Thursday, June 23, 2022
HomeMust ReadWhat Is The Normal Age For Menopause

What Is The Normal Age For Menopause

Emotional Impact Of Early Or Premature Menopause

What is the average age of menopause?

Premature menopause can be emotionally devastating. Some of the common issues women may face include:

  • grief at the prospect of not having children
  • fear of ‘growing old before their time’
  • concern that their partner wont find them sexually attractive anymore
  • self-esteem problems.

Psychological counselling and support groups may help women come to terms with their experience of early or premature menopause.

When Should I Call My Doctor

If any of your postmenopause symptoms bother you or prevent you from living your daily life, contact your healthcare provider to discuss possible treatment. They can confirm you have completed menopause and are in postmenopause.

Some questions you might ask are:

  • Are these symptoms normal for people in postmenopause?
  • Is there treatment for my symptoms?
  • Is hormone therapy still an option?
  • What can I do to feel better?

If you experience any vaginal bleeding during postmenopause, contact your healthcare provider to rule out a serious medical condition.

When Does Menopause Begin

Menopausal symptoms usually start from around age 47 years. The final menstrual period is usually about age 51 but can vary considerably. There is currently no reliable way to predict when you will experience menopause and what your menopausal symptoms will be like.

When menopause happens before 40 years it is called premature, and when it happens before 45 years it is called early. Menopause after age 45 years is considered normal and there is no upper age limit to when it can begin. However, most women have experienced menopause by age 55 years.

Also Check: How To Increase Breast Size After Menopause

What Causes Postmenopausal Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding during postmenopause isn’t a normal side effect of decreasing hormone levels. In some cases, the dryness in your vagina could cause some light bleeding or spotting after sex. In other cases, it could indicate a condition like endometrial hyperplasia or uterine fibroids, infections like endometritis, or cancer. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any vaginal bleeding so you can be evaluated.

What Affects The Age You Start Menopause

Defining Premenopause, Perimenopause, and Menopause

Certain factors may affect when you begin menopause. Your family history, medical conditions, and hormones all play a role in when menopause is likely to occur for you.

Smoking may influence the age of menopause onset. Studies have found that smoking during the reproductive years was significantly associated with earlier menopause.

Don’t Miss: Does The Texture Of Hair Change With Menopause

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.

Home Remedies: Plant Estrogens

Plant estrogens

Isoflavones are chemical compounds found in soy and other plants that are phytoestrogens, or plant-derived estrogens. There is a perception among many women that plant estrogens are “natural” and therefore safer than HT, but medical researchers haven’t proven this scientifically. Most scientific studies have not shown a benefit of phytoestrogens in controlling hot flashes. In addition, there is concern that some phytoestrogens might act like estrogen in some tissues of the body. Therefore, many experts recommend that women who have a history of breast cancer avoid phytoestrogens.

You May Like: Menopause And Hair Texture

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators

SERMs are a category of drugs, either synthetically produced or derived from a botanical source, that act selectively as agonists or antagonists on the estrogen receptors throughout the body. The most commonly prescribed SERMs are raloxifene and tamoxifen. Raloxifene exhibits oestrogen agonist activity on bone and lipids, and antagonist activity on breast and the endometrium. Tamoxifen is in widespread use for treatment of hormone sensitive breast cancer. Raloxifene prevents vertebral fractures in postmenopausal, osteoporotic women and reduces the risk of invasive breast cancer.

Ht Forms And Regimens

The Average Age Of Menopause In The U.S.

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.

Don’t Miss: Which Of The Following Best Describes Possible Symptoms Of Menopause

What Are The Complications Of Menopause

Menopause occurs alongside a range of lifestyle and metabolic changes in women. These include:

  • Heart disease Menopause has a significant impact on a womans risk of getting heart disease.
  • Osteoporosis during menopause, your body starts to break down bone tissue more quickly than it replaces it.
  • Sex drive Women often find their sexual feelings and desires change around the time of menopause.

These changes are common, and it may help to discuss them with your partner, your doctor or a trusted friend.

