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What To Do When You Go Through Menopause

How Does Birth Control Affect Perimenopause Symptoms

How to know if you are going into menopause

Hormonal birth control can help prevent pregnancy and eliminate period symptoms. Similarly, using birth control during perimenopause can help alleviate unpleasant symptoms and even decrease the likelihood of negative health conditions. For instance, the process of menopause may lead to osteoporosis and other bone-related issues, and implementing birth control can help reduce this risk. Additionally, because birth control regulates hormone levels, it can further minimize some of the effects associated with perimenopause such as hot flashes, acne, and vaginal dryness.

It is important to note, however, that hormonal contraceptives can mask perimenopause symptoms. Furthermore, those who take birth control may not recognize when they have reached the perimenopause stage. For this reason, it is crucial to communicate with a doctor in order to better understand what is going on in your body.

What Else Affects When A Woman Will Finally Stop Having Menstrual Periods

Researchers continue to explore a number of factors that may influence the timing of menopause.

The level of education a woman has completed is one thing that seems to correlate with menopause timing, says Faubion. Women who have more education tend to go through menopause later, she says.

A study published in January 2020 in JAMA Network Open found that pregnancy and breastfeeding may reduce the risk of early menopause.

How frequently a woman has sex has also been correlated with early menopause. A study published in January 2020 in Royal Society Open Science found that women who had sex at least once a week were less likely to go through menopause compared with women who had sex less than once a month.

RELATED: Will Not Having Sex Trigger Early Menopause?

How Long Do The Stages Of Menopause Last

  • Perimenopause: The first phase of the process is perimenopause. Estrogen levels begin to decrease somewhat during this time, and this causes monthly cycles to become irregular. In addition, estrogen levels tend to fluctuate during this period of time, which means that menopause-like symptoms will also fluctuate.
  • Perimenopause typically lasts for four to six years, but it can last as long as 12 years for some women. In most cases, the onset occurs between ages 35-45. However, it can occur earlier or later in a minority of women. While they do remain potentially fertile during this time, it becomes far more difficult to conceive. Hot flashes, fatigue, chills, and other symptoms associated with menopause begin to emerge during this stage.

  • Menopause: After a year goes by with no monthly cycles, menopause has occurred. This is when the most intense symptoms appear. Typically, they will increase during the first year after the start of menopause, and then theyll decrease gradually over a period of several years. It typically occurs between ages 45 and 55, but it can be earlier or later for some women. Occasionally, it occurs in the early 60s. Rarely, it can occur as early as ones 20s or 30s, but this is quite uncommon.
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    Profound Changes After Menopause

    The moment you transition into postmenopause, you have the chance to finish what you started during menopause and redefine who you are and what your priorities are.

    For many women, these changes are deep and far-reaching. The realization that you have been holding yourself up to impossible standards is profoundly liberating. You allow yourself to do your best on any given day.

    Some days your best is 100% and sometimes it is 1%. Now you show up for yourself and the people you want in your life, and not only for everybody else.

    Confirming That The Menopause Has Taken Place

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    Its not always easy to confirm that the menopause has actually happened. Of course, irregular periods and the occasional hot flush are a sign that changes are taking place, but identifying the time of the actual menopause is not so simple, especially if you are taking the Pill or have started Hormone Replacement Therapy for the relief of peri-menopausal symptoms.

    The question may seem irrelevant, but it is helpful to know the date of your last period, not only so that you can respond to symptoms in the most appropriate way, but also for contraceptive purposes. A truly menopausal woman will be infertile and will have no need of contraception. However, most doctors advise menopausal women under 50 to continue with their contraception for two years after their last period and for one year if they are over 50.

    Most doctors will evaluate a womans menopausal status according to her symptoms , pattern of periods, and medical record. It is possible to take a blood test to measure levels of a reproductive hormone known as FSH. However, while elevated FSH levels may be a sign of the menopause, the test is not always accurate and results cant be guaranteed. Measurement of FSH is not required to diagnose perimenopause or menopause in women aged over 45 years.

    This is also the case in those rare instances of premature ovarian Insufficiency, when the hormonal system fails at an early age and the ovaries lose their normal function.

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    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.

    Two Servings Of Fruit Are Ideal

    These gems are natural ways to calm a sweet tooth and are full of disease-fighting antioxidants, are low in calories, and are high in water and fiber to fill you up without filling you out. Shapiro cautions not to eat more than two servings per day, however, to avoid adding too much sugar to your diet.

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    Are Women Who Arent Experiencing Menopausal Symptoms Still Fertile

    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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    During perimenopause, irregular periods are common. This is often normal and is rarely any cause for concern. It is linked to changing hormone levels during the menopausal transition.2 During perimenopause, the regular pattern in the rise and fall of oestrogen and progesterone is disrupted and there is now an unpredictable fluctuation in hormones during the menstrual cycle. As a result there are a variety of different menstrual changes that may occur. Cycles may be shorter than usual or bleeding can be days to weeks late. Periods can be heavier, or lighter, or vary a lot between each cycle.

    Short menstrual cycles occur when there is a very low oestrogen level compared with progesterone. This is because oestrogen helps cause the womb lining to thicken, so when the levels are low, there is less lining to shed, hence the periods become short or scant. When there are more fluctuations in oestrogen and progesterone levels with lots of peaks and troughs, periods may be more frequent.

    When menstrual cycles are prolonged, this is due to high oestrogen levels compared to progesterone levels. If ovulation does not occur, progesterone is not produced, so there is subsequently no sharp drop in progesterone, the trigger for the womb lining to be shed. Therefore you may experience a missed period, only for your period to be particularly heavy when it does arrive.

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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.

    How To Improve Your Sleep If You Go Through The Night Sweats Menopause Stage

    In menopause, the level of the female sex hormone estrogen decreases, which is accompanied by certain changes in the state of a womans health.

    The process of ovarian failure can last for 5-6 years or longer.

    About 7585% of women experience discomfort during this time due to excessive sweating and sudden hot flashes, which can disrupt the rhythm of normal life.

    Try these simple tips as remedies for night sweats:

    • Wear loose-fitting pajamas or a nightgown made from natural fabrics. They will not constrain your movements and will allow your body to breathe.
    • Wipe your face and neck with a washcloth soaked in cold water to bring relief and help you fall asleep.
    • Go to bed and get up at the same time every night. It is also useful to monitor how much you sleep.
    • Regular sports activities will also contribute to a good nights rest. However, avoid exercising late at night.

    Note that the habit of taking a nap during the day and drinking too many caffeinated drinks can prevent you from falling asleep at night.

    If you eliminate all obstacles to a good rest, you will be exhilarated and bursting with energy all day long!

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    Your Libido May Increase Or Decrease When You Go Through Menopause

    As you’re probably already aware, the hormones in your body are responsible for how much or how little you crave intimacy, as noted by Medical News Today. It’s not surprising, then, that going through menopause will have an impact on your libido, according to OB/GYN Dr. Alyssa Dweck, INTIMINA’s Sexual and Reproductive Health expert. “Hormones including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are variable during the peri-menopausal years and plummet with menopause,” she shared with The List. “Although libido is complicated for women, these hormones are incredibly influential.”

    While this hormonal flux can result in a decreased libido in later stages of menopause, Dweck says that in earlier stages, you might find yourself especially randy. “While this is not universal, many women experience heightened sexual drive during the peri-menopausal years, the four to eight years prior to menopause which is by definition, 12 consecutive months of no menses,” she continued. “During this time, reproductive potential is winding down.” And that’s also when the baby fever might set in, so be aware of that and plan accordingly.

    Why Sex Is More Difficult After Menopause

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    The menopause is something that all women know they will eventually have to deal with, and many also have an idea of the type of symptoms they will experience when that time comes. The most commonly anticipated symptoms of the menopause are hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irritability and difficulty sleeping. There are quite a number of other symptoms that women are likely to experience during the menopause, but one of the more challenging menopause symptoms is sexual problems.

    Sex after the menopause is likely to be more difficult because of the bodily changes you inevitably go through, but rest assured this does not mean that sex will be impossible, or not enjoyable. With education on the products and practices to help you deal with the physical aspects of the change, you will be able to find some equilibrium in your sexual life once again.

    The average age for women to reach menopause is 51, although in some cases it arrives later. For others still, the menopause comes earlier than expected, starting at between 41 and 45. This is known as premature menopause and affects around 1% of women. Most women enter the pre-menopausal phase in their late 40s, and that can last for up to ten years. It is called the perimenopause, and it happens when estrogen and progesterone production starts to slow down. During this phase, women are likely to experiences changes in the monthly cycle and other menopause symptoms, just at a lesser degree of intensity.

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    Ways To Manage Symptoms Of Menopause

    Many of the menopause symptoms like mood swings and hot flashes have to do with the changing levels of estrogen in your body. Hormone therapy is a common treatment for menopause, but it is recommended you speak to your health care provider, as hormone therapy is not recommended for everyone, including women with a history of breast cancer.

    Also, women may have different triggers for their hot flashes. Some common triggers are alcohol, caffeine, stress and tight clothing.

    Dormire recommends having an honest and upfront conversation with your health care provider about your symptoms and possible treatments. There are a lot of options that we did not have a few years ago. Hormone therapy is not just taking a pill anymore, she said. There are even vaginal creams and patches that are hormonally based, which limit the impact administered hormones have on the rest of the body.

    Women have also found success with using nonhormonal medication to treat hot flashes. Medicine usually given for pain or seizures as well as some antidepressants often offer relief.

    No one way to treat menopause is better than the other. Because the symptoms vary so greatly from woman to woman, do not be afraid to try different management techniques. Speak with your health care provider to make a plan that is customized to you. If you are experiencing symptoms of menopause, do not feel helpless. There are plenty of ways to manage your symptoms and find relief.

    Mary Leigh Meyer

    An Early First Menstrual Period May Lead To Premature Menopause

    How do you know if you’re starting perimenopause?

    The most telling symptom is changes in your menstrual cycle, says psychiatrist Hadine Joffe, the executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

    “It’s the menstrual cycle pattern that really defines this lead-up to menopause,” she says. During perimenopause, periods “might be shorter, then a long one, or then a skipped one, or then the flow might be different,” says Joffe.

    There’s no blood or hormone test that can “diagnose” perimenopause. Joffe says a hormone test isn’t helpful because hormonal cycles become erratic and unpredictable during this stage.

    “There’s not really one point in time when a hormone test is done that can be definitive,” she says. Even if you took several tests over time, “you might get a very different readout.”

    Surprisingly, sometimes doctors aren’t prepared to help women recognize the start of this life phase. Edrie was upset at her doctors’ responses รข or lack thereof. “I felt so disappointed in the medical industry. How many women has my OB/GYN seen and not recognized the symptoms of perimenopause?”

    What symptoms to expect

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    Why Should We Trust Those Who Say It Will Get Better

    Life expectancy for women in the year 2040 is 83.3 years. That means that you have at least 30, maybe even 40 years or more, after menopuse to live your life to the fullest and thrive.

    Last week, our guest blogger from menopausalme.com gave her a view of what she was going through during menopause, calling it her MMM Moody, Mad and Miserable.

    When you are in the depth of that, sometimes difficult menopause experience, you dont believe it will ever be over and that you will feel much better after it ends.

    You are not alone. At the midpoint of menopause women experience:

    a) hot flashes are in their full blazing strength ,

    b) when you had maybe 8 hours of sleep in the past thre days altogether ,

    c) your mood swings and irritability are at their highest point ever ,

    d) when you are so forgetful that you think you are losing your mind or going into early dementia

    e) In addition to many more of the 47 symptoms attributed to menopause it is difficult to phantom a better time in the future.

    We implore you to consider that it is possible.

    How Long Does Menopause Last On Average

    How do you know you are going through the menopause?

    If you are going through menopause, youre probably wondering how long the symptoms will last. While the answer to this question is different for every woman, it lasts an average of four or five years. The nature of the symptoms also varies from person to person, and the specific timeline of symptoms is highly variable as well. Heres what you need to know.

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    Your Vision May Change

    Another thing that’s connected to the hormone levels in your body is your eyesight. In fact, according to the The North American Menopause Society, that’s why you experience changes to your eye health during parts of your menstrual cycle as well as when you’re pregnant.

    Given that fact, it’s not surprising that you may find yourself having ocular issues when you’re going through menopause. According to OB/GYN Dr. Kim Langdon, “eye and/or vision changes, including dry eyes” are possible during menopause, as she explained to The List. That can also include “difficulty reading, but generally maintaining the ability to see at a distance.” Even the shape of your eyes might change a bit, which can make contact lenses less comfortable.

    It order to make sure your baby blues stay healthy as you age, talk to your doctor. She can tell you about the various eye drops that are available, as well as surgical procedures to treat dry eye. And if you find your vision changing, it may be time to hit up the drug store for some reading glasses.


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