When Does Menopause Happen?
Menopause begins between the ages of 45 to 55, unless you have had a hysterectomy performed earlier in your life with your ovaries removed.
It occurs when your menstrual period stops and you’re no longer able to become pregnant. Peri-menopause is the transition to full menopause when you experience a period on and off for four to eight years.
You are considered to be through it when you have not experienced a period for over a year. Your doctor can test your hormone levels to determine if you are going through peri-menopause, but it can be difficult as hormone levels fluctuate from woman to woman.
Induced Through Medical Procedures
These procedures include such things as surgical removal of both ovaries, hysterectomy either full or partial. If you should keep your ovaries during a hysterectomy then it is likely that you will enter at an early age compared to others, while complete removal of your ovaries will result in entering menopause. Hysterectomies are the second most common procedure for women. Certain cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy can also cause early menopause and women who smoke enter at an earlier age than women who do not.
These symptoms can last for months or throughout the rest of your life as the levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones made in the ovaries begin to drop.
- Hot Flashes
- Mood Swings
- Sex Changes
- Trouble Sleeping
- Urinary Problems
- Vaginal Dryness
If your symptoms become bothersome see your doctor. Bio-Identical hormones maybe the answer to assist you with these symptoms.
Menopause carries other health risks with it. There is a greater chance of osteoporosis during this time and it is vital to take steps to avoid complications and should be discussed with your doctor. Heart disease risks are increased with menopause as estrogen levels begin to drop. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the United States. It is important to discuss these risks with your doctor and any family history of these conditions.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- What changes to my lifestyle should I make?
- Are there supplements or certain diets that would help?
- Is this going to affect any pre-existing conditions I have?
- What things can I do to help relieve my symptoms?
- Is hormone treatment right for me?
- How will this affect my sex life?
This is an excellent time to also discuss certain checkups and routine screenings with your doctor. Some items that should be checked include cholesterol, blood pressure, mammograms, and blood sugar.
It is important to take care of yourself during this period of change. By eating well to ensure you get enough nutrients and staying active can help to minimize some of the symptoms of menopause. If you are a smoker it is advised that you quit smoking. It is vital to take care of your gynecological health and talk to your doctor about other important screenings
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Sources: WomensHealth.Gov: http://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/