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How Do You Know When You Ve Gone Through Menopause

Do People In Postmenopause Lose Interest In Sex

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No, not all people lose interest in sex after menopause. Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex can make sex less pleasurable. Using a vaginal lubricant can help with dryness. Some people are less interested in sex because of other symptoms like depression or feeling tired. If your feelings about sex have changed, ask your healthcare provider for help.

Irregular Or Missed Periods

Missing your periods or having periods come at different intervals than what youre used to is the most common and most obvious sign that youre entering menopause. Your cycle may get shorter or longer, your periods may come less often, and eventually your monthly bleeding will stop completely.

Remember: You havent officially entered menopause until youve gone one full year without getting a period. In the years leading up to menopause, its still possible for you to get pregnant. Other womens health issues, like endometriosis, can also cause missed or irregular periods, so be sure to talk to Rickie if you experience changes to your cycle.

How Long Do Symptoms Last

Perimenopausal symptoms can last four years on average. The symptoms associated with this phase will gradually ease during menopause and postmenopause. Women whove gone an entire year without a period are considered postmenopausal.

Hot flashes, also known as hot flushes, are a common symptom of perimenopause. One study found that moderate to severe hot flashes could continue past perimenopause and last for a

Researchers also found that Black women and women of average weight experience hot flashes for a longer period than white women and women who are considered overweight.

Its possible for a woman to experience menopause before the age of 55. Early menopause occurs in women who go through menopause before theyre 45 years old. Its considered premature menopause if youre menopausal and are 40 years old or younger.

Early or premature menopause can happen for many reasons. Some women can go through early or premature menopause because of surgical intervention, like a hysterectomy. It can also happen if the ovaries are damaged by chemotherapy or other conditions and treatments.

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What Is Postmenopause

Postmenopause is a term to describe the time after someone has gone through menopause. When you’re in postmenopause, your menstrual period has been gone for longer than 12 consecutive months. At this stage in life, your reproductive years are behind you and you’re no longer ovulating . The menopausal symptoms youve experienced in the past may become milder or go away completely. However, some people continue to experience menopausal symptoms for a decade or longer after menopause.

There are three stages of menopause: perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause.

  • Perimenopauseis the time leading up to menopause. It describes a time when hormones start to decline and menstrual cycles become erratic and irregular. You may start to experience side effects of menopause, like hot flashes or vaginal dryness.
  • Menopause occurs when youve stopped producing the hormones that cause your menstrual period and have gone without a period for 12 months in a row. Once this has occurred, you enter postmenopause.
  • Postmenopause is the time after menopause has occurred. Once this happens, you’re in postmenopause for the rest of your life. People in postmenopause are at an increased risk for certain health conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease.

When To Seek Help

How Do You Know When You Are Going Through Menopause ...

Its common and normal to experience irregular periods when youre perimenopausal.

However, other conditions, like polycystic ovary syndrome or cervical cancer, can also cause irregular bleeding. See your doctor to rule out other causes if you:

  • suddenly experience very heavy periods or periods with blood clots
  • have periods lasting longer than usual
  • spot or bleed after sex
  • spot or bleed after your period
  • have periods close together

Osteoporosis and heart disease are long-term health risks associated with menopause. Thats because estrogen plays a significant role in protecting your bones and your heart. Without estrogen, youre at an increased risk for both diseases.

Youre also at an increased risk of urinary tract infections because menopause can cause your urethra to become dry, irritated, or inflamed. Vaginal infections can also occur more frequently because your vagina has become dryer and thinner.

Report menopausal symptoms when visiting the doctor. Get assessed by your physician if you continue to have menopausal symptoms that are unbearable or last more than five years after your last menstrual period.

Although menopause can cause uncomfortable symptoms for some women, this natural process has possible upsides, too. There are several potential benefits of menopause to consider:

You will still need to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases.

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Are There Any Health Risks Associated With Postmenopause

People in postmenopause are at an increased risk for several conditions:

Cardiovascular disease

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.

Osteoporosis

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.

Vaginal atrophy

Mental health issues

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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Understand Your Bodys Changes At Menopause

It is important to understand the changes your body is going through before, during and after menopause. There are many different sources of information available. Make sure you seek out reputable websites and brochures that provide up-to-date, non-biased information from organisations that specialise in womens health.

Some examples include:

Is There A Test That Can Help

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One of the things that you can do is that you can go and ask your doctor for a hormone test. Now, the further through the menopause you go, the more accurate this test is going to be. But if your hormones have just started to change, then very often the test can come back negative purely because your hormones have been a little bit high on that particular day, and therefore you will think that you’re not in the menopause.

So, if you think to yourself, “I’m sure I’m starting the menopause. I’m getting some of the usual symptoms,” but the test comes back negative, then just go again in six months and ask to be retested. And you might find things have changed at that particular point.

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How Do You Know You’re In Postmenopause

Your healthcare provider will be able to tell you if you’re in postmenopause based on your symptoms and how long it’s been since your last menstrual period. In some cases, your healthcare provider will take a blood sample and check your hormone levels to confirm you’ve gone through menopause. Remember, you’re not considered to be through menopause until it’s been over one year since youve had a period.

What Are The Signs That Menopause Is Finally Over

I’m also asked, “What are the signs that the menopause is finally over?” Usually, it’s just a case of you start to feel better.

Your symptoms have eased off or stopped. You’re more like you, or you feel better. You’re sleeping better. Your health is better. And normally, that’s the point when you can say to yourself, “Thank goodness. That’s it. Finally, all over and done with.”

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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 Happens At Menopause

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Women are born with about a million eggs in each ovary. By puberty about 300,000 eggs remain, and by menopause there are no active eggs left.

