. Ovulation time is the most fertile time in the menstrual cycle.
  • Diet and exercise: Have a balanced diet and exercise to stay fit and healthy. These will improve the chances of conception.

With lifestyle changes and medical help, you might get pregnant during the perimenopausal stage. But is it safe for you and the baby?

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Treatment And Medication Options For Menopausal Symptoms

Many symptoms of menopause are treatable or at least manageable, either through medications, complementary and alternative medicine, or lifestyle changes. Your doctor can tailor treatments specifically for you. Also, if you plan to try any supplements or vitamins, please check with your physician, because some may interfere with your current medications.

Medication Options

What Are The Signs That Perimenopause Is Ending

Pin on Menopause

And it can still be years before your last menstrual period. Some common, normal signs include irregular periods, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbances, and mood swingsall results of unevenly changing levels of ovarian hormones in your body. Read more about how youll know youre near menopause.

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Mirena And Other Forms Of Contraception Dont Affect The Onset Of Menopause

Mirena partially suppresses ovulation the release of an egg from its follicle to stop you from getting pregnant. Stands to reason that releasing fewer eggs will make the ones you have last longer and make you go into menopause later, right? Wrong.

Even if you dont ovulate, you steadily lose follicles as you get older. Mirena or any other type of contraceptive doesnt seem to affect the time it takes to get to menopause.

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

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Are You Menopausal 4 Reasons You Should Get A Menopause Test

Your periods have become erratic. Tears come from nowhere. Sleep is elusive, and youre plagued with sudden, unaccustomed bouts of irritability and unexplained fatigue. On top of it all, you sometimes feel as though youve inadvertently walked into a furnace going at full blast!

Could this mayhem be . . . MENOPAUSE? All this mayhem could mean its time to schedule a menopause test.

The onset of perimenopause to full-on menopause can take as long as ten years. Sometimes women go for lengthy spans of time without periods, only to have them resume. So how do you know for sure when menopause has truly arrived?

If youve missed a period or have begun experiencing some or all of the symptoms above , then you should consider having a menopause test.

Why? Here are four good reasons.

A menopause test, which tests your blood, can:

  • Eliminate the possibility of pregnancy
  • Help confirm that youve actually embarked on your menopausal journey
  • Enable you to restore your hormones to optimal, youthful levels and banish those life-disrupting symptoms
  • Help guard against development of chronic disease
  • When Do I Know That Im Having A Hot Flash

    How to know if it’s perimenopause. Perimenopause symptoms. (Women in midlife)

    During a hot flash, youll likely feel your body temperature rise. Hot flashes affect the top half of your body, and your skin may even turn red in color or become blotchy. This rush of heat could lead to sweating, heart palpitations, and feelings of dizziness. After the hot flash, you may feel cold.

    Hot flashes may come on daily or even multiple times a day. You may experience them over the course of a year or even several years.

    Avoiding triggers may reduce the number of hot flashes you experience. These can include:

    • consuming alcohol or caffeine

    Being overweight and smoking may also make hot flashes worse.

    A few techniques may help reduce your hot flashes and their symptoms:

    • Dress in layers to help with hot flashes, and use a fan in your home or office space.
    • Do breathing exercises during a hot flash to try to minimize it.

    Medications such as birth control pills, hormone therapy, or even other prescriptions may help you reduce hot flashes. See your doctor if youre having difficulty managing hot flashes on your own.

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    Overactive Bladder Or Discomfort

    Women can also find they have bladder changes during menopause. If you have this symptom, you might find you need to urinate more often, you cant hold on or your bladder might feel full and uncomfortable.

    What can you do about your symptoms?

    Understanding menopause and developing a strategy to manage your symptoms can improve your health and lifestyle.

    If your symptoms are bothering you, your doctor can help. Your doctor can tell you about the changes in your body and offer options for managing your symptoms. Many treatment options are available and include:

    • Non-hormonal treatment options
    • Complementary therapies

    If you have any concerns or questions about options to manage your menopausal symptoms, visit your doctor or go to the Find an AMS Doctor on the AMS website.

    NOTE: Medical and scientific information provided and endorsed by the Australasian Menopause Society might not be relevant to an individuals personal circumstances and should always be discussed with their own healthcare provider. This Information Sheet may contain copyright or otherwise protected material. Reproduction of this Information Sheet by Australasian Menopause Society Members, other health professionals and their patients for clinical practice is permissible. Any other use of this information must be agreed to and approved by the Australasian Menopause Society.

    Key Points To Remember

    • You can’t make this decision until you know how high your risk is for ovarian cancer. Your doctor or a genetic counsellor can help you. If your risk isn’t high, removing your ovaries is not recommended.
    • Women who have a strong family history of ovarian cancer have a higher chance of getting it themselves.
    • Women who have tested positive for gene changes may want to consider having their ovaries removed after age 35 if they are finished having children.
    • Your decision will depend on how high your risk is. It also depends on your health, your age, and your personal feelings.
    • Having the ovaries removed greatly lowers a woman’s chances of getting ovarian cancer. The fallopian tubes are removed at the same time.
    • If you haven’t yet started menopause, having your ovaries removed will cause you to start it. It will also take away your ability to get pregnant.

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    Understanding The Menopausal Transition

    Menopause is a point in time 12 months after a woman’s last period. The years leading up to that point, when women may have changes in their monthly cycles, hot flashes, or other symptoms, are called the menopausal transition or perimenopause.

    The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55. It usually lasts about seven years but can be as long as 14 years. The duration can depend on lifestyle factors such as smoking, age it begins, and race and ethnicity. During perimenopause, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones made by the ovaries, varies greatly.

    The menopausal transition affects each woman uniquely and in various ways. The body begins to use energy differently, fat cells change, and women may gain weight more easily. You may experience changes in your bone or heart health, your body shape and composition, or your physical function.

