What to know about Menopause
Menopause occurs when a woman’s ovaries stops producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This is a natural change in a woman’s life when her period stops. A woman will know when she has reached menopause when she has not had a period for one year or 12 consecutive months. This often happens for women during the ages of 45–55 years.
Changes and symptoms leading up to menopause can start months or even years earlier during perimenopause. Common symptoms include:
- Period changes – shorter, longer, lighter, heavier, irregular bleeding or spotting with more or less time in between
- 75% of women experience hot flashes and/or night sweats
- Trouble sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Trouble focusing
- Less hair on head and/or more on face
Some of the above symptoms may require treatment. After menopause, the risk of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis and heart disease increases. It is important to talk with your OB/GYN about how to best manage menopause and the symptoms you’re facing. Be sure to discuss yours and your family’s medical history including any previous history of heart disease, osteoporosis or breast cancer.