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When Do Women Go Into Menopause

Keeping An Active Sex Life

How to know if you are going into menopause

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.

Other Drugs Used For Menopausal Symptoms

Despite its risks, hormone therapy appears to be the most effective treatment for hot flashes. There are, however, nonhormonal treatments for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.

Antidepressants

The antidepressants known as selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors are sometimes used for managing mood changes and hot flashes. A low-dose formulation of paroxetine is approved to treat moderate-to-severe hot flashes associated with menopause. Other SSRIs and similar antidepressant medicines are used “off-label” and may have some benefit too. They include fluoxetine , sertraline , venlafaxine , desvenlafaxine , paroxetine , and escitalopram .

Gabapentin

Several small studies have suggested that gabapentin , a drug used for seizures and nerve pain, may relieve hot flashes. This drug is sometimes prescribed “off-label” for treating hot flash symptoms. However, in 2013 the FDA decided against approving gabapentin for this indication because the drug demonstrated only modest benefit. Gabapentin may cause:

  • Drowsiness

Determining Your Menopause Age

Theres no simple test that can tell you when youll reach menopause, but researchers are working on creating one.

Examining your family history may be the most accurate way to help you predict when you might experience the change. Youll likely reach menopause around the same age as your mother and, if you have any, sisters.

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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.

Vaginal Lubricants For Menopause Symptoms

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In women for whom oral or vaginal estrogens are deemed inappropriate, such as breast cancer survivors, or women who do not wish to take oral or vaginal estrogen, there are varieties of over-the-counter vaginal lubricants. However, they are probably not as effective in relieving vaginal symptoms as replacing the estrogen deficiency with oral or local estrogen.

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Your Mood Is All Over The Place

My patients often tell me they feel crazy and dont know whats wrong with them, says Dr. Allmen. It could be onset of new mood symptoms or worsening of existing anxiety or depression. In fact, during menopause, women are two to four times more likely to experience depression.

Hormones might be responsible for these changes in mood. However, issues women tend to face in their 40s and 50s, like stress over worsening health or kids moving out and parents getting older, can also play a role.

Facts You Should Know About Menopause

  • Menopause is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. It is the time in a woman’s life when the function of the ovaries ceases.
  • The process of menopause does not occur overnight, but rather is a gradual process. This so-called perimenopausal transition period is a different experience for each woman.
  • The average age of menopause is 51 years old, but menopause may occur as early as the 30s or as late as the 60s. There is no reliable lab test to predict when a woman will experience menopause.
  • The age at which a woman starts having menstrual periods is not related to the age of menopause onset.
  • Symptoms of menopause can include abnormal vaginal bleeding, hot flashes, vaginal and urinary symptoms, and mood changes.
  • Complications that women may develop after menopause include osteoporosis and heart disease.
  • Treatments for menopause are customized for each woman.
  • Treatments are directed toward alleviating uncomfortable or distressing symptoms.

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Are There Treatments For The Menopause

If your symptoms are severe, theres treatment available which could help. This includes hormone replacement therapy , which replaces oestrogen to alleviate symptoms, creams for vaginal dryness, and cognitive behaviour therapy to help with mood changes. Speak to your doctor about the risks and benefits of different treatments.

Can I Get Pregnant During Menopause

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The possibility of pregnancy disappears once you are postmenopausal, you have been without your period for an entire year . However, you can actually get pregnant during the menopause transition . If you dont want to become pregnant, you should continue to use some form of birth control until you have gone fully through menopause. Ask your healthcare provider before you stop using contraception.

For some women, getting pregnant can be difficult once theyre in their late 30s and 40s because of a decline in fertility. However, if becoming pregnant is the goal, there are fertility-enhancing treatments and techniques that can help you get pregnant. Make sure to speak to your healthcare provider about these options.

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How Is Premature Menopause Treated

The symptoms and health risks of premature menopause, as well as the emotional issues that may result from it, can be managed with the methods similar to those used for natural menopause. Women dealing with infertility that is brought on by premature menopause may want to discuss their options with their doctor or with a reproductive specialist.

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.

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Perimenopause: Rocky Road To Menopause

What are the signs of perimenopause? You’re in your 40s, you wake up in a sweat at night, and your periods are erratic and often accompanied by heavy bleeding: Chances are, you’re going through perimenopause. Many women experience an array of symptoms as their hormones shift during the months or years leading up to menopause that is, the natural end of menstruation. Menopause is a point in time, but perimenopause is an extended transitional state. It’s also sometimes referred to as the menopausal transition, although technically, the transition ends 12 months earlier than perimenopause .

What Are Premature Menopause Early Menopause And Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

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Premature menopause and early menopause are conditions where a woman goes through menopause at an earlier age than is typically expected. Both conditions can result in women being unable to become pregnant. If there is no obvious medical or surgical cause for the premature menopause, this is called primary ovarian insufficiency . Primary ovarian insufficiency is also referred to as premature ovarian insufficiency.

The name premature ovarian failure is no longer used because women who are told they have early menopause can have intermittent ovulation, menstrual bleeding or even pregnancy after being told they have ovarian failure.

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How Can Early Menopause Be Prevented

Though some cases of premature menopause can’t be prevented, here are some measures you can take if you suspect you are at risk:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Use hormone-free, organic skincare products
  • Eat organic, healthy food
  • Avoid processed foods

We hope you found this information useful! Are you at risk or have you experienced early menopause? Share your story with us in the comments below.

