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What Is The Oldest You Can Go Through Menopause

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause

What is perimenopause, and at what age does a woman experience it?

Menopause occurs when the bodys sex hormones change, and this occurs naturally as you age.

Your ovaries reduce the amount of oestrogen produced and will stop releasing an egg each month.

In the UK, the average age for a woman to go through menopause is 51.

Around one in 100 women experience menopause before the age of 40, and this is known as premature ovarian insufficiency or premature menopause.

There is no clear cause as to why early menopause happens before the age of 45.

Sometimes it can be triggered by surgeries such as some breast cancer treatments or when the ovaries are removed, or even from medical conditions such as Downs syndrome.

The severity of menopausal symptoms can vary depending on the individual. They can range from mild to significantly interrupting your daily routine.

Menopausal symptoms can start months or years before your periods stop, and can last until four years or longer after your last period.

Symptoms include:

  • Vaginal dryness or discomfort during sex
  • Reduced libido
  • Problems with concentration or memory

If your menopausal symptoms are causing you discomfort or occur before the age of 45, your GP may be able to help.

Not only has going through menopause impacted her life dramatically, but it has also been monumental on her parents.

She said: Obviously they wanted grandchildren. My mum was especially disappointed.

It really frustrates me… inside you’re thinking, Why, why me? and really just want to know why, why it’s happened.

Factors Related To Timing Of Menopause

Results from cross-sectional studies have indicated that endocrine changes characteristic of the onset of the perimenopause begin at around age 45. The median age at menopause among white women from industrialized countries ranges between 50 and 52 years and at onset of the perimenopause is 47.5 years, with slight evidence of increasing age at menopause over time. These onsets seem to vary by race and ethnicity and are affected by demographic and lifestyle factors.,,, Although some studies have reported no familial relationship, 1 study has reported that age at menopause was positively associated with maternal age at menopause, and 1 recent study has shown genetic control of age at menopause in a study of twins. However, a number of potentially modifiable factors which may affect estrogen metabolism, including body mass index , diet , and passive smoke exposure have not been examined, nor has the time-varying effect of these and of the other factors that have been previously identified been examined in longitudinal analyses of sufficiently large and diverse study populations.

What Other Factors Influence When Perimenopause Starts Or When A Woman Reaches Menopause

New research published online on April 12 in Menopause, the journal of NAMS, looked at the various factors that may affect the age when natural menopause occurs.

They found that there are factors that do seem predictive of when a woman will approach menopause, such as higher estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone levels, which weve known for a while,” says Streicher. Irregular menstrual bleeding and hot flashes were also indicators of earlier menopause, she adds.

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One new finding uncovered in the research was around alcohol consumption. The authors observed that participants tended to increase their alcohol consumption when approaching menopause, making it a potential clue that the change was coming.

That makes sense, says Streicher. This can be a time of added stress for women, and we know that any stressful situation can cause someone to drink more, she says.

Although this study didnt find a strong association with smoking, other research has indicated that smoking is related to early onset of menopause, says Streicher.

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Opinionyour Doctor Doesn’t Know If You Have Perimenopause Because It’s Largely Unstudied

To get through it, I made a few changes. To combat weight gain and potentially uneven moods, I cut out my daily glass of wine . I also found a renewed love for running something Id been doing for 25 years but came to see as extra important for dealing with stress and keeping my bones strong now that estrogen wouldnt be around to safeguard them as much.

Hot flashes? I kept wet washcloths in the freezer and draped one around my neck when a flash came . And as for romance there was no magic fix on that one, but my husband and I worked to spend more quality time together and have more honest conversations .

Cancer Risk And Age At Menopause

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According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, women who experience late-onset menopause have an increased risk of uterine and breast cancer. This is due to having an increased exposure to hormones such as estrogen. As women menstruate longer, they have more ovulations which also increases the risk of ovarian cancer. Women with a long reproductive life, menarche before the age of 12 years and menopause after age 55 years have an increased risk of these hormone-dependent cancers. A pooled analysis of data from more than 400,000 women found for every year older a woman was at menopause, breast cancer risk increased by approximately 3%.

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Predicting Natural Menopause: Why Does Age Matter

If theres not a lot that women can do to change when theyll experience menopause, why does predicting it even matter?

It would be helpful for every woman to know exactly when menopause will arrive. Beyond recognizing and addressing issues such as increased cardiovascular disease risk and risks related to bone health, if a woman knows her age of menopause and how long the perimenopause transition will last, it could help her make important health decisions, says Faubion.

