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How Does Your Period Change During Menopause

Ht Forms And Regimens

Menopause Menstrual Cycle Changes

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.

Since Starting Perimenopause I Feel Less Sexy

Jodie*, 43, has found that perimenopause has affected the physical side of her marriage. She says: Ive never been truly body confident but had no issues with my husband as weve been together for 25 years. Since starting perimenopause, I feel less sexy and often don’t want to be touched.

When Im having a hot sweat, my clothes get soaked and a hot flush leaves me feeling faint. Neither option makes me feel sexy. We haven’t been having much sex recently as Im constantly exhausted. When I go to bed I want to go straight to sleep. My DH cant understand the physical and mental changes that Im going through and just assumes I no longer fancy him, because I dont want to have sex constantly like we did as changes teenagers. Also, I worry that my DH finds me less attractive as even though Im younger than him, Im going through menopause and that makes me old.

I feel conscious of the changes in my body. Ive struggled with thrush, dryness and skin cracking that makes sex uncomfortable. Even when Im aroused we need lubricant as my skin feels dry and thin. I also struggle to orgasm. I wish that Id been prepared for the dryness, the need for lube and the fact that everything feels different.

How Can I Treat The Symptoms

There are a bunch of ways.

Lifestyle changes. A healthy diet and regular exercise program will help manage your symptoms and boost your health. This is a great time to finally kick any old, unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking too much alcohol. To help with hot flashes, dress lightly and in layers. Avoid triggers like caffeine and spicy foods. And if you stay sexually active, that may help preserve your vaginal lining.

Prescription medication for hot flashes. If you still have your uterus, your doctor might prescribe treatment with estrogen and progesterone. This is called combination hormone therapy or hormone replacement therapy . It helps with hot flashes and night sweats, and it may help prevent osteoporosis. If you donât have a uterus, you might get estrogen alone.

Hormone therapy isnât for everyone. Donât take it if you’ve ever had breast cancer, uterine or “endometrial” cancer, blood clots, liver disease, or a stroke. Also don’t take it if you might be pregnant or you have undiagnosed vaginal bleeding.

If you can’t or don’t want to take hormones, other medications can ease symptoms. They include antidepressants, antiseizure drugs, or blood pressure medications to help with hot flashes and mood swings.

Prescription and OTC medication for vaginal dryness and sleep problems. You can try topical estrogen, lubricants, and non-estrogen prescriptions for dryness and painful sex. OTC or prescription sleep aids can help if you have trouble falling asleep.

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Of The Reproductive Journey

We usually diagnose menopause in hindsight, after that full year of absent periods. Ive found that most women know theyve reached menopause when they get there.

Even if your irregular periods turn out to be something else, youll face menopause eventually. Talk with your ob-gyn about what youre experiencing. Together we can work through this part of your health journey.

The views expressed in this article are those of Dr. Eisenberg and do not reflect the views of the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the United States government.

Copyright 2021 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information.

This information is designed as an educational aid for the public. It offers current information and opinions related to women’s health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care. It does not explain all of the proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for the advice of a physician. Read ACOGs complete disclaimer.

Dr. Esther Eisenberg

What Is The Best Natural Remedy For Menopause Symptoms

Hormone Changes During Menopause Can Cause Chronic Insomnia

There are some things you can do to improve menopausal symptoms. Achieving a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating foods rich in vitamin D and calcium can help. Foods with a high phytoestrogen content, like soybeans, tofu, flaxseed, linseed, and beans, can also reduce symptoms such as hot flashes. Avoid foods that trigger your symptoms, as well.

Recommended Reading: Perimenopause Dizzy Spells

In Your 40s And Beyond

During this decade your ovaries slow their estrogen production, so your periods may get shorter and lighter, or come less frequently. Menopause occurs when your period stops completely for 12 consecutive months. For most women, this happens in their late 40s or early 50s.

Any woman with post-menopausal bleeding should tell her doctor, who may want to evaluate her for endometrial or uterine cancer. This is a rare cancer that develops in the inner lining or muscle wall of the uterus, but it mostly occurs in women age 50 or older.

