Menopause is a natural part of aging that occurs when women have ceasing menstruation once the ovaries stop producing hormones. Most women experience menopause in their 40s and 50s and experience many different symptoms that are caused by the transition. The diagnosis is made once a woman does not have a menstrual cycle for 12 months.
Testing can also be performed to determine if a woman is going through menopause, but the symptoms that the individual experiences are usually enough to make a diagnosis. Because the ovaries do not produce hormones anymore, it leads to lower levels of estrogen, which can trigger psychological changes. For women who are entering their 40s, there are a few relevant facts to understand about menopause.
1. What are the most common symptoms that are associated with menopause?
Hot flashes are common in premenopause and can be mild or severe. Some women wake up at night once the hot flashes occur, which last 30 seconds to five minutes. Experiencing perspiration during a hot flash is normal. Hot flashes disappear after a few years of menopause but can last for several decades in some cases.
2. What are the treatment options for menopause?
Medical professionals recommend eating a nutritious diet and taking vitamin D and calcium as supplements. Avoiding tobacco use can also reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, or bone fractures. Hormone replacement therapy is also an option, which allows women to obtain the hormones they are no longer producing.
For those who experience persistent hot flashes, there are several prescription and over-the-counter medications that are available. They are known to be effective treatment methods that are considered to be safer than hormone treatment therapy.
3. Are there benefits to taking low-dose birth control pills?
Many women are prescribed low-dose birth control pills once they're diagnosed with menopause, which can improve irregular or heavy menstrual cycles and can also reduce the risk of bone loss.
4. Can women use any natural treatment methods when going through menopause?
Many different bioidentical supplements are available to treat menopause, which contain hormones lost during menopause. Consider incorporating wild yams or soybeans into your diet to increase your hormone levels. There are also many different botanicals that are available, which are effective in treating hot flashes.
5. Are there any options available if facial hair develops?
In many cases, women can discover that facial hair will start to grow on their chin, upper lip, and on the sides of their face due to fluctuating hormone levels during menopause. Botanical supplements contain some of these lost hormones, making them a natural treatment method for women who have facial hair that develops due to menopause. Speak to your medical professional before taking the supplements.
6. Does menopause increase a woman's risk for developing depression?
Due to low hormone levels in the body, women are more at risk of developing depression during the transition. Experiencing fear, anxiety, stress, and depression is common. Prescription medications are available to improve the mood.
7. What is the average age that most women begin to go through menopause?
Menopause develops at different times for women, but the average age is between 45 and 55 years of age. Most women experience menopause at the same age as their mother, but other factors can also influence when it occurs. If a woman undergoes chemotherapy or has exposure to radiation, it can alter the age of when menopause occurs.
8. How long does menopause last?
Menopause lasts an average of two to 10 years, but some women still experience the menopausal symptoms in their 60s. A medical professional can assist each person based on their symptoms to determine the duration of menopause.
When you want to prepare for menopause or understand how it may affect your daily life, it's important to understand the symptoms and treatment options that are available. By working with a medical professional, it can be easier to navigate the process and find relief.
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