Healthy Diet And Menopause
Suggestions for maintaining good health through diet at the time of menopause include:
- Choose a wide variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, cereals, whole grains and small portions of lean meat, fish or chicken.
- Increase fluids and eat low-fat dairy foods with high calcium content.
What Are The Symptoms Of Menopause
There are over 30 menopause symptoms, though some occur more frequently than others. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Irregular periods, which are one of the first indications that menopause has come
- Hot flashes, which happen when an estrogen deficiency deregulates hypothalamus functioning
- Night sweats, nocturnal hot flashes that can leave a woman in a sweat
- Weight gain that is caused by a slower metabolism and a redistribution of fat storage in the body
- Mood swings due to drastic estrogen fluctuations that negatively impact healthy serotonin levels
- Depression from major life stressors and hormonal imbalance
- Vaginal dryness, which is a loss of lubrication in the vagina that can make sex painful
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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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.
Does The Age My Mother Reached Menopause Mean Anything
Most likely your moms age at menopause will provide a clue. When we look at the things that are the greatest determinants for when someone is going to go through menopause, genetics seems to be one of the most important things, says Streicher.
A womans race or ethnicity can influence when she goes through menopause, too, she says. Findings from the Study of Womens Health Across the Nation indicate that women of color tend to begin perimenopause and menopause at earlier ages than white women.
The question I always ask women when they ask when theyre going to go through menopause is, When did your mom go through menopause? because that is very often predictive, says Streicher.
Theres a lot of truth in that. You may follow what happened with your mother; if she went through menopause early or late, you may, too, she says.
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Calcium And Vitamin D
A combination of calcium and vitamin D can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, the bone loss associated with menopause. The best sources are from calcium-rich and vitamin D-fortified foods.
Doctors are currently reconsidering the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises that healthy postmenopausal women don’t need to take these supplements. According to the USPSTF, taking daily low-dose amounts of vitamin D supplements , with or without calcium supplements , does not prevent fractures. For higher doses, the USPSTF says there is not enough evidence to make a recommendation. In addition to possible lack of benefit, these supplements are associated with certain risks, like kidney stones.
However, calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients. Supplements may be appropriate for certain people including those who do not get enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure and those who do not consume enough calcium in their diet. They are also helpful for people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about whether or not you should take supplements.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends:
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract and is the essential companion to calcium in maintaining strong bones.
What Age Do You Expect Menopause
It is true that the age at which we reach menopause is related to the age at which our mothers reached menopause. Women who have had babies late in their childbearing years tend to have a later menopause. Some women may go through early or premature menopause; before the age of 40, and again this may be hereditary. There is not necessarily a link between the onset of puberty and menopause. For example, if your periods started late you will not always have late menopause.
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More Meaning For Mother’s Day
Who knew that a single question could provide so many insights? Now, while all this science is undeniably cool, Mothers Day is about much more than things like fertility and menopause. We celebrate Mothers Day by honoring the many individuals who nurture and care, whether or not we spent nine months chilling out in their uterus. We also understand this holiday can be difficult, perhaps if youre struggling to conceive or have lost your mom. So, to all the a dog moms, volunteers, mother-in-laws, teachers, new mothers, best friends, aunties, partners, caregivers, godmothers, and plant mamas out there: Happy Mothers Day from all of us at Modern Fertility. Were here to support you, no matter where you are on your fertility journey.
Differences By Socioeconomic Status
A number of studies have observed that lower social class, as measured by the woman’s educational attainment or by her own or her husband’s occupation, is associated with an earlier age at natural menopause.,,,,,, However, results from a British birth cohort indicated that early life socioeconomic status was more strongly associated than adult status with age at natural menopause, although even the relation of early life SES was greatly attenuated when adjusted for childhood cognitive ability and having been breastfed. One study found that education was more strongly associated with age at natural menopause than occupation. Most studies that have examined the relation of marital status have found that single women undergo an earlier natural menopause, and this association cannot be explained by nulliparity.,,
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Whats The Difference Between Perimenopause And Menopause
Perimenopause refers to the period of time right before menopause begins.
