How Long Does The Transition To Menopause Last
Perimenopause, the transition to menopause, can last between two and eight years before your periods stop permanently. For most women, this transition to menopause lasts about four years. You will know you have reached menopause only after it has been a full year since your last period. This means you have not had any bleeding, including spotting, for 12 months in a row.
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
Symptoms Common To Both Pregnancy And Menopause
During pregnancy, the body goes through a lot of physical and hormonal changes that cause various symptoms. Similarly, menopause also causes changes in the body. Most women experience menopause in their late-40s to mid-50s. Before that, they go through perimenopause, which is an onset of symptoms before the actual menopause. Perimenopause can begin in the mid to late 40s and last anywhere between 2 to 8 years.
Here are the symptoms that are common to both pregnancy and menopause:
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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:
What Is Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
Primary ovarian insufficiency , also known as premature ovarian failure, happens when a woman’s ovaries stop working normally before she is 40.
Many women naturally experience reduced fertility when they are about 40 years old. They may start getting irregular menstrual periods as they transition to menopause. For women with POI, irregular periods and reduced fertility start before the age of 40. Sometimes it can start as early as the teenage years.
POI is different from premature menopause. With premature menopause, your periods stop before age 40. You can no longer get pregnant. The cause can be natural or it can be a disease, surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. With POI, some women still have occasional periods. They may even get pregnant. In most cases of POI, the cause is unknown.
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How Do You Know If You’re Still Fertile
You must assume you’re still capable of conceiving until menopause is complete, which has not occurred until menstrual periods have ceased for 12 full months. Menopause is not an on-off switch, says Dr. Stuenkel. But many women dont really understand exactly whats happening.
Ovarian function waxes and wanes in perimenopause, meaning that a woman may release an egg some months but not others. Additionally, body levels of estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones tend to be erratic during this time and egg quality decreases, all contributing to more than a 50 percent decrease in fertility among women 40 and over compared to younger women. But natural conception is still possibleif remotefor women until their mid-fifties.
Are There Any Health Risks Associated With Postmenopause
People in postmenopause are at an increased risk for several conditions:
Estrogen helps protect against cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, heart disease and stroke. It is also common for people in postmenopause to become more sedentary, which contributes to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These factors combined can increase a womans risk for cardiovascular diseases after menopause. A healthy diet, not smoking and getting regular exercise are your best options to prevent heart disease. Treating elevated blood pressure and diabetes as well as maintaining cholesterol levels are also ways to lower your risk.
People lose bone more rapidly after menopause due to decreased levels of estrogen. You may lose up to 25% of your bone density after menopause . When too much bone is lost, it increases your risk of developing osteoporosis and bone fractures. The bones of the hip, wrist, and spine are most commonly affected. Bone mineral density testing, also called bone densitometry, can be done to see how much calcium you have in certain parts of your bones. The test is used to detectosteoporosis and osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis.
Mental health issues
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When Should I Expect Perimenopause To Start
The statistical average age for women to hit menopause is 51 but the average certainly isnt everyone. Some women experience menopause in their 40s or younger, while others not until their 60s and beyond.
Women have reported experiencing perimenopause symptoms for a decade or more, while others have only a few years. We have no way of knowing exactly when our bodies will start to change, but genetics can give us clues. If you know your family members medical history especially your mother or any sisters this may give you an indication of when to expect menopausal symptoms to start.
Features Of Being Pregnant After Menopause
Pregnancy is a huge stress for the female organism since there is a restructuring in the work of the kidneys, liver, hormonal background is disturbed, and all this against the background of the ongoing restructuring factors in the body. The risk of developing diabetes in pregnant women, high blood pressure increases. In addition, by the age of 40-45, many women have a whole range of chronic diseases, and being in menopause and pregnant can trigger their aggravation.
