How Long Does Perimenopause Last
The length of each stage of the menopause transition can vary for each individual. The average length of perimenopause is about four years. Some women may only be in this stage for a few months, while others will be in this transition phase for more than four years. If you have gone more than 12 months without having a period, you are no longer perimenopausal. However, if there are medications or medical conditions that may affect periods, it can be more difficult to know the specific stage of the menopause transition.
How Will I Feel After The Menopause
And the last question, and probably a really, really important one is “How will you feel when it’s all over?” Now, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t feel as good, if not better than you did before the menopause because the monthly cycle takes quite a lot of energy out of you.
So once your hormones have stopped this cycle completely and you’re through the menopause, you can very often have a lot more energy. You can become much more focused. You can be more energetic. So there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t have a great life after the menopause.
But, and this is a real big but, it can take a lot of hard work. If you think about it, if you’ve gone through the average five years, for five whole years, your body has been under a huge amount of stress from all the hormonal changes that have been going on.
Your body has had to work really hard. It’s maybe had to really struggle. And once your hormone levels have balanced off, your body still has to recuperate and, you know, as women today, we tend to really push our bodies. So you need to realise that especially, once your periods stop, that this is the point when you have to take care of yourself really well.
You have to have a good diet. You have to have good nutrition. You have to have that rest and relaxation because the better that you look after yourself now, the better that your postmenopausal years are going to be, and that is a really great incentive.
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.
How Long Is This Going To Last
Now, I then get asked, “Well, how long is this going to last?” On average, from the minute your hormones start to change until you would have been two years without a period when you are considered through the menopause, is roughly about five years. So if you’re in this situation, you would have a normal menopause lasting the normal length of time as well.
So from the moment that you start to see any significant changes, you’re going to be counting roughly five years, and that would be you postmenopausal. Again, it’s one of these things. It’s going to be different for absolutely every single one of you.
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.
- 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.
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How Will I Know If Im Going Through Menopause If Ive Had A Hysterectomy
If your uterus was surgically removed through a hysterectomy, you may not know youre going through menopause unless you experience hot flashes.
This can also happen if youve had an endometrial ablation and your ovaries werent removed. Endometrial ablation is the removal of the lining of your uterus as treatment for heavy menstruation.
If you arent having any symptoms, a blood test can determine if your ovaries are still functioning. This test can be used to help doctors find out your estrogen level, which may be beneficial if youre at risk of osteoporosis. Thats because knowing your estrogen status may be important in determining whether you need a bone density assessment.
Are You Headed For Menopause
You won’t know exactly when your menopause will hit. All you can do is pay attention to how you’re feeling and notice changes. Keep in mind that symptoms vary greatly from woman to woman. Some women have no symptoms at all.
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What Tests Diagnose Menopause
Because hormone levels may fluctuate greatly in an individual woman, even from one day to the next, hormone levels are not a reliable method for diagnosing menopause. There is no single blood test that reliably predicts when a woman is going through the menopausal transition, so there is currently no proven role for blood testing to diagnose menopause. The only way to diagnose menopause is to observe the lack of menstrual periods for 12 months in a woman in the expected age range.
Higher Risk Of Heart Disease
The end of menopause means that your age becomes solid. It causes certain health problems and heart disease is one out of the list of when is menopause over. This problem also derives from low levels of estrogen and so, induces various complications from the part of the cardiovascular system. Commonly, this issue can be averted if you follow a healthy lifestyle. Its vital to consult a specialist in this field to define the necessary preventive measures.
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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.
Will I Gain Weight When I Experience Menopause
Changes in your hormone levels may cause you to gain weight. However, aging can also contribute to weight gain.
Focus on maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and practicing other healthy habits to help control your weight. Being overweight can increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.
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Sure Signs Of Menopause
“You’re in menopause.” My doctor said calmly and with almost a little smile-smirk on her face. “Your tests have all come back — and you’re healthy. Sure a little low on iron as you typically are, but now that those pesky periods are gone — that should just correct itself.”
“Menopause? But I’m only 45. Well now 45 and a half and rolling quickly downhill to 46, but surely right now I’m only 45.” I told my doctor – and not with a smirk-smile on my face but rather a more ‘are you fucking kidding’ me look, and my voice was less than quiet.
“Yes, menopause. I mean you might have one or two more periods but your test results show you should be done with them in about six months at the most.”
Menopause. But I’m still young. Right? The only person I could think of who reached menopause in their 40s was Ma Ingalls. Remember that episode when Laura announced her pregnancy and Caroline did too — but it turns out that Caroline was NOT pregnant — she was just in menopause. And then she fell into a deep depression. Yeah, that’s where my mind immediately went. Because I’m a child of the 70s — and children of the 70s just cannot be in menopause yet, right?
Who do you call when you hear the words that you’ve entered menopause? When in your mind menopause is the affliction of grandmothers and doesn’t look like a 45 year old with a four year old child.
Here are 12 signs that you might be menopausal…
Earlier on Huff/Post50:
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.
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You Can Manage The Hot Flashes
Although youre not going to be able to stop them, there are ways to manage hot flashes. Some people may be able to identify triggers like hot foods or drinks, stress, alcohol, caffeine, or warm weather. If you know what to expect, you can avoid these things in order to lessen the frequency. Through trial and error you can determine what clothes are best for you to wear at night and during the day, your ideal sleeping environment, and a good temperature for your home. Some women respond to medications or dietary supplements in order to lessen the intensity of the hot flashes.
What About Premature Or Early Menopause
If youre concerned that you might be having menopause symptoms younger than you expected, this could be either of the following.
You might go into premature menopause because youve had surgery to remove your uterus and/or ovaries. Or if youve had treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. This can mean that youre plunged into menopause not only earlier than expected, but also very suddenly. The symptoms can be more severe.
