Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her period stops. It usually occurs naturally, most often around the age of 45. Menopause happens because the woman’s ovary stops producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
A woman has reached menopause when she has not had a period for one year. Changes and symptoms can start several years earlier. They include:-
– A change in periods – shorter or longer, lighter or heavier, with more or less time in between
– Hot flashes and/or night sweats
– Trouble sleeping
– Vaginal dryness
– Mood swings
– Trouble focusing
– Less hair on head, more on face
Pre-menopause begins with a change in a woman’s menstrual cycle. During perimenopause, a woman’s periods may be irregular in that they could last for a longer or shorter amount of time or be lighter or heavier. Although such changes are expected, women should consult a health care provider if they experience heavy bleeding, periods that occur very close together, spotting, or periods that last longer than a week.
Women who enter menopause early can have symptoms similar to those of regular menopause. These can include hot flashes, mood changes, vaginal dryness, and decreased sex drive. For some women with early menopause, these symptoms are quite severe. In addition, women who go through menopause early may have a higher risk of certain health problems, such as heart disease and osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about treatments MHT that can help with symptoms. Discuss ways to protect your health.
Women who want to have children and go through early menopause may feel extremely upset. If you want to be a parent, talk to your doctor about other options, like donor egg programs or adoption. Your doctor may suggest that you see an infertility specialist. You also can talk to your doctor or a therapist about painful feelings from the loss of fertility and other effects of reaching menopause early.