All women over a certain age experience menopause. Menopause is defined as the absence of a menstrual period for a year. The age at which you experience menopause can vary, but it usually occurs in your late 40s or early 50s.
Menopause can cause many changes in your body. As a result of decreased estrogen and progesterone production in your ovaries, symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain or vaginal dryness may occur. Menopause can also increase the risk for certain conditions, such as osteoporosis.
Here are 11 things every woman should know about menopause.
1. What age will I be when I reach menopause
Age at menopause is thought to be genetically determined, but things like smoking or chemotherapy can accelerate ovarian droop and cause early menopause. In women who have given birth, menopause occurs later than in women who have not given birth and in women who have used birth control pills. Women enter menopause, on average, between the ages of 45 and 55.
2. What is the difference between perimenopause and menopause
Perimenopause refers to the time period just before the onset of menopause. During perimenopause, your body begins to enter menopause. This means that hormone production in your ovaries begins to decline. You may start to experience some symptoms often associated with menopause, such as hot flashes. The menstrual cycle may be irregular, but it does not end during the perimenopause phase. Menopause begins when the menstrual cycle is completely over for 12 consecutive months.
3. What symptoms occur when estrogen levels decrease
Approximately 75 percent of women state that they experience hot flashes as the most common symptom during menopause. Hot flashes can happen during the day or at night. Some women may also experience muscle and joint pain, known as arthralgia or mood swings. It can be difficult to determine if these symptoms are due to changes in your hormones, living conditions, or aging process.
4. How to recognize hot flashes
During hot flashes, you will feel your body temperature rise. Hot flashes affect the upper half of your body, and your skin may turn red or blotchy. This heat can cause sweating, heart palpitations, and dizziness. Hot flashes can happen daily or even multiple times a day. You can live for a year or for several years.
Triggers for hot flashes:
– Consuming alcohol or caffeine
– Eating spicy food
(feeling stress1090709) – Being in a hot place
Being overweight and smoking make hot flashes worse. A few techniques can help relieve hot flashes:
– Use a fan in your home or office.
– Do breathing exercises during hot flashes.
Birth control pills, hormone therapy, or medications can help reduce hot flashes. If you have trouble managing hot flashes on your own, you can contact your doctor.
5. How menopause affects my bone health
A decrease in estrogen production can affect the amount of calcium in your bones. This can cause significant decreases in bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis. It also makes you more susceptible to hip, spine and other bone fractures. Many women experience accelerated bone loss in the first few years after their last menstrual period.
To keep your bones healthy:
– Eat foods that contain lots of calcium, such as dairy products or dark green leafy vegetables.
– Take a vitamin D supplement.
– Exercise regularly and add weight training to your workout.
– Reduce alcohol consumption.
– Avoid smoking.
6. Is heart disease due to menopause
Heart-related conditions such as dizziness or heart palpitations can occur during menopause. Decreased estrogen levels can prevent your body from keeping flexible arteries. This can affect blood flow. Monitoring your weight, eating a healthy and balanced diet, exercising, and not smoking can reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
7. Does menopause make you gain weight
Changes in hormone levels can cause weight gain. However, aging can also contribute to weight gain. Focus on maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and practicing other healthy habits to help control your weight. Being overweight can increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.
– To manage your weight, focus on a healthy lifestyle.
– Follow a well-rounded diet that reduces sugar intake and increases calcium intake.
– Get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week or 75 minutes per week of more intense exercise like jogging.
– Do not forget to include strength exercises in your exercise program.
8. Will I experience the same symptoms as others
The symptoms of menopause vary from one woman to another, even within the same families. The age and rate of regression of ovarian function vary tremendously. This means that you need to individually manage your menopause. What works for your mom or best friend may not work for you. If you have any questions about menopause, talk to your doctor. They can help you understand your symptoms and find ways to manage them appropriately for your lifestyle.
9. How will I know if I’m in menopause when I have a hysterectomy
If your uterus was surgically removed with a hysterectomy, you may not know you’ve reached menopause unless you experience hot flashes. This can also happen if you have had an endometrial ablation and your ovaries have not been removed. Endometrial ablation is the removal of the lining of your period to treat heavy menstruation.
If there are no symptoms, a blood test can show if your ovaries are still working. This test can be used to help doctors find your estrogen levels; may be beneficial if you are at risk of osteoporosis. That’s because knowing your estrogen status is important in determining whether you need a bone density assessment.
10. Is hormone replacement a safe option
Various hormone treatments can be used to prevent hot flashes and bone loss. The benefits and risks vary depending on the severity of your hot flashes and bone loss, and your health. These treatments may not be suitable for you. Always talk to your doctor before trying any hormone therapy.
11. Are there non-hormonal options for the treatment of menopausal symptoms
Hormone therapy may not be the right choice for you. Certain medical conditions may prevent you from using hormone therapy safely, or you may choose not to use such therapy for your own personal reasons. Changes in your lifestyle can help relieve many of your symptoms without the need for hormonal intervention.
– Weight loss
(room temperature reduction
) Avoiding foods that aggravate symptoms
– Wearing light cotton clothing
Treatments such as herbal treatments, acupuncture, some low-dose antidepressants, and other medications can help reduce hot flashes. You can use the drugs recommended by your doctor to prevent bone loss.
Menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life cycle. This is when estrogen and progesterone levels drop. The risk for certain conditions, such as osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease, may increase after menopause. Follow a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise to manage symptoms and prevent unnecessary weight gain.
You should contact your doctor if you are experiencing adverse symptoms that affect your ability to function or if you notice anything unusual that may require a closer look. There are numerous treatment options available to help with symptoms such as hot flashes. Consult your doctor for regular gynecological exams as you enter menopause.