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Menopause Treatment For Severe Symptoms
Hormone therapy is a menopause treatment option that can help alleviate many troublesome symptoms for some women. Low-dose oral contraceptive pills are one option for perimenopausal women to help treat irregular vaginal bleeding and relieve hot flashes. Local vaginal hormone treatments can be applied directly to the vagina when treating symptoms of vaginal estrogen deficiency.
Examples of local vaginal hormone treatments include the vaginal estrogen ring, vaginal estrogen cream, or vaginal estrogen tablets . Antidepressants have also been used to treat hot flashes associated with menopause. Other potential treatments that can help relieve symptoms include blood pressure medications, anti-seizure medications, and lifestyle modifications. Hormone therapy is not without its own risks, your doctor can help you weigh the risks and benefits of this treatment.
When Does Menopause Usually Happen
Menopause happens when you have gone 12 months in a row without a period. The average age of menopause in the United States is 52. The range for women is usually between 45 and 58. One way to tell when you might go through menopause is the age your mother went through it.
Menopause may happen earlier if you:
- Never had children. Pregnancy, especially more than one pregnancy, may delay menopause.
- Smoke. Studies show smoking can cause you to start menopause up to two years earlier than women who dont smoke.
can also cause you to start menopause earlier.
Menopause usually happens on its own. However, you may enter menopause earlier than you normally would if you have had chemotherapy or surgery to remove both ovaries. Learn more about early menopause on our page.
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What Is Hormone Therapy
During menopause, your body goes through major hormonal changes, decreasing the amount of hormones it makes particularly estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone are produced by the ovaries. When your ovaries no longer make enough estrogen and progesterone, hormone therapy can be used as a supplement. Hormone therapy boosts your hormone levels and can help relieve some symptoms of menopause. Its also used as a preventative measure for osteoporosis.
There are two main types of hormone therapy:
- Estrogen therapy : In this treatment, estrogen is taken alone. Its typically prescribed in a low dose and can be taken as a pill or patch. ET can also be given to you as a cream, vaginal ring, gel or spray. This type of treatment is used after a hysterectomy. Estrogen alone cant be used if a woman still has a uterus.
- Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy : This treatment is also called combination therapy because it uses doses of estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is available in its natural form, or also as a progestin . This type of hormone therapy is used if you still have your uterus.
Hormone therapy can relieve many of the symptoms of menopause, including:
- Hot flashes and night sweats.
- Vaginal dryness.
Symptoms Of Menopause Include:
- Absence of period for 12 months
- Hot flashes
- Cognitive changes
- Vaginal dryness
- Generalized itching
- Bone loss
Once your period has officially stopped, the estrogen levels in your body will gradually decline also, you will no longer produce another female hormone called progesterone. Such hormonal changes may intensify the hot flashes, mood swings, or other symptoms you may have been experiencing throughout perimenopause, or they may trigger symptoms you have yet to experience. Another physical sign of menopause is bone loss . And although hot flashes usually subside, some women experience hot flashes for the rest of their life.
If you experience these symptoms, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with your provider. As Estrogen therapy can help with the cardiovascular issues that come with menopause, it is recommended that estrogen therapy begin within five years of the last period.
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Your Vagina Will Undergo Some Changes
While hot flashes will make you uncomfortable, there will also be some actual physical changes in your body including changes to your vagina. Due to a decrease in estrogen production, the lining in your vagina begins to thin. In addition to thinning, your body also produces fewer secretions, which will lead to vaginal dryness and possible inflammation. This may cause uncomfortable sexual intercourse, redness, and itchiness. This discomfort can lead to a loss of sexual desire. Over-the-counter remedies are available in the form of vaginal lubricants, and there are also prescription options available.
Home Remedies: Plant Estrogens
Isoflavones are chemical compounds found in soy and other plants that are phytoestrogens, or plant-derived estrogens. There is a perception among many women that plant estrogens are “natural” and therefore safer than HT, but medical researchers haven’t proven this scientifically. Most scientific studies have not shown a benefit of phytoestrogens in controlling hot flashes. In addition, there is concern that some phytoestrogens might act like estrogen in some tissues of the body. Therefore, many experts recommend that women who have a history of breast cancer avoid phytoestrogens.
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How Do You Know You’re Starting Perimenopause
8 out of 10 women will experience an array of symptoms as they transition to menopause.
Each woman experiences perimenopause differently, while some have few or no symptoms, others will suffer from debilitating symptoms. As hormones shift during the years leading up to menopause, the frequency, intensity, combination, and duration of symptoms vary widely from one to another.
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Oral Contraceptives And Vaginal Treatments
Oral contraceptive pills
Oral contraceptive pills are another form of hormone therapy often prescribed for women in perimenopause to treat irregular vaginal bleeding. Women in the menopausal transition tend to have considerable breakthrough bleeding when given estrogen therapy. Therefore, oral contraceptives are often given to women in the menopause transition to regulate menstrual periods, relieve hot flashes, as well as to provide contraception. They are not recommended for women who have already reached menopause, because the dose of estrogen is higher than that needed to control hot flashes and other symptoms. The contraindications for oral contraceptives in women going through the menopause transition are the same as those for premenopausal women.
Local hormone and non-hormone treatments
There are also local hormonal treatments for the symptoms of vaginal estrogen deficiency. Local treatments include the vaginal estrogen ring , vaginal estrogen cream, or vaginal estrogen tablets. Local and oral estrogen treatments are sometimes combined for this purpose.
Vaginal moisturizing agents such as creams or lotions as well as the use of lubricants during intercourse are non-hormonal options for managing the discomfort of vaginal dryness.
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