During perimenopause, your body is beginning the transition into menopause. That means that hormone production from your ovaries is beginning to decline. You may begin to experience some symptoms commonly associated with menopause, like hot flashes. Your menstrual cycle may become irregular, but it wont cease during the perimenopause stage.
Once you completely stop having a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months, youve entered menopause.
What Causes Late Menopause
Hormones are vital because they help keep the body running smoothly and regulate different bodily functions. Menopause is a natural transition women experience when their ovaries begin to end production of hormones. A woman is said to have experienced menopause when she has gone 12 months without a period. The time period before menopause when a woman experiences menopausal symptoms is referred to as perimenopause.
Women usually experience late menopause because they have a genetic predisposition to it. If your mom went through menopause late, chances are you will also. Very few environmental factors can influence when a woman experiences menopause. However, being overweight or taking certain medicines that contain hormones can cause a woman to experience late menopause. Smoking and living in high altitude places can cause women to experience early menopause.
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What Is Menopause Its A Moment In Time
Menopause is a specific point in time. Menopause occurs when periods stop and youve gone 12 consecutive months since having your last period. Once youve hit that moment, you enter post-menopause.
Reaching menopause means that youre no longer able to bear children. Every woman except for those whove had their ovaries removed before puberty will go through menopause.
When does menopause start?
The average menopause age is around 51. But some women experience menopause in their 40s with a small percentage experiencing menopause even younger. Some women may not reach menopause until their 60s.
Theres no way to know your exact menopause age until it happens, but genetics seem to play a strong role. You may get a general idea of when to expect menopause based on when your family members went through it, particularly your mother.
Genetics arent the only thing that can impact when menopause starts. Medical factors can also influence menopause timing. When the ovaries are removed, symptoms will begin to show immediately.
Certain medical conditions like autoimmune diseases have also been associated with early menopause. Women whove undergone treatments like radiation therapy or chemotherapy are also more likely to show symptoms earlier.
When To See A Gp
Its worth talking to a GP if you have menopausal symptoms that are troubling you or if youre experiencing symptoms of the menopause before 45 years of age.
They can usually confirm whether youre menopausal based on your symptoms, but a blood test to measure your hormone levels may be carried out if youre under 45.
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What Are The Long
There are several conditions that you could be at a higher risk of after menopause. Your risk for any condition depends on many things like your family history, your health before menopause and lifestyle factors . Two conditions that affect your health after menopause are osteoporosis and coronary artery disease.
Osteoporosis, a brittle-bone disease, occurs when the inside of bones become less dense, making them more fragile and likely to fracture. Estrogen plays an important role in preserving bone mass. Estrogen signals cells in the bones to stop breaking down.
Women lose an average of 25% of their bone mass from the time of menopause to age 60. This is largely because of the loss of estrogen. Over time, this loss of bone can lead to bone fractures. Your healthcare provider may want to test the strength of your bones over time. Bone mineral density testing, also called bone densitometry, is a quick way to see how much calcium you have in certain parts of your bones. The test is used to detectosteoporosis and osteopenia. Osteopenia is a disease where bone density is decreased and this can be a precursor to later osteoporosis.
If you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, your treatment options could include estrogen therapy.
Coronary artery disease
- A decrease in physical activity.
- Bad habits from your past catching up with you .
Factors That Influence Menopause Age:
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Can I Still Get Pregnant After Being Diagnosed With Premature Menopause Early Menopause Or Primary/premature Ovarian Insufficiency
Unless the ovaries have been surgically removed, it can be difficult to diagnose a woman younger than age 45 with menopause as opposed to primary ovarian insufficiency . Women with POI can have intermittent ovulation, which may or may not be accompanied by a menstrual bleed. Other women may be able to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization with egg donation. It is important to work with a fertility specialist to explore options.