If a woman decides that she will keep the child, then, first of all, she should begin to carefully monitor her health. Be sure to consume a large number of vegetables and fruits, it is possible to take multivitamins and menopause supplements to become pregnant. An indispensable condition for well-being is physical activity, for example, daily walks in the fresh air. You should also regulate the diet eat egg yolks, cottage cheese, etc.
The process of carrying and caring for the baby can smooth out the rapid course of menopause. It is believed that late birth can prolong youth, but this is not entirely true. Of course, hormonal changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding have a positive effect on the body, but then health can deteriorate sharply, shortage of vitamins and minerals, the supply of which is already small, will affect your teeth and bones will become brittle. Being in menopause and pregnant can be a hard experience: renal function may be impaired, and pelvic organ prolapse may occur.
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What Are The Risks Of Pregnancy During Perimenopause And Menopause
Pregnancy becomes riskier as you age above 35. Here are some of the risks for both you and the baby .
- IVF treatment could result in multiple fetuses. This is likely to cause preterm labor, low birth weight in babies and delivery complications.
- High blood pressure could lead to preeclampsia.
- Gestational diabetes.
- Placenta previa, in which the placenta lies low in the womb and causes problems during childbirth.
- Placental abruption in which the placenta is detached from the womb, causing fetal growth problems, stillbirth, and premature birth.
- Stillbirth or miscarriage.
There Are Some Steps You Can Take To Ease The Pregnancy Journey Before Perimenopause
If you or someone you know is interested in trying to get pregnant later in life but before reaching perimenopause, there are some general guidelines that could help ease the transition.
- Make an appointment before you conceive. Meet with your health care practitioner to discuss your overall health. They might have some suggestions for lifestyle changes that could have a positive effect on improving your chances of a healthy pregnancy.1
- Explore prenatal testing options. There are DNA screenings available to see if your developing baby is at risk. Talk to your doctor about these options.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco. These substances are definitely off-limits during pregnancy, but given their stress on the body in general, it cant hurt to limit your exposure to them while trying to get pregnant as well.
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Perimenopause Is When Symptoms Begin
Perimenopause, also known as pre-menopause, is the early change you experience as your body prepares for menopause. This stage can start as early as eight years before menopause.
Youll start to notice slight changes in your mood, and you may notice irregular periods during this stage. This happens because your natural estrogen and progesterone levels begin to shift as your ovaries produce lesser amounts of each hormone. Your body is learning to adapt, and the response comes as it did when you went through puberty youre just going through everything in reverse.
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As you head toward the big change, keep in mind that diaper changes arent quite out of the picture just yet. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause defined as the years leading up to your final period.
This menopausal transition brings unpredictable ovulation cycles as estrogen and progesterone hormone levels go up and down. During these years of yo-yoing hormone levels, your ovaries continue to release eggs for fertilization. Translation: You can still become pregnant.
Premier Health Ob/Gyn physician J. Scott Bembry, MD, says hes seen a handful of patients in his own practice whove become unintentionally pregnant in their late 40s.
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Menopause And Pregnancy Share Similar Symptoms
Perimenopause symptoms can last up to ten years for some women, and many of them are similar to pregnancy symptoms. Its important to listen to your body and pay attention to any changes. Here are just a few examples of the symptoms that perimenopause and pregnancy share:2, 3
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- A missed period
- Changes in feelings about sex
- General fatigue or trouble sleeping
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
You can always take an at-home pregnancy test and its highly unlikely youll get a fake positive, even though hormones can fluctuate a lot during perimenopause. If youre still curious about whats causing your symptomsgo to the doctor and get your hormones checked. You may not be pregnant, however, there may be other health conditions that are influencing your hormones and therefore your symptoms.
Using Contraception During Menopause
Using hormonal contraception does not affect when you start the perimenopause or how long it may last, but it can hide some of the signs and symptoms because it can affect your hormone levels.
The combined contraceptive pill, patch and contraceptive vaginal ring can be taken if you are over the age of 40 years as long as you have no medical problems, are a healthy weight and you dont smoke. Your doctor can work out which is the best type for you as some are safer than others.
