How Is Menopause Diagnosed
There are several ways your healthcare provider can diagnose menopause. The first is discussing your menstrual cycle over the last year. If you have gone a full year without a period, you may be postmenopausal. Another way your provider can check if you are going through menopause is a blood test that checks your follicle stimulating hormone level. FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland this gland is located at the base of your brain. However, this test can be misleading during the beginning of menopause when your body is transitioning and your hormone levels are fluctuating up and down. Hormone testing always need to be interpreted in the context of what is happening with the menstrual period.
For many women, a blood test is not necessary. If you are having the symptoms of menopause and your periods have been irregular, talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider may be able to diagnose menopause after your conversation.
How Long Do You Have To Go Without A Period To Be In Menopause
This is where it gets a bit confusing. In some circumstances, you’re told that you’re through the menopause when you’ve not had any periods for 12 months. In our experience, we find that quite a lot of women will go that year or year and a bit, and then get a single period back or they restart for a little while.
So our consensus here is that just to be on the safe side, we say that you are through the menopause after not having had any periods for 2 years . But this timescale, this is only really to do with saying that you’re post-menopausal and that you are safe from pregnancy.
A lot of women think that at this point all their symptoms will disappear and they will feel fine, and everything will be back to normal. So this two years without a period really has nothing to do with the symptoms that you’re getting, the symptoms you may be experiencing. So for some women, again, after the two years, they will find their symptoms start to ease off, but for other women, this symptom phase can go on for quite a bit longer.
Now, in all these circumstances, I have posted other video blogs that go into these particular circumstances in a lot more detail, so if you want to know more on this, please just click the link. But I just wanted to do one video blog on periods in general as you go through the menopause.
Lifestyle Factors To Support You During The Menopause
There are a number of easy self-help tips that you can try at home to help keep the symptoms of menopause under control:
- Diet During the menopause even very small changes in lifestyle factors can make a big difference for better or for worse! Try to reduce refined carbohydrates and sugary sweet treats as you can risk throwing your hormones off further, exacerbating cravings and encouraging weight gain. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals, opt for whole grain sources of carbohydrates, up your intake of omega-3 with lots of oily fish and include a source of protein in every meal
- Think about drinks Its not just what you eat, but also what you drink that matters. Ensure you drink at least 1.5 litres of plain, still water a day to keep you hydrated and your bowels moving regularly. Also, try to avoid sugary drinks, alcohol and caffeine as much as possible as these can put a strain on the endocrine system and make you feel anxious or jittery
- Stress Stress can be exacerbated during the menopause so its important to not let it get on top of you. Practice breathing exercises, or try taking part in a yoga class after work, above all else make sure you take time out to do things you enjoy and take your mind off the stresses of modern life
- Exercise; – Regular moderate exercise can help with many of the symptoms of menopause. It can help support your mood, sleep, body weight and often helps to keep pesky food cravings under control too!
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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 .
When Are You Actually In Menopause How Is Menopause Calculated Defined Or Diagnosed
Menopause is defined as taking place 1 year after a woman’s last period. Once you have had a consecutive;12 months with no period you are officially declared to be in the menopause – congratulations! So you can find yourself putting the clock back to zero a few times if your period returns after a few months break.;
Some women have a period even after a;1-year break with no period. So you see why menopause can drive some women crazy – it’s so different and unpredictable!
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What Happens To Your Periods During Menopause
Now, what basically happens when your periods change? This is one of the first indications that you are starting the road towards the menopause. Your periods can start to change three, four, five years before you hit the menopause proper. But again, it’s going to be different for everyone. You are unique. We are all unique. And we will all have a unique and individual menopause so these figures are just very, very, very average.
What happens when your periods start to change? They can change in a number of ways.
How Will I Know If Im Going Through Menopause If Ive Had A Hysterectomy
If your uterus was surgically removed through a hysterectomy, you may not know youre going through menopause unless you experience hot flashes.
This can also happen if youve had an endometrial ablation and your ovaries werent removed. Endometrial ablation is the removal of the lining of your uterus as treatment for heavy menstruation.
If you arent having any symptoms, a blood test can determine if your ovaries are still functioning. This test can be used to help doctors find out your estrogen level, which may be beneficial if youre at risk of osteoporosis. Thats because knowing your estrogen status may be important in determining whether you need a bone density assessment.
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There Are Several Potential Causes But Some Are More Serious Than Others
In most cases, postmenopausal bleeding is caused by issues such as endometrial atrophy , vaginal atrophy, fibroids, or endometrial polyps. The bleeding could also be a sign of endometrial cancera malignancy of the uterine lining, but only in a small number of cases. A 2018 study by the National Cancer Institute found that only about 9 percent of postmenopausal women who saw a doctor for bleeding later received a diagnosis of endometrial cancer.
Still, we want the option to intervene early if it is cancer, since treating it sooner leads to better outcomes, Mantia-Smaldone said.
If endometrial cancer is found early, a woman has a 95 percent chance of surviving the cancer for at least 5 years.
What If You Want To Get Pregnant After You’ve Hit Menopause
Okay, so let’s say you’ve already hit menopausemeaning you haven’t had a period in 12 months or morebut you would still like to get pregnant. Luckily, if that’s your choice, science is on your side through a process called in vitro fertilization .