    Can Menopause Be Treated

    How Do You Know If You Are Hitting Menopause

    Menopause is a natural process that your body goes through. In some cases, you may not need any treatment for menopause. When discussing treatment for menopause with your provider, its about treating the symptoms of menopause that disrupt your life. There are many different types of treatments for the symptoms of menopause. The main types of treatment for menopause are:

    It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider while you are going through menopause to craft a treatment plan that works for you. Every person is different and has unique needs.

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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.

    Is Hormone Replacement A Safe Option For Management Of Menopausal Problems

    Several hormone therapies are FDA-approved for treatment of hot flashes and prevention of bone loss. The benefits and risks vary depending on the severity of your hot flashes and bone loss, and your health. These therapies may not be right for you. Talk to your doctor before trying any hormone therapies.

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    Ht Forms And Regimens

    HT comes in several forms:

    • Oral tablets or pills
    • Vaginal ring
    • Topical gel or spray

    HT pills and skin patches are considered “systemic” therapy because the medication delivered affects the entire body. The risk for blood clots, heart attacks, and certain types of cancers is higher with hormone pills than with skin patches or other transdermal forms.

    Vaginal forms of HT are called “local” therapy. Doctors generally prescribe vaginal applications of low-dose estrogen therapy to specifically treat menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness and pain during sex. This type of ET is available in a cream, tablet, or ring that is inserted into the vagina.

    “Bioidentical” Hormones

    “Bioidentical” hormone therapy is promoted as a supposedly more natural and safer alternative to commercial prescription hormones. Bioidentical hormones are typically compounded in a pharmacy. Some compounding pharmacies claim that they can customize these formulations based on saliva tests that show a woman’s individual hormone levels.

    The FDA and many professional medical associations warn patients that “bioidentical” is a marketing term that has no scientific validity. Formulations sold in these pharmacies have not undergone FDA regulatory scrutiny. Some of these compounds contain estriol, a weak form of estrogen, which has not been approved by the FDA for use in any drug. In addition, saliva tests do not give accurate or realistic results, as a woman’s hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day.

    Menopause Blood Test What Is It

    How Do You Know When Menopause is Here and Natural Remedies

    As a woman ages, her reproductive system begins to produce fewer hormones as well as less of those hormones, especially estrogen. Because of this, your body is signaled to begin producing more FSH . The blood test will measure both of these levels against each other, as well as individually.

    If you have multiple symptoms, this test alone may not be able to come to a definitive conclusion, so your doctor may require further tests. Along with the tests for these two hormones, there may be other parameters that need to be checked.

    We are referring to things like the TSH and T4 hormones, which are produced by your thyroid. When out of whack, these hormones can also be a key sign that menopause has begun. Along with this, your physician may also ask for your LH levels to be checked. This hormone helps stimulate the reproductive systems and is created in the pituitary gland.

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    You Might Experience Irregular Bleeding

    One of the early signs of menopause includes irregular periods. This may present as still experiencing monthly menstrual cycles but at irregular intervals, going from having a period every 28 days to having one every 24 days, or having lighter or heavier bleeding. Hormone therapy is available to help control the bleeding and make it more comfortable.

    Duration Of Menopausal Transition

    Perimenopause is divided into two stages: Early-stage perimenopause is when your menstrual cycle starts to become unpredictable. Over the span of a few months, you get your period a week or more later than your usual cycle. Late-stage perimenopause occurs when you start having two months between cycles. This whole process can start 8 to 10 years before menopause.

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    Hormonal Birth Control May Mask Your Symptoms Entirely

    Hormonal IUDs like Mirena can make periods lighter. Some women with IUDs stop getting a period altogether. If your periods do stop, it can be hard to tell whether youre in menopause.

    Mirena can also cause a few symptoms that look a lot like menopause, including mood swings and irregular periods.

    But an IUD shouldnt affect other menopause symptoms. It only releases progesterone, not estrogen. As your estrogen level naturally drops, you can still expect to have menopause symptoms like hot flashes, trouble sleeping, and flushed skin.

    A few other symptoms can pop up that make you wonder whether youre going through menopause or second puberty.

    These symptoms can be due to the hormone progesterone in Mirena:

    • tender breasts

    You Can Safely Stop Using An Iud And Other Forms Of Contraception Once Youre Past Menopause

    The 4 different stages of menopause and how to tell when ...

    Even though fertility declines in your 40s, you can still get pregnant until youre in menopause. To avoid an unplanned pregnancy, leave your IUD in until youre past the average age for menopause around 51 years.

    If you still get periods, wait for at least one year after they stop to remove the IUD. Or switch to another birth control method like condoms or the pill.

    If youre not sure whether the IUD has made your periods stop, see your doctor. The doctor can confirm with a blood test whether youre actually in menopause.

    Although the feeling is similar, the removal process is typically easier than insertion.

    Heres what to expect:

  • You lay back on the table with your feet in the stirrups.
  • Your doctor uses a speculum to slowly open your vaginal canal.
  • After locating the IUD, your doctor gently pulls on the string.
  • The arms of the IUD fold up, and the device slips out through your vagina.
  • If the IUD doesnt come out on the first try, your doctor then uses an instrument to remove it.
  • You might feel some cramping for a minute or so after the IUD is removed.

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    Premature And Surgical Menopause Also Known As Induced Menopause: What To Know

    A small number of women enter menopause much earlier than the average. When it occurs in women age 40 or younger, it is termed premature menopause, according to NAMS. This happens to about 1 percent of women in the United States.

    In some cases, menopause is surgically induced, such as when a woman has her ovaries removed for cancer prevention or treatment. Women with induced menopause often experience more intense symptoms than women going through the process naturally.

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