Options available to you will vary depending on whether you have interest in having children in the future. In some cases, fertility may be restored and pregnancy could be possible. Assisted reproductive technology , including in vitro fertilization might be considered.
If you do not want to get pregnant while on hormone-replacement therapy, your doctor will talk to you about contraceptive options.
Talk to your healthcare provider about possible causes of premature or early menopause and your questions regarding fertility.
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.
Various moisturizers, lubricants, and medications can relieve vaginal dryness and associated issues.
Learn more about atrophic vaginitis here.
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Will I Experience The Same Symptoms As My Mother Sister Or Friends
The symptoms of menopause vary from one woman to another, even in the same families. The age and rate of decline of ovary function differ tremendously. This means youll need to manage your menopause individually. What worked for your mother or best friend may not work for you.
Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about menopause. They can help you understand your symptoms and find ways to manage them that work with your lifestyle.
Is Hormone Replacement A Safe Option For Management Of Menopausal Problems
Several hormone therapies are FDA-approved for treatment of hot flashes and prevention of bone loss. The benefits and risks vary depending on the severity of your hot flashes and bone loss, and your health. These therapies may not be right for you. Talk to your doctor before trying any hormone therapies.
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When To See Your Gp
Its worth talking to your GP if you have menopausal symptoms that are troubling you or if youre experiencing symptoms of the menopause before 45 years of age.
Your GP can usually confirm whether you are menopausal based on your symptoms, but a;blood test;to measure your hormone levels may be carried out if youre aged 40 to 45.
Blood tests may also be carried out to help diagnose suspected premature menopause if youre under 40 and have menopausal symptoms.
What Factors Effect How Early Or Late Women Hit Menopause
Genetics seem to play a major role in how early or late menopause starts. Family history is quite relevant, and is indeed the best predictor of age at menopause, Dr. Minkin says. If youre able, ask the women in your family when they went through menopause to get a sense of when to expect it in your own life.
Beyond your genetic background, the biggest risks associated with early menopause are smoking, cancer treatments, and hysterectomy which removes the uterus but leaves the ovaries intact, and can allow menstruation to continue.
A December 2017 study published in Human Reproduction also suggested that women who were underweight may go through menopause earlier than women of average weight, whereas a 2002 study published in International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders suggested that women with high BMIs more commonly go through menopause later than average.
If you’re in the right age range and experiencing symptoms, you might be going through menopause. If it seems too early, or if symptoms are bothering you, it’s worth speaking with your doctor to see how they might be able to help.
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How Is Premature Menopause Early Menopause And Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Diagnosed
If you begin to have symptoms of menopause before the age of 40, your healthcare provider will do several tests and ask questions to help diagnose premature or early menopause. These tests can include:
- Asking about the regularity of your menstrual periods.
- Discussing your family history of menopause at an early age.
- Testing your hormone levels .
- Looking for other medical conditions that may be contributing to your symptoms.
Women who have not had a menstrual period for 12 straight months, and are not on any medication that could stop menstruation, may have gone through menopause.
The Timing Of The Age At Which Natural Menopause Occurs
The age at the final menstrual period holds intrinsic clinical and public health interest because the age at which natural menopause occurs may be a marker of aging and health. Later age at natural menopause has been associated with:
longer overall survival and greater life expectancy and reduced all-cause mortality;
reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and mortality from cardiovascular and ischemic heart disease, stroke, angina after myocardial infarction, and atherosclerosis;
less loss of bone density, and a reduced risk of osteoporosis and fracture;
but an increased risk of breast,, endometrial, and ovarian, cancers.
Although menopause is a universal phenomenon among women, the timing of the onset and the duration of the menopausal transition and the timing of the final menstrual period are not. Most of our knowledge and perceptions of menopause have been based largely on studies of white women, and many have been studies of clinic-based, rather than population-based, samples of women. Thus, until recently, much of the knowledge about the timing of the natural final menstrual period has been affected by the nature of the samples of women studied and a number of other methodologic differences in the studies of this phenomenon, which must be considered in comparing and summarizing their results.
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