According to the US National Library of Medicine;, IVF is essentially the joining of a woman’s egg with a man’s sperm, outside of the woman’s body . In women who are of childbearing age, there are five steps to IVF: stimulation, egg retrieval, insemination and fertilization, embryo culture, and embryo transfer. However, because women who have already gone through menopause are not producing eggs, they do not need to go through the first two steps, and will instead have to use eggs from a donor.;
From there, it’s like any other IVF pregnancy: Once a fertilized egg divides and become an embryo outside of the body, per the NLM, it’s placed inside the woman’s womb, where she can carry the embryo, then fetus, to term.;
The bottom line: If you havent yet reached menopause but are perimenopausal, you can definitely still get pregnant. But if youve already hit menopause when you decide you want to consider motherhood, its not necessarily too late” for that, either.;
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Is Joint Pain A Symptom Of Menopause
Joint pain affects many menopausal women. This pain can also be accompanied by stiffness and swelling of the affected joints. This happens because menopause lowers your levels of estrogen, which acts as an anti-inflammatory substance and helps maintain bone health. Osteoarthritis tends to affect high-impact joints like hips and knees, but it can affect any joint.
The Most Important Part Of Post
Along with the physical changes that occur after menopause, women may need to improve their health care routines.
Postmenopausal women are at greater risk for heart disease, so redirect your diet toward low-fat foods and lower your salt intake this reduces the risk of heart attack and atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up on the insides of the arteries.
As part of your routine check-ups, you should have a blood test at a minimum of every five years until age 50, and then at regular intervals. Your doctor will recommend what that interval should be based on how high your cholesterol is, if you are on cholesterol treatment, and on other cardiovascular risk factors that you may have, such as hypertension or obesity.
Women also should have their bone density checked once every two years to spot early signs of osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones. Postmenopausal women are particularly at risk for this condition: Research shows that up to 20 percent of bone loss can occur in the first five years of menopause.
Estrogen is one of the best stimulators of bone growth, Audlin says. The risk of osteoporosis is very low before menopause, but post-menopausally, fractured hips and problems related to bone density are very likely.
Women ages 50 and up should consume at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium every day to maintain bone health. This can be accomplished with supplements, by consuming calcium-rich foods like milk, or a combination of the two.
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Our Physicians At Chapel Hill Obgyn Provide An Accurate And Timely Diagnosis
If youre not pregnant, the absence of a period can be stressful. Because there are so many possible causes for amenorrhea, its important that you schedule an appointment with one of our Chapel Hill gynecologists to determine a course of treatment. We can usually schedule an appointment with you that same week.
For more than 40 years, Chapel Hill OBGYN has served women in the Triangle area, sharing the joy of little miracles and supporting them during challenges. Our board-certified physicians and certified nurse midwives bring together the personal experience and convenience of a private practice with the state-of-the-art resources found at larger organizations. To schedule an appointment, please contact us for more information.
Should I Be Worried About Late
;Posted4 years agobyAndreas Obermair
At what age do you expect menopause to occur?; How does it affect your health and cancer risk?
Menopause occurs when a womans ovaries stop releasing hormones. Naturally, ;a womans production of estrogen and progesterone hormones decrease in her late forties, which may cause menstrual periods eventually stopping. The age where most women become menopausal is between 50 and 54 years. In this context menopause is defined as not having a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months. As the hormone levels decrease, this may come with symptoms such as hot flushes, headaches, insomnia, mood swings and depression. Some women dont have symptoms at all. Others may have symptoms at;varying severity for 5 to 10 years.
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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.
When Does Menopause Start
Though menopause is defined as starting one year after the end of a person last period, they may begin experiencing symptoms earlier.
According to the North American Menopause Society, the average age for a woman to reach menopause in the United States is 51 years. However, this age range varies. Menopause may happen early when a woman is in her forties or later when she is in her late 50s.
The onset of menopause can also follow surgery that reduces ovarian function or hormones, such as a hysterectomy, where a surgeon removes the uterus, or surgery or other treatments for cancer. In these circumstances, symptoms may begin rapidly as an adverse effect of these procedures.
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My Experience Of Periods Changing Prior To Menopause By Aisling Grimley Founder My Second Spring
“At 47 I missed my period one month and thought I might be pregnant as I also experienced some hormone surges that reminded me of pregnancy. I had some red rage moments and very tender breasts.;
During the following 5/6 years;of perimenopause, I went through times of having regular monthly periods in my classic pattern for a few months. Then I might skip up to 6 months only to have periods return to normal again. During the gaps with no period, I sometimes had PMS like symptoms and mild cramps when I reckon I should have had a period. Sometimes my cramps were very painful, at other times I had no pain at all. My last periods were quite light and I never experienced flooding but I know it is very usual to have one or two very heavy periods before they stop altogether.
At 53 I had my last period and I am now period-free for 15 months so I declare myself to be in The Menopause!” Aisling
My Periods Have Changed Is Menopause Around The Corner
An ob-gyn explains the course of perimenopause.;
Its a common scene in any ob-gyn practice: A patient comes in, concerned that her periods have changed. Whats going on? she asks. Is this menopause?
If youre a woman in your 40s, a change in your menstrual periods is the hallmark of perimenopause thats what we call the years leading up to your last menstrual period.;
Heres a look at how we diagnose perimenopause and menopause, and what else to expect as you enter this phase of life.
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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.
Menstruation Changes Are The Main Perimenopause Symptoms
Menstruation changes are the first signs of perimenopause.
Changes in the length of your period and menstrual bleeding become more abundant and irregular. Periods may occur once in 23 weeks or be absent for several months in a row until they disappear completely.
This phase is unique for every woman and may require a doctors supervision.
This is particularly important if the interval between periods is less than 2 weeks, there is severe bleeding , or if menstruation lasts for more than a week.
Contrary to popular belief, menopause is not a bad thing, not a disease by any means. Its merely another peculiar stage in a womans life. The more we appreciate this menopause meaning, the better
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