What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopause

During perimenopause, you can experience a variety of symptoms. The reason: Your ovaries have been making estrogen since your first period. During perimenopause, the estrogen production decreases substantially. Your body has to adjust to functioning with less of the hormone, putting you into estrogen withdrawals. The type and intensity of symptoms vary greatly among women some just feel a little off or don’t notice anything at all.

Others can experience perimenopausal symptoms including:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling irritable, anxious or depressed
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes

About 80 percent of women will experience some form of a hot flash during perimenopause or menopause. Hot flashes happen when your brain has trouble regulating your internal temperature, which is a common response to having less estrogen. The shift in temperature may not be noticeable. Or, it may feel like someone cranked up the thermostat on your core body temperature. You suddenly feel uncomfortably hot and sweaty, or you may wake up drenched in sweat .

Don’t Miss: Are Sweet Potatoes Good For Menopause

Emotional And Cognitive Symptoms

Women in perimenopause often report a variety of thinking and/or emotional symptoms, including fatigue, memory problems, irritability, and rapid changes in mood. It is difficult to determine exactly which behavioral symptoms are due directly to the hormonal changes of menopause. Research in this area has been difficult for many reasons.

Emotional and cognitive symptoms are so common that it is sometimes difficult in a given woman to know if they are due to menopause. The night sweats that may occur during perimenopause can also contribute to feelings of tiredness and fatigue, which can have an effect on mood and cognitive performance. Finally, many women may be experiencing other life changes during the time of perimenopause or after menopause, such as stressful life events, that may also cause emotional symptoms.

Should I Continue Using Birth Control During The Transition To Menopause

Ideas for Life

Yes. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause, the transition to menopause, even if you miss your period for a month or a few months. During perimenopause you may still ovulate, or release an egg, on some months.

But it is impossible to know for sure when you will ovulate. If you dont want to get pregnant, you should continue to use birth control until one full year after your last period. Talk to your doctor about your birth control needs. Learn more about different .

You cant get pregnant after menopause, but anyone who has sex can get . If you are not in a monogamous relationship in which you and your partner have sex with each other and no one else, protect yourself by using a male condom or correctly every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. After menopause you may be more likely to get an STI from sex without a condom. Vaginal dryness or irritation is more common after menopause and can cause small cuts or tears during sex, exposing you to STIs.

Don’t Miss: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause

I Got My First Period Early Does That Mean Ill Go Through Menopause Early

I have many patients tell me, I know Im going to go through menopause earlier because I started my period really early, says Streicher. The reason women think that is because they think menopause occurs when you run out of eggs. This isnt going to happen were born with millions of eggs and many of those are never used. When you go through menopause is really about the aging of eggs and what causes them to age more quickly, she says.

The average age of menarche in the United States has gotten younger for a variety of reasons, but that hasnt made women go through menopause earlier, she points out.

What Can I Do To Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis isnt entirely preventable, but you can take steps to strengthen your bones. Eating foods high in calcium like cheese, yogurt, spinach or fortified cereals can help boost calcium intake. Adding a calcium supplement can also help. Some people also need a vitamin D supplement because it helps their body absorb calcium.

Don’t Miss: Sweet Potatoes And Menopause

Phases Of The Menopausal Transition

Menopause is the anchor point of a woman’s transition to midlife and, because menstrual cycles can be irregular for many reasons, menopause can be declared only after 12 months of amenorrhea. Menopause occurs at a mean of 51.4 years of age for Western women, but the range can be as wide as 40 to 58 years of age. For many years, menopause was considered to be simply a consequence of the depletion of ovarian follicles . However, it is now clear that transitional processes and events begin several years before menopause itself, and continue for several years after menopause. This perimenopausal developmental transition in a woman’s life is a dynamic process that consists of a series of complex and interactive changes in the endocrine system and central nervous system.12

Gloria Bachmann, Nora J. Doty, in, 2010

How Will I Know If I Am Starting The Transition To Menopause

Menopause Age / Perimenopause Age and Menopause Age Range

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.

