Menopause is the time in your life when you stop having menstrual periods. The hormone, estrogen, controls your menstrual cycle. The average age of menopause is 48, however, there can be much variation when this occurs.
With the loss of estrogen, you may experience these menopausal signs and symptoms:
- irregular periods
- hot flashes
- night sweats
- sleep difficulties
- mood changes
- vaginal dryness
- thinning hair and skin
- weight gain and slowed metabolism
The years leading up to