There is one thing that all women have in common: periods. But every year, over a million of those women enter a new stage in their life when their periods cease to exist–a certain special interlude called menopause.
While menopause marks a new phase in life, getting there isn’t quick or easy. The process of going through the menopausal transition takes around four years on average and can bring with it a roller-coaster of emotions.
Every woman deserves to know what to expect in menopause and how to endure the change as pleasantly as possible. Our team of Las Vegas gynecologists is here to help. Here, we will cover the basics of menopause and how your doctor can assist during this important progression of your reproductive lifecycle.
You’ve probably experienced a mature woman talking about hot flashes, an uncomfortable symptom experienced by 75% of menopausal women. And you probably understand that menopause is the stage when a woman’s body stops ovulating permanently. But other than hot flashes and the end of fertility, what is menopause really? Menopause is commonly defined as “the cessation of menstruation.” Well yes, but there’s a little more to it than that.
There are three major phases of menopause that take years to complete:
Menopause is the natural and gradual process that every woman experiences when her ovaries reduce the production of reproductive hormones and stop releasing eggs.
It’s the changes in hormones that cause menopausal symptoms. During perimenopause, your body will gradually decrease estrogen production. Here are some common symptoms that could be signs you are entering perimenopause:
Your age, along with the above symptoms will help you and your Las Vegas gynecology team identify if you’re experiencing the first signs of your menopausal transition. Most women’s bodies begin the process between the ages of 45 to 58 years old, reaching menopause at age 52 on average.
Your doctor can order lab tests that measure hormones in order to determine whether you are entering menopause. Hormone levels during perimenopause can be very unpredictable. These tests are usually only needed if you suspect early menopause.
More than two-thirds of women say that their menopausal symptoms have interfered with their quality of life. Here are some natural tips to help during your transition:
If you’re still experiencing discomfort, our Las Vegas OBGYN team is available to provide guidance as well as additional options to manage your menopausal symptoms. Some treatments include hormone therapy, mood-stabilizing medications, and prescription supplements.
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Life after periods begins a whole new era. While you won’t have to worry anymore about getting your period or using birth control to prevent pregnancy, postmenopausal women tend to have a higher risk for osteoporosis and cardiovascular problems due to the changes in hormones. Prepare for menopause early and take care of your body along the way so that you can continue to enjoy every moment of your life post-menopause.