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How Do You Know When You Have Reached Menopause

How Long Does The Transition To Menopause Last

Understanding Menopause

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.

What Can You Do

Now, what can you do in this case? There’s no hard and fast rule. And as I said before, it’s going to be very frustrating because you’re working from nothing. You don’t have a set start point, therefore it’s very difficult to…excuse me, talk about when you’re getting to that last particular point.

Menopause And Complementary Therapies

Some women can benefit from using complementary therapies for menopause. But it is important to remember that natural herb and plant medications can have unpleasant side effects in some women, just like prescribed medications. A registered naturopath may provide long-term guidance and balance through the menopausal years.Herbal therapies can often be taken in conjunction with hormone therapy. It is important to let both your doctor and naturopath know exactly what each has prescribed, and to consult your doctor before taking any herbal treatments or dietary supplements for menopause. Some natural therapies can affect or interact with other medications you may be taking.

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Menopause At A Glance

  • Every woman is affected by menopause in some way either they experience symptoms or other physical changes.
  • The average age of menopause is 51 years but you can enter menopause earlier.
  • Hormonal changes cause menopausal symptoms.
  • Most women will have some symptoms.
  • Most women have symptoms for 5 to 10 years.

Menopause occurs when you have not had a menstrual period for 12 months. Menopause is a natural part of life occurring at around age 51 years but can also happen for other reasons including after:

  • surgery to remove ovaries and/or your womb/uterus
  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy to your pelvis.

At menopause, you stop producing oestrogen and this can lead to menopausal symptoms. Oestrogen levels can vary in the time leading up to the final menstrual period .

Q: Will I Still Suffer From Menopause Symptoms

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Most menopausal symptoms begin to fade in postmenopause, but some menopause symptoms linger, such as:

  • Hot flashes. These episodes can affect postmenopausal women because the body may still be adjusting to the hormonal changes. Hot flashes can also be accompanied by irritability, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue, so you may suffer from these, too.

  • Vaginal dryness. This symptom may also remain, but lubrications and creams can help alleviate this symptom and restore vaginal health.

  • Vaginal bleeding. This can also occur during postmenopause. If this happens, please see a doctor.

While postmenopause may free you from many tiresome symptoms, it also comes with a higher risk for more serious conditions, like osteoporosis, arthritis, and breast and uterine cancer.

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How Postmenopause Affects The Body

We dont fully appreciate the natural hormone estrogen until its gone. This humble hormone is essential for maintaining health throughout a womans body not just the reproductive system. With a decrease in estrogen, your bodys major systems can be affected too.

Heres how estrogen relates to the rest of your body once youre postmenopause.

Vaginal Dryness And Discomfort

Vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort may start during perimenopause and continue into menopause. A person with any of these symptoms may experience chafing and discomfort during vaginal sex. Also, if the skin breaks, this can increase the risk of infection.

Atrophic vaginitis, which involves thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal wall, can sometimes occur during menopause.

Various moisturizers, lubricants, and medications can relieve vaginal dryness and associated issues.

Learn more about atrophic vaginitis here.

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Common Signs Of Menopause

Menopause is a natural biological process, and although it ends fertility, women can stay healthy, vital, and sexual. Even so, the physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy orfor some womentrigger anxiety or feelings of sadness and loss.

How To Tell If Youre In Perimenopause

PERIMENOPAUSE AND MENOPAUSE: HOW DO YOU KNOW IT’S PERIMENOPAUSE?

So how do you know if youre perimenopausal? And are the symptoms youre experiencing perimenopause or menopause?

Okay, so to start: premenopause is when you still have periods and could still fall pregnant. Some hormonal changes may be happening, but there are no noticeable changes in your body.

Then, during your perimenopause years, you will start to experience symptoms of menopause as your body is transitioning into menopause.

Perimenopause The period of a womans life shortly before the occurrence of the menopause.

Perimenopause can start any time from your 30s, but its more common in your 40s. It is the time in your life when your body starts producing less oestrogen. This stage can last anywhere from a few months to 10 years in some cases.

And then, when you completely stop having your period for a full year, you have entered menopause. This usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.

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Are There Nonhormonal Options For The Management Of Menopausal Symptoms

Hormone therapy may not be the right choice for you. Some medical conditions may prevent you from safely being able to use hormone therapy or you may choose not to use that form of treatment for your own personal reasons. Changes to your lifestyle may help you relieve many of your symptoms without need for hormonal intervention.