On average, a woman in Australia will have 400-500 periods in her lifetime. From about 35-40 years of age, the number of eggs left in your ovaries decreases more quickly and you ovulate less regularly until your periods stop. Menopause means the end of ovulation.

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How Long Does The Menopause Last

Symptoms of the menopause can start months or even years before periods stop completely. They usually continue for around 4 years after your last period, though some womens symptoms continue for much longer.

The menopause usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, but its very difficult to predict when it will take place in an individual.

What Are The 34 Symptoms Of Menopause

The 34 symptoms of menopause is a list of common symptoms that can occur before or during menopause. They include hot flashes, irregular periods, mood changes, and more.

Menopause refers to the stage of a females life during which their period stops. It typically occurs around the age of 4555 years . A female has entered menopause if at least 12 months have passed since their last period.

The years leading up to menopause are called the menopausal transition, or perimenopause. This stage can also come with symptoms, which may last for several years sometimes up to 14 years.

This article will look at the 34 symptoms of menopause and what may help.

Menopause and perimenopause can cause a range of symptoms, including the following.

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How Birth Control Masks Menopause Symptoms

Birth control pills are a form of hormonal contraception. Combination pills contain synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone, two naturally occurring hormones. Minipills contain only progestin, which is the synthetic version of progesterone.

In addition to preventing pregnancy, birth control pills help regulate your bodys hormone levels. As you approach menopause, your bodys natural estrogen levels will start to decrease but the pills synthetic hormones prevent your body from recognizing this decline.

Youll also continue to experience a monthly bleed, though this will depend on the type of pill youre taking. For example, women who take combination birth control pills will continue to have a week of period-type bleeding each month. Women who take the minipill may experience more irregular bleeding.

Birth control pills also have side effects that are similar to menopause symptoms. These include:

How Do I Manage Symptoms Of Postmenopause On My Own

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Certain lifestyle or at-home changes can help you manage symptoms of postmenopause. Some of these include:

  • Using a water-based vaginal lubricant during sex to make it more pleasurable. Lubricating the vagina helps with dryness and pain.
  • Regular exercise, meditation and other relaxing activities can help with depression and other side effects of postmenopause.
  • Eating a diet rich in phytoestrogens such as whole-grain cereals, flaxseed, chickpeas and legumes. Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake has also been shown to help.

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What Are The Stages

The process happens slowly over three stages:

Perimenopause. Your cycles will become irregular, but they havenât stopped. Most women hit this stage around age 47. Even though you might notice symptoms like hot flashes, you can still get pregnant.

Menopause. This is when youâll have your final menstrual period. You wonât know for sure itâs happened until youâve gone a year without one. Hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, and other symptoms are common in this stage.

Postmenopause. This begins when you hit the year mark from your final period. Once that happens, youâll be referred to as postmenopausal for the rest of your life. Keep in mind that after more than 1 year of no menstrual periods due to menopause, vaginal bleeding isn’t normal, so tell your doctor if you have any ASAP.

Symptoms Of The Menopause

Most women will experience menopausal symptoms. Some of these can be quite severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities.

Common symptoms include:

Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around 4 years after your last period, although some women experience them for much longer.

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Changes To Your Periods

The first sign of the menopause is usually a change in the normal pattern of your periods.

You may start having either unusually light or heavy periods.

The frequency of your periods may also be affected. You may have them every 2 or 3 weeks, or you may not have them for months at a time.

Eventually, you’ll stop having periods altogether.

Common Signs Youre Entering Menopause

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Because women dont experience menopause in exactly the same way, if youre wondering whether youre perimenopausal or menopausal, talk to Rickie and the team at Alpenglow Gynecology for a full workup.

Our providers help manage troublesome symptoms and answer any questions or concerns you have. While everyone is different, some common signs signal you may be transitioning into menopause.

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Bioidentical Or Traditional Hormone Therapy

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.

When Does Menopause Occur

Most women reach menopause between 45-55 years of age, and the average age for women in Australia to reach menopause is 51-52 years. Some women will have a later menopause, at up to 60 years of age, especially if there is a family history of late menopause.

Menopause sometimes occurs earlier than expected as a result of cancer treatment, surgery or unknown causes. This is discussed further in ‘Causes of menopause’.

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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.

How Do I Know If Menopause Has Begun

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You’re getting older, and menopause looms on the horizon. Are the changes you’ve felt lately an early sign of this next life stage – or is it just paranoia? In order to better understand menopause and all that it entails, it’s important to do some research on the most common symptoms in order to take the guesswork out of this major life change. There are a few key signs that will indicate the beginning of menopause.

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How Can I Tell If I’m Beginning Menopause

Menopause, the end of a womans monthly ovulation and monthly menstrual periods, occurs on average at about the age of 51. This is an average number, which doesnt take into account great variance. Some women begin menopause much sooner, and others much later. One of the predicting factors is the age your own mother began menopause. While menopause itself, when periods and ovulation truly stop is usually easy to recognize, its not so easy to recognize whether youre beginning menopause, and going through the stage called perimenopause or premenopause, which can occur as early as 15 years before your periods actually stop. There are some signs and symptoms you may be beginning menopause, in addition to medical tests that can help you decide if this change of life is on its way.

As early as their thirties, some women may feel they are starting menopause because of changes to their monthly cycle. Periods may become heavier or lighter. If youve had a predictable cycle in the past, this can change, and periods may happen either more or less frequently, and occur unexpectedly. Just as when you began your period, its a good idea to keep maxi pads or tampons with you in case an unexpected period occurs.

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