However, you should switch to another form of contraception when you reach 50. The progesterone-only pill can be continued until you reach the age of 55 after which you will probably no longer need to use contraception.
Again, you should change to another form of contraception when you reach the age of 50.
The Mirena coil can be used during menopause to help manage the effects of one common symptom, which is heavy periods. If the coil is inserted at age 45 or over it can be used as contraception up to the age of 55 and also as part of hormone replacement therapy .
Other options can include the contraceptive implant which can be used until menopause. There are also non-hormonal options that won’t affect your menopause symptoms including a copper intrauterine device and condoms.
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You Can Still Get Pregnant During Perimenopause
Perimenopause is defined as the years leading up to menopause, which formally occurs one full year after your last period. During this time, women may experience all the trademark symptoms usually associated with menopause like night sweats, hot flashes, and mood swings. These symptoms make it seem like you cant get pregnant anymore, but thats not entirely true. As long as you still have your periodno matter how irregularyou can still get pregnant.
Changes In Menstrual Cycle
Women who are pregnant or in perimenopause will see shifts in their menstrual cycle because of hormonal changes. A missed period is a tell-tale sign of pregnancy, while irregular periods may mean the onset of menopause.
Signs of irregular menstruation include changes in blood flow, light spotting, and longer or shorter periods. Its important to remember that irregular periods could indicate another condition. Speak with your doctors about any concerns.
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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.
Can You Get Pregnant After Menopause
The onset of the period of extinction of ovarian function does not mean that carrying a child is now impossible practice shows that it may well occur when menopause is just beginning, that is, in the stage of perimenopause. The likelihood of becoming pregnant, although small, exists for three years after the cessation of menstruation. Women who do not know this lose caution, cease to be protected, and as a result, receive an unplanned conception.
Being in menopause can also occur with the use of certain types of treatment, for example, hormone therapy. Life shows that menopause and pregnancy are not mutually exclusive concepts, and there are cases when an unplanned pregnancy occurred in women aged 45-55 years. The answer to the question can you get pregnant after menopause is positive.
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How Will I Know If I Am Starting The Transition To Menopause
Sometimes it can be hard for you and your doctor to tell whether you are in perimenopause, the transition to menopause:
- Symptoms: Tell your doctor or nurse about any menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes or trouble sleeping.
- Irregular periods: Track your periods. Irregular periods may be your first sign of menopause.
- Hormone levels: Your doctor may test the amount of hormones in your blood if your periods stopped at an early age . Doctors dont usually recommend this test unless there is a medical reason to do so. This is because, for most women, hormone levels go up and down in an unpredictable way during the transition to menopause. So it is difficult to tell for sure whether you have gone through menopause or are getting close to it based on this blood test.
Can You Get Pregnant During Perimenopause
Despite a decline in fertility during this stage, you can still become pregnant during perimenopause. Unless you are in full menopause its safe to assume you are still capable of conceiving during perimenopause.
Menopause is not an off switch, and although fluctuations in hormones and ovarian function may be hallmarks of perimenopause, they do not automatically spell the end of fertility.
Declining and erratic hormone levels contribute to decreases in fertility, but natural conception is still possible for women until menopause is reached . Pregnancy during perimenopause may have increased risk factors , but it is still very much possible to get pregnant during perimenopause.
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Treatment For Early Or Premature Menopause
There is no treatment available to make the ovaries start working again.
Rarely, the ovaries may spontaneously start working again, for reasons unknown. According to some studies, about one in 10 women who are diagnosed with premature ovarian insufficiency get pregnant, for reasons that are not yet clear.
Women with early menopause have a long period of postmenopausal life, which means they are at increased risk of health problems such as early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease. For this reason, it is recommended that they take some form of hormone therapy until they reach the typical age of menopause . This may be the combined oestrogen and progestogen oral contraceptive pill, or menopausal hormone therapy .
Either option treats menopausal symptoms and reduces the risk of early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease.