Your body will go through many hormonal changes. If you are a female between 40-54 years old and 50-54 years, Menopause, also known as the ‘change in life’, is an important and natural part of ageing. While it is only considered ‘officially’ menopausal if your last period was within the past 12 months, Menopause can occur at any age and have many effects on your body.
What Does Menopause Look Like?
Your ovaries have exhausted their egg supply. Women are born with all of the eggs they need for their lives. When this happens, estrogen and progesterone will cease to be produced in the ovaries. Estrogen is an important hormone that affects almost every part of the body. Normal ageing causes most women to experience Menopause. However, some women may experience it as part of their normal ageing process. The treatment may cause some younger women to experience early Menopause.
Menopause needs to be a gradual process and not an abrupt switch. The menopause transition, also known as perimenopause or the menopause transition, for five to ten years before you reach your Menopause.
About Premature Menopause
Some women experience Menopause very early, usually before 40. This is early Menopause. Although there are known causes of premature onset, the cause is not always clear. Some risk factors for premature Menopause include:
Having a family history that includes early Menopause.
- Surgery to remove either the uterus or both of your ovaries.
- Certain autoimmune conditions, such as thyroid disease, rheumatoid and other diseases.
Menopause Signs & Symptoms
As women approach Menopause, their ovaries produce different amounts of estrogen and progesterone. The woman may experience irregular periods or changes in her menstrual period. They could include:
- Hot flashes cause heat to the face, neck or chest. An episode can last anywhere between five and ten minutes. A woman might feel hot flashes and may experience cold chills.
- Trouble sleeping, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Night sweats, or hot flashes in the evening, can make women sweat more.
- Vaginal problems (e.g. dryness) can cause burning, itching, and discomfort. It can result in painful intercourse or tears and cuts to the vagina.
- Mood changes or irritability
The symptoms of Menopause may vary from one woman to the next. For example, severe hot flashes in some women can disrupt their daily lives. In others, the symptoms may be mild. Some women may not feel hot flashes at any point.
Long-term health concerns can also arise following Menopause due to a drop in estrogen. As an example, osteoporosis may develop after Menopause. This is a condition where bone density decreases, leading to osteoporosis. Also, your risk of developing cardiovascular disease (HFD) may increase. Talk to your healthcare provider regarding the long-term side effects of Menopause.
After 12 consecutive months without a period, Menopause is most commonly diagnosed in women. Consider talking to your healthcare provider about any symptoms you may have. Your healthcare provider will likely ask for your medical and family history. They may also recommend blood testing to test your hormone levels.
Make sure you talk with Lifeline Medical Associates healthcare providers to learn more about how you can promote your health and well-being as you enter the next chapter of your life.