Menopause typically starts in a woman’s 40s or 50s, the average age being 51. It marks the end of your menstruation cycle and officially begins when you’ve gone one year without a period. The reduction in hormones -- most importantly estrogen -- causes menopause.
It's an entirely natural process, but this hormonal drop can lead to a wide range of symptoms.
Some of the most common menopause symptoms include:
As your body prepares for menopause, a period called perimenopause, you may begin to show symptoms. In addition to the menopausal symptoms mentioned above, you may also experience weight gain from a slowed metabolism or hair thinning.
During this time, your periods may become irregular with a decrease in severity and frequency. They may be lighter, shorter, and you may skip some altogether.
Depending on the severity of your menopause symptoms, the team at Logan OB/GYN may recommend various treatments. For minor symptoms, Dr. Ahlstrom and Marybeth may recommend lifestyle changes, including:
The team also recommends monitoring the symptoms you can without medication. Dressing in layers can reduce the frequency of hot flashes, as can avoiding stimulants like caffeine. You can use vaginal lubricants during sexual activity to reduce pain and friction. Developing a healthy bedtime routine can improve sleep, and quitting smoking decreases the risks associated with menopause.
For more severe symptoms impacting your day-to-day life, the treatment team may recommend a more aggressive approach. This can include:
The symptoms of perimenopause are different for every woman and on average last around four years. Over time, these symptoms become less severe until they’re no longer bothersome. Menopause officially begins after you’ve gone one year without a period and ends 12 months later.
If you’re beginning to experience the symptoms of perimenopause and they’re interfering with your daily living, contact Logan OB/GYN today. Call the office or book your appointment online.
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