Lifestyle changes may include:

Adjusting To Life In Menopause

The symptoms of perimenopause and menopause may not be permanent, but they can significantly impact your quality of life. Healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating a nutritious diet and getting regular exercise, have been proven to help manage menopausal changes.

Some women find that their symptoms are mild or short-lived, but for others, lifestyle changes arent enough to manage their more intense symptoms. If your daily life is disrupted by symptoms of perimenopause or menopause, medical intervention could help.

Our team at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta partners with women to help them navigate menopause. We offer a range of solutions, from lifestyle adjustments to hormone replacement therapy, to minimize symptoms.

Hormone therapy is customizable, and we work with you to find a dose that relieves your most bothersome symptoms. Its available in skin patches, oral medication, or vaginal creams and inserts, so you can choose the method that fits your life.

Are you nearing menopause? Were here to help you learn what to expect next. , to schedule your first appointment.

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Is Heart Disease Linked To Menopause

Conditions related to your heart may arise during menopause, such as dizziness or cardiac palpitations. Decreased estrogen levels can prevent your body from retaining flexible arteries. This can impact blood flow.

Watching your weight, eating a healthy and balanced diet, exercising, and not smoking can reduce your chances of developing heart conditions.

Oral Contraceptives And Vaginal Treatments

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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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What Happens During A High

We use the term high-risk pregnancy to refer to a pregnancy that may develop complications affecting the mother and the baby.

Risk factors that can lead to a high-risk pregnancy include the following:

  • Health conditions that develop before pregnancy: Medical conditions that are already present before the woman gets pregnant, such as obesity, diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure, and infections, can increase pregnancy risks.
  • Health conditions that develop during pregnancy: These conditions include preeclampsia, a condition in which the patient experiences high blood pressure, and gestational diabetes. This refers to diabetes that develops during pregnancy.
  • Maternal age: The risk of pregnancy complications increase when the mother is under 17 or over 35 years. Those who get pregnant after the age of 40 are at an increased risk of having a baby with congenital disabilities.

In addition, we recommend that women who have a high-risk pregnancy see a medical professional if they have:

  • A clear watery discharge and cramps in their lower abdomen.
  • Abnormal bleeding.

Menopause Symptoms Can Feel Like Pms

Some women develop symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome for the first time or have more acute levels of their normal PMS. These symptoms can be physical, psychological, or emotional. Most of us will have had some level of PMS during the second half of the monthly cycle over the years. Symptoms may have been getting stronger during your 30s and 40s, approaching menopause. Most common symptoms are irritability, aggression, tearfulness, mood swings, breast pain and fluid retention.

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Will I Still Enjoy Sex After Menopause

You should still be able to enjoy sex after menopause. Sometimes, decreased sex drive is related to discomfort and painful intercourse. After treating the source of this pain , many women are able to enjoy intimacy again. Hormone therapy can also help many women. If you are having difficulties enjoying sex after menopause, talk to your healthcare provider.

What Is Premature Menopause

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Menopause, when it occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, is considered “natural” and is a normal part of aging. But, some women can experience menopause early, either as a result of a surgical intervention or damage to the ovaries . Menopause that occurs before the age of 45, regardless of the cause, is called early menopause. Menopause that occurs at 40 or younger is considered premature menopause.

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Why Am I Still Getting Symptoms After Menopause

But we also get a large number of women wanting to know why they’re still getting symptoms well through the menopause. Now, remember, once your periods have stopped for two years, that’s you postmenopausal, but your hormones just don’t suddenly stop changing after the two years. Your hormonal balance can continue to change and fluctuate for a good number of years after that.

And for some women, this continual hormonal change will continue to trigger menopause symptoms. But what we do tend to say is if you are still getting menopausal symptoms after about four or five years or longer after your periods have finally stopped, then we advise you just to get things checked out by your doctor.

Other health issues can creep in. The poor menopause can get the blame. And, you know, a lot of women will try menopausal remedies and find that they don’t really work because other health issues have taken over the role, if you like, and are continuing to trigger menopause-like symptoms. So it’s really important, in this situation, just ask for a health check from your doctor because if it is anything else, very often, it can be sorted, and that will make you feel better in the long run.