If youre bleeding like crazy it would be helpful to know, she says.

As of now, research hasnt uncovered a way to determine when a women will go into menopause, but having that information could be useful in making decisions such as whether to have a hysterectomy or other invasive procedures, says Faubion. If menopause is going to be a few months or a year from now, you may choose to wait it out if it’s going to be five years from now, you might want to go ahead and have an invasive procedure, she says.

The ability to predict when menopause will occur could also help with managing menopause symptoms or deciding which type of birth control to use, adds Faubion.

Home Remedies: Vitamin E Black Cohosh And Herbs

Vitamin E

Some women report that vitamin Esupplements can provide relief from mild hot flashes, but scientific studies are lacking to prove the effectiveness of vitamin E in relieving symptoms of menopause. Taking a dosage greater than 400 international units of vitamin E may not be safe, since some studies have suggested that greater dosages may be associated with cardiovascular disease risk.

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is an herbal preparation promoted for the relief of hot flashes. Clinical trials show that black cohosh is actually no more effective than placebo in controlling hot flashes.

Other alternative therapies for menopause symptoms

There are many supplements and substances that have been advertised as “natural” treatments for symptoms of menopause, including licorice, dong Quai, chaste berry, and wild yam. Scientific studies have not proven the safety or effectiveness of these products.

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How Long Does The Transition To Menopause Last

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.

Accept The Things That Are Changing

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The resilience of our human spirit tells us that we can get through almost anything when we know it has an end date.

Standing firm in the knowledge that This too will pass has a way of helping us cope with lifes adversities. The good news is that once we come out the other side of the change period, slow wave sleep improves.

Wear yourself cooler by night with PJs that actually help cool you down. Eucalyptus fibre works a treat for this.

Linen, silk and cotton are also cooling.

Look out for soybean based foods

Hormone Replacement Therapy is now a common medical intervention but some GPs arent keen on prescribing it in the early stages of the hormonal transition.

Making adjustments to your diet can be helpful. Foods such as flax seeds, edamame, dried fruits, tofu and cruciferous veg all contain phytoestrogen can help promote the production of oestrogen and progesterone, which amongst many other things, may assist in moderating body temperature.

If you want to stay cooler, also look out for soyabean based foods. Some supplements are also convenient ways to get phytoestrogen.

Avoid foods and drinks that cause heat spikes before bed! That includes coffee, tea, and spices.

Instead, Sip Red Clover flower tea that provides us with a form of oestrogen – coumestrol – which helps to control hormonal fluctuations.

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Workout

Exercise is an important part of sleep hygiene.

Achieve sleep lift-off with space-inspired tech

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Are There Other Health Issues That Affect Women In Premature Menopause

Like all menopausal women, women in premature menopause experience lowered estrogen levels as the ovaries stop most of their production of this hormone. Low levels of estrogen can lead to changes in women’s overall health and may increase their risk for certain medical conditions, such as osteoporosis. Other health risks associated with the loss of estrogen include increased risk for colon and ovarian cancer, periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cataract formation.

However, compared with women who go through natural menopause, women undergoing premature menopause spend a greater portion of their lives without the protective benefits of their own estrogen. This puts them at an even greater risk for the above mentioned menopause-related health problems.

Menopause Symptoms: Age 50

Most women will have their last period around the age of 50. Twelve months without a period later, menopause is reached and post-menopause begins.

As menopause gets closer, your estrogen and progesterone levels start to decline more rapidly. As a result, your symptoms will likely become more intense.

Your periods will probably become more irregular. You may experience greater mood swings. And you might experience an increase in insomnia. Plus, youll likely start experiencing new symptoms that are common right around or right after reaching menopause, including:

Hot flashes and chills

Hot flashes can happen during pre-menopause, but theyre most often reported right around menopause and in the first few years of post-menopause. These are sensations of heat that develop around your face, neck and chest, and may spread to other areas of your body. They usually last for just a few minutes.

Alongside the feeling of heat, your skin may redden, you may sweat, your heart rate might increase and your mood may change. Afterward, you may feel chills.