Tracking your menstrual cycle can help you determine what normal looks like for you and bring your attention to anything that might be out of whack.

My biggest advice for women is to seek a provider you trust and tell them when something changes. Dr. James says. Dont assume everything is normal, because abnormal bleeding could be related to a number of things.

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.

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Can You Get Pregnant After Menopause

After menopause, your body is no longer ovulating. This means that natural pregnancy is no longer a possibility. However, your body can still maintain a pregnancy using a donor egg or your own frozen eggs. If you want to go through IVF after menopause, youd also need to take hormone therapy to prepare your body for pregnancy.

Carolyns Periods Had Always Been Irregular So She Didnt Really Notice The Menopause Had Started

When do periods stop during menopause?

My periods had always been fairly irregular certainly as I got older, and so I didnt really think, I never really knew if I was going to have one or not it just happened, when they came they came. So the fact I hadnt been having any didnt really register either until eventually I began to think well it must be getting on for about a year which I know is the time that they say. And I was having some blood tests done for something else so they threw in the a hormone check as well and I was decreed that I was through it and I have to say I dont think Id had any adverse effects at all.

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Can My Diet Affect How Well I Sleep

The following tips can help reduce sleep problems:

  • Eat regular meals at regular times.
  • Avoid late-night meals and heavy late-night snacks.
  • Limit caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and cola drinks. Caffeine stays in the bloodstream for up to 6 hours and can interfere with sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol. It may make you feel sleepy, but it actually affects the cycle of REM and non-REM sleep. This may cause you to wake up throughout the night.

Perimenopause: Changes And Symptoms To Expect

Menopause, Women’s Health

You recently blew out candles to celebrate your 45th birthday, and now youre dealing with hot flashes, irregular periods and vaginal dryness. Welcome to perimenopause, the time in your lifeusually in your 40swhen hormones shift as you approach menopause.

We define menopause clinically by the fact that a person has stopped menstruating for at least one year, says UNC Medical Center OB-GYN Rachel Urrutia, MD. Perimenopause is the time leading up to that, and its characterized by hormone levels that are starting to change.

Perimenopause can last 10 to 12 years, but the worst symptoms are usually in the five years leading up to menopause. Menopause happens when the ovaries no longer have eggs to expel and so ovulation stops. Because ovulation stops, the production of estrogen and progesterone is greatly decreased.

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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.

How Pvolve Can Support Changes Through Menopause

How Do Periods Change During Menopause

No matter your stage of life, there are changes physically, hormonally, or otherwise that can leave you with questions. Figuring out what is happening in your body and how to adjust your routines to account for these changes can be daunting.

Perhaps the biggest and most well-known in a womans life happen during perimenopause and menopause, the time during which your body transitions to the end of your reproductive years.

As metabolism slows and bone density begins to decline, P.volve can be especially helpful. Our resistance-based and low impact movements can help build muscle and keep your metabolism working optimally.

We tapped into our experts, a member of our Clinical Advisory Board, Dr. Amy Hoover and VP of Talent and Training, Antonietta Vicario to learn about what happens to our bodies during menopause, and how P.volve can help.

What are some of the changes someone might experience when going through menopause?

The good news is that we can help mitigate many of these symptoms and enhance quality of life with movement. Women in this age bracket may have a gradual loss of muscle mass and increased incidence of gluteal tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis and rotator cuff tendinopathy. Targeted hip, gluteal and abdominal/core strengthening as well as shoulder and postural exercises can help combat some of these gradual changes that occur as our hormone levels shift.

How can P.volve help someone who may be experiencing side-effects of menopause?

READY TO GET MOVING?

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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.

How Long Are Normal Perimenopause Periods

Ordinarily, your menstrual cycle occurs every 21 to 35 days and lasts from 2 to 7 days. However, perimenopause periods can last much longer. Some months, the ovaries might not produce sufficient levels of estrogen and progesterone, preventing menstruation altogether. Other months, the imbalance might cause the uterine lining to become overly thick, which means it will take longer to be shed by your body to shed.

Excessive bleeding and long periods are fairly common during perimenopause. Many women experience an increased flow and extended perimenopause periods before entering menopause.