Don’t Miss: Estrogen Dizziness

What Causes Menopause Does Every Woman Go Through Menopause

Yes, every woman will experience menopause. Menopause occurs due to a complex series of hormonal changes. Associated with the menopause is a decline in the number of functioning eggs within the ovaries. At the time of birth, most females have about 1 to 3 million eggs, which are gradually lost throughout a womans life. By the time of a girls first menstrual period, she has an average of about 400,000 eggs. By the time of menopause, a woman may have fewer than 10,000 eggs. A small percentage of these eggs are lost through normal ovulation . Most eggs die off through a process called atresia .

  • Normally, FSH, or follicle-stimulating hormone , is the substance responsible for the growth of ovarian follicles during the first half of a womans menstrual cycle. As menopause approaches, the remaining eggs become more resistant to FSH, and the ovaries dramatically reduce their production of estrogen.
  • Estrogen affects many parts of the body, including the blood vessels, heart, bone, breasts, uterus, urinary system, skin, and brain. Loss of estrogen is believed to be the cause of many of the symptoms associated with menopause. At the time of menopause, the ovaries also decrease their production of testosterone a hormone involved in libido, or sexual drive.

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.

Recommended Reading: Can A Woman Lactate After Menopause

Antidepressants And Other Medications

Antidepressant medications: The class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and related medications has been shown to be effective in controlling the symptoms of hot flashes in up to 60% of women. Specifically, venlafaxine , a drug-related to the SSRIs, and the paroxetine , desvenlafaxine , citalopram , and escitalopram have all been shown to decrease the severity of hot flashes in some women. However, antidepressant medications may be associated with side effects, including or sexual dysfunction.

Other medications: Other prescription medications have been shown to provide some relief for hot flashes, although their specific purpose is not the treatment of hot flashes. All of these may have side effects, and their use should be discussed with and monitored by a doctor. Some of these medications that have been shown to help relieve hot flashes include the antiseizure drug gabapentin and clonidine , a drug used to treat high blood pressure.

Keeping An Active Sex Life

Menopause Health Hub

Menopause can reduce a persons sex drive and lead to vaginal dryness, but it also removes the need for birth control. For some, this can make sex more enjoyable.

Having sex often can increase vaginal blood flow and help keep the tissues healthy.

Some tips for maintaining sexual health and activity during menopause include:

  • staying physically active
  • avoiding tobacco products, recreational drugs, and alcohol
  • taking the time to become aroused, which will improve lubrication
  • doing Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor
  • not using any strong soaps around the vagina, as these can worsen irritation

Also, menopause symptoms lead some people to find satisfying forms of sex that do not involve the vagina as much or at all.

It is worth remembering that, while a woman cannot become pregnant once menopause starts, it is still important to use barrier protection during penetrative sex to protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Often, sexual partners will be getting older and may be experiencing menopause at the same time. They, too, may be feeling a drop in sex drive. Opening up about any concerns can help both partners feel better and explore new forms of intimacy.

Menopause is a stage in life, not an illness. Most women experience natural menopause during midlife. However, surgery and other factors can cause menopause to start earlier.

Read Also: Are More Frequent Periods A Sign Of Menopause

What Herbs And Supplements Help Menopause Symptoms

Black cohosh is a commonly used herbal supplement that is believed to reduce hot flashes. However, small German studies that tested black cohosh only followed women over a short time period. The German agency that regulates herbs does not recommend using black cohosh for longer than 6 months. Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, visual problems, slow heartbeat, and excessive sweating. Black cohosh is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , so women must be careful about the safety and purity of this supplement.

Plant estrogens such as soy protein are a popular remedy for hot flashes, although data on their effectiveness are limited. Phytoestrogens are natural plant estrogens , which are thought to have effects similar to estrogen therapy. The safety of soy in women who have a history of breast cancer has not been established, although clinical studies indicate soy is no more effective for treating symptoms than a placebo. Soy comes from soybeans and is also called miso or tempeh. The best food sources are raw or roasted soybeans, soy flour, soy milk, and tofu. Soy sauce and soy oil do not contain isoflavones.

Herbals: Inconclusive and conflicting studies indicate that other herbals, such as dong quai, red clover , chasteberry , yam cream, Chinese medicinal herbs, and evening primrose oil, should be avoided or taken with care under the supervision of a health care professional to avoid unwanted and dangerous side effects and interactions.

RELATED ARTICLES

Popular Articles