Doctors arent sure why hot flashes happen but there are ways to lessen their impact. Some tips include:

  • Try to stay in cooler environments
  • Dress lightly or wear layers you can remove
  • Manage stress

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What Age Do Women Go Through Menopause At

There’s a lot of confusion out there, I find a lot of women, myself included, wonder ‘what age do you expect menopause?’ For most of us, the menopause will happen between the ages of 48 and 55. The average age for women to experience menopause in Ireland is 50 years. We can start to experience symptoms up to eight years before that time, during a phase called perimenopause. For some of us, menopause could commence in our 30s and for others in our 50s. You will also find that most information available concerning menopause will give you slightly different average ages or age ranges. This can lead to confusion, but it is because we are all different.

For most of us, our last period will be preceded by the phase of menopausal changes and transition known as the perimenopause. During this phase, we may experience a wide variety of symptoms of the menopause including hot flushes, mood swings, insomnia and anxiety. Some symptoms will be barely perceptible. Others will be intense. Some of us may experience these symptoms but may not associate them directly with the menopause as they can be quite commonplace, such as a lack of confidence, anxiety, a loss of interest in sex and difficulty sleeping.

    Menopause age can be related to the age at which our mothers experienced menopause.

Symptoms Of The Menopause

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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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What You Can Do

Consider keeping a journal to track your periods. Include information such as:

  • when they start
  • whether you have any in-between spotting

You can also log this information in an app, like Eve.

Worried about leaks and stains? Consider wearing panty liners. Disposable panty liners are available at most drugstores. They come in a variety of lengths and materials.

You can even buy reusable liners that are made of fabric and can be washed over and over again.

When your estrogen levels are high in comparison to your progesterone levels, your uterine lining builds. This results in heavier bleeding during your period as your lining sheds.

A skipped period can also cause the lining to build up, leading to heavy bleeding.

Bleeding is considered heavy if it:

  • soaks through one tampon or pad an hour for several hours
  • requires double protection such as a tampon and pad to control menstrual flow
  • causes you to interrupt your sleep to change your pad or tampon
  • lasts longer than 7 days

When bleeding is heavy, it may last longer, disrupting your everyday life. You may find it uncomfortable to exercise or carry on with your normal tasks.

Heavy bleeding can also cause fatigue and increase your risk for other health concerns, such as anemia.

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.

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What Happens During Menopause

Natural menopause isnât caused by any type of medical or surgical treatment. Itâs slow and has three stages:

  • Perimenopause. This phase usually begins several years before menopause, when your ovaries slowly make less estrogen. Perimenopause lasts until menopause, the point at which your ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last 1 to 2 years of this stage, estrogen levels fall faster. Many women have menopause symptoms.
  • Menopause. This is when it’s been a year since you had a period. Your ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and making most of their estrogen.
  • Postmenopause. These are the years after menopause. Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes usually ease. But health risks related to the loss of estrogen increase as you get older.

Are Women Who Arent Experiencing Menopausal Symptoms Still Fertile

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No matter when you experience natural menopause, your chances of getting pregnant after the age of 40 are low, says Faubion. But you can still become pregnant as youre transitioning to menopause, and you still need to use birth control if you don’t want to conceive, she adds.

Streicher confirms, saying, Fertility and menopause are not the same thing there are plenty of women who are pumping out estrogen and menstruating and are not fertile. If youre sexually active, its important to consult with your doctor before making any decisions about birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

On the other hand, dont assume that just because you are still menstruating that you can get pregnant. Women who are concerned that they may have trouble conceiving or think they may experience menopause early and still want children should discuss options such as egg freezing with their doctor, says Streicher.

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How Will Menopause Affect Me

Symptoms of menopause may begin suddenly and be very noticeable, or they may be very mild at first. Symptoms may happen most of the time once they begin, or they may happen only once in a while. Some women notice changes in many areas. Some menopausal symptoms, such as moodiness, are similar to symptoms of premenstrual syndrome . Others may be new to you. For example:

  • Your menstrual periods may not come as regularly as before. They also might last longer or be shorter. You might skip some months. Periods might stop for a few months and then start up again.
  • Your periods might be heavier or lighter than before.
  • You might have hot flashes and problems sleeping.
  • You might experience mood swings or be irritable.
  • You might experience vaginal dryness. Sex may be uncomfortable or painful.
  • You may have less interest in sex. It may take longer for you to get aroused.

Other possible changes are not as noticeable. For example, you might begin to lose bone density because you have less estrogen. This can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and break easily. Changing estrogen levels can also raise cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Talk to your doctor about possible for your menopause symptoms if they bother you.

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