If youve had periods that are several days longer or more frequent or heavier than usual, its a good idea to see your doctor.

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Are There Any Risks Related To Hormone Therapy

Like most prescribed medications, there are risks for hormone therapy. Some known health risks include:

  • Endometrial cancer .
  • Gallstones and gallbladder issues.

Going on hormone therapy is an individualized decision. Discuss all past medical conditions and your family history with your healthcare provider to understand the risks versus benefits of hormone therapy for you.

Sallies Periods Were Irregular For Two Or Three Years Before They Stopped

What happens to your periods & whatâs normal during menopause

I cant remember when it started but I think the first thing I noticed was irregularity with periods. They seemed to come whenever they wanted to basically. Sometimes two close together and then gradually they were getting further and further apart. I think that at first they were longer and heavier and then shorter and lighter as I went through it. With longer periods in between, longer gaps in between.And have you stopped having them now?Yes.How long ago was that?Probably two years. Two or three years.So how long were they irregular for?I think two or three. I think I started round about when I was 47. I think thats when it started and it was probably like three years between then and 50 that it took me to realise that I was going through the menopause. And so there was more irregularity then but then the gaps got longer but it was regular, probably be like every six weeks as opposed to four weeks and then just now and again after that.

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What Are The 34 Symptoms Of Menopause

by Haley FritzFeb 2, 2021

When you think of a woman going through menopause, you might think of symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, or mood swings.

These symptoms receive a lot of attention due to the fact that there are over-the-counter and prescription drug remedies designed especially to target them. However, the symptoms of menopause are actually far more complex than these companies let on!

In total, there are 34 different symptoms that can be attributed to menopause. A woman going through menopause might experience some or all of these symptoms, ranging from mild to severe.

Read on to learn more about the menopause process and how it might affect a womans health and well-being.

Other Causes For Period Changes

The regular monthly period is not the only reason why people may bleed.

Because a persons periods are often irregular during perimenopause, they should pay extra attention for any abnormal symptoms particularly as some uterus-related conditions are more common during and after perimenopause.

People may bleed because of:

  • Endometrial atrophy. Low estrogen in perimenopause and menopause can cause the tissue of the uterus to get very thin, which can cause irregular bleeding.
  • Uterine polyps. These are benign growths that can grow inside the uterus and cervix. Polyps do not always cause symptoms, but some people notice bleeding after sex.
  • Endometrial hyperplasia. Hormonal shifts can cause the lining of the uterus to thicken in perimenopause. When the body has too much estrogen without enough progesterone, this thickness may cause bleeding. Bleeding is its most common symptom. Endometrial hyperplasia is treatable but can increase a persons risk of cancer.
  • Uterine Cancer. Uterine cancer happens when abnormal or atypical cells progress into cancer. Though rare, it generally presents with heavy bleeding or postmenopausal bleeding.

Perimenopause is not a disease and does not require treatment. It can, however, increase peoples risk of developing certain diseases. Moreover, the menstrual cycle can change for reasons other than perimenopause.

Anyone experiencing changes in their menstrual cycle should see a doctor for a diagnosis.

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Hot Flashes During Perimenopause

Most women don’t expect to have hot flashes until , so it can be a big surprise when they show up earlier, during perimenopause. Hot flashes sometimes called hot flushes and given the scientific name of vasomotor symptoms are the most commonly reported symptom of perimenopause. They’re also a regular feature of sudden menopause due to surgery or treatment with certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs.

Hot flashes tend to come on rapidly and can last from one to five minutes. They range in severity from a fleeting sense of warmth to a feeling of being consumed by fire “from the inside out.” A major hot flash can induce facial and upper-body flushing, sweating, chills, and sometimes confusion. Having one of these at an inconvenient time can be quite disconcerting. Hot flash frequency varies widely. Some women have a few over the course of a week others may experience 10 or more in the daytime, plus some at night.

Most American women have hot flashes around the time of menopause, but studies of other cultures suggest this experience is not universal. Far fewer Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian women report having hot flashes. In Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, women appear not to have any at all. These differences may reflect cultural variations in perceptions, semantics, and lifestyle factors, such as diet.

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