Is There A Menopause Test

Your GP might suggest a blood test if youre under 45. This will measure the amount of follicle-stimulating hormone in your blood. If youre over 45, FSH levels become more unpredictable, so a blood test isnt meaningful. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence suggests that for women over 45, diagnosis should be based on menopause symptoms alone.

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What Happens After Menopause

After menopause you will no longer be able to get pregnant and you will no longer get a period. If you have any type of vaginal bleeding after menopause, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Vaginal bleeding after menopause is not normal and can mean that you have a serious health problem.

You may experience any of the following after menopause:

  • Low hormone levels. With menopause, your ovaries make very little of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Because of changing hormone levels, you may develop , including osteoporosis, .
  • Menopause symptoms instead of period problems. After menopause, most women get relief from or menopause . However, you may still experience symptoms such as hot flashes because of changing estrogen levels. One recent study found that hot flashes can continue for up to 14 years after menopause.,
  • Vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness may be more common post-menopause. Learn more about for vaginal dryness.

Menopause Symptoms At Age 45

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Around the age of 45 many women enter pre-menopause and start to notice the first signs that menopause is coming. For some women, the symptoms are mild and short-lasting. For others, menopause symptoms can be disruptive and long-lasting.

Some of the earliest signs of menopause may include:

Changes to your period

Period changes are usually the first signs of menopause. For example, your period may start to happen every six to eight weeks. Or you may miss a couple months before it comes back again. You may also have a heavier flow or a lighter flow from time to time.

That said, its important to know you can still get pregnant during perimenopause. So, continue to use birth control in the lead up to menopause as you normally would. Also, if youve missed your period and youre not sure whether perimenopause has started, consider taking a pregnancy test as a first step.

Mood changes

As your hormone levels change, you may find yourself more irritable, anxious, sad or forgetful than usual. Your sex drive can also decrease or increase.

These changes are very typical as your body approaches menopause. So, be kind to yourself, practice self-care and ask for help if youre having trouble.

Sleeping problems

You may find it difficult to get to sleep, or you may wake up in the middle of the night. Sleep trouble can contribute to a constant feeling of tiredness, which can make you moodier.

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At What Age Does A Woman Typically Reach Menopause

The average age of menopause is 51 years old. However, there is no way to predict when an individual woman will have menopause or begin having symptoms suggestive of menopause. The age at which a woman starts having menstrual periods is also not related to the age of menopause onset. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but menopause may occur as earlier as ages 30s or 40s, or may not occur until a woman reaches her 60s. As a rough “rule of thumb,” women tend to undergo menopause at an age similar to that of their mothers.

Symptoms and signs related to the menopausal transition such as irregularities in the menstrual cycle, can begin up to 10 years prior to the last menstrual period.

What Are Birth Control Options For Women Over 40

After the age of 40, the same birth control methods you used when you were in your 20s and 30s may not be your best options anymore, depending on changes in your health. However, if you are healthy and dont smoke, you may be able to continue using the same method youve relied on in the past. Its best to review your contraceptive options with your doctor.

If you are perimenopausal, you should avoid trying to use natural birth control methods such as tracking ovulation and periodic abstinence, because during this time your periods may be irregular and your ovulation unpredictable.

Birth control options for women over 40 include:

Barrier method

Barrier methods of birth control involve the use of physical barriers to block sperm. Different types of barriers include male or female condoms, diaphragms and spermicides. Condoms also provide some protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

Hormonal methods

Hormonal methods of contraception involve taking hormones on a regular basis and are a safe and reliable way to prevent pregnancy for many people. Hormonal birth control options use a combination of the two female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone . The synthetic form of progesterone is known as progestin.

Hormonal contraceptive options include:

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What Is The Best Natural Remedy For Menopause

There are several natural remedies that some women use for combating specific symptoms menopause brings. Always let your doctor know if you are taking any, because they can affect more traditional medicines.

Black cohosh, flax seeds, soy, vitamin E, exercising, yoga and meditation have been adopted by many women to lessen menopause symptoms.

However, each remedy aims at relieving a particular symptom. Flax seed, for example, is a useful remedy for hot flushes, while vitamin E relieves vaginal dryness.

A lot of women use black cohosh. It aims at relieving hot flushes and night sweats of menopause. Black cohosh is a herb, and its dietary supplements are from a powder of its roots.

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