How Does Menopause Affect My Bladder Control

Unfortunately, bladder control issues are common for women going through menopause. There are several reasons why this happens, including:

  • Estrogen. This hormone plays several roles in your body. It not only controls your period and promotes changes in your body during pregnancy, estrogen also keeps the lining of your bladder and urethra healthy.
  • Pelvic floor muscles. Supporting the organs in your pelvis your bladder and uterus are called the pelvic floor muscles. Throughout your life, these muscles can weaken. This can happen during pregnancy, childbirth and from weight gain. When the muscles weaken, you can experience urinary incontinence .

Specific bladder control problems that you might have can include:

  • Stress incontinence .
  • Urge incontinence .
  • Painful urination .
  • Nocturia .

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Menopause Symptoms Start Long Before Women Stop Getting Their Periods New Study Shows

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Many women know little about menopause before they experience it nearly half dont know the difference between perimenopausethe transition to menopauseand menopause itself, the point at which women have stopped menstruating for 12 months.

New research suggests the scientific community has a lot to learn about menopause as well.

According to a study published this week in Menopause, the Journal of The North American Menopause Society, the onset of menopause symptoms may begin earlier than previously understood.

A global survey of women ages 35 to 55 investigated the experiences of women still getting monthly periods with only slight changes to menstrual cycle length or changes in flow compared to women with greater cycle changes. Approximately 1,500 survey respondents were categorized as being in either the late reproductive stage the stage immediately preceding a womans transition to menopauseor the menopausal transition stage.

Researchers compared how women in the LRS and MT stages experience symptoms typically associated with menopause, analyzing the type, frequency, and burden of symptoms experienced by each group.

The most surprising finding: Women in LRS and women in MT may be more similar than they are different.

Can Menopause Cause Depression

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

Your body goes through a lot of changes during menopause. There are extreme shifts in your hormone levels, you may not be sleeping well because of hot flashes and you may be experiencing mood swings. Anxiety and fear could also be at play during this time. All of these factors can lead to depression.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of depression, talk to your healthcare provider. During your conversation, your provider will tell you about different types of treatment and check to make sure there isnt another medical condition causing your depression. Thyroid problems can sometimes be the cause of depression.

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Tips For Talking With Your Doctor

Talking about sex with your doctor might make you uncomfortable, but remember that its their job to take care of all aspects of your health and well-being without judgment. If youre uncomfortable with this topic, here are some tips to help:

  • Bring notes. Be specific about what your concerns are. It will help your doctor if you have notes on your symptoms, including what makes them better or worse, and how you feel when they occur.
  • Write down questions to bring with you to your appointment. Once youre in the exam room, it might be hard to remember everything you wanted to ask. Writing down questions beforehand will help make sure you get all the information you need and help guide the conversation.
  • Know what your doctor might ask. While every situation is different, understanding what your doctor might ask can help calm your nerves. They will probably ask how long your symptoms have been going on, how much pain or distress they cause you, what treatments youve tried, and if your interest in sex has changed.
  • Tell the nurse. Youll usually see a nurse before the doctor. If you tell the nurse that you want to talk to the doctor about sexual issues, the nurse can let the doctor know. Then they can bring it up with you, which may be more comfortable than bringing it up yourself.

There are many ways to treat libido changes due to menopause.

How Do I Know If I Am In Menopause

Menopause is defined as 12 consecutive months without having a menstrual cycle. If you are currently not having periods, but it has not yet been 12 full months, you might be in menopause, but you cannot be sure until you have gone a full year without having a period.

Some cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can also lead to medical menopause, which can be temporary or permanent.

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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 .

Can Menopause Affect Sleep

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Some women may experience trouble sleeping through the night and insomnia during menopause. Insomnia is an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. This can be a normal side effect of menopause itself, or it could be due to another symptom of menopause. Hot flashes are a common culprit of sleepless nights during menopause.

If hot flashes keep you awake at night, try:

  • Staying cool at night by wearing loose clothing.
  • Keeping your bedroom well-ventilated.

Avoiding certain foods and behaviors that trigger your hot flashes. If spicy food typically sets off a hot flash, avoid eating anything spicy before bed.

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Trouble Focusing And Learning

In the lead-up to menopause two-thirds of women may have difficulty with concentration and memory.

Keeping physically and mentally active, following a healthful diet, and maintaining an active social life can help with these issues. For example, some people benefit from finding a new hobby or joining a club or a local activity.

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For our survey respondents, the symptom picture for those with menstrual irregularities that qualify them for the scientific definition of perimenopause is quite similar to the symptom picture for those in the same age group with only minimal menstrual changes, said Dr. Marcie Richardson, a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist at Atrius Health in Massachusetts and one of the studys authors.

Rates of self-reported symptoms did not vary significantly between women in the LRS and MT groups. Approximately 40% of all participants in both LRS and MT groups reported common symptoms of menopause, including night or cold sweats, sleep disruption, hot flashes, feeling sad or blue, and feeling easily overwhelmed or less able to cope.

About half of each group reported fatigue and about one-third reported joint and muscle pain, thinning hair, and itchier skin.

Other mood and cognitive symptoms were even more common for both groups. Half of all survey respondents with any symptoms reported feeling anxious and 56% reported feeling irritable. Fifty-four percent reported having a hard time concentrating, and 63% reported being more forgetful.

On the dimension of botherthe degree to which a symptom was bothersomeonly hot flashes had a statistically significant difference between groups. Women in MT were more likely to report being bothered by hot flashes than women in LRS. Every other symptom was equally bothersome to women regardless of stage.

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Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe

A common question is if hormone therapy is safe and whether it can cause it cancer. Hormone Replacement Therapy can increase the risk of Estrogen-dependent Cancer. Its important to see your provider so they can take a thorough history and help determine your risk and whether estrogen is safe for you. There are alternatives such as hormone creams, etc. Theres a lot more options on the market now than there used to be. Everyone is different and your provider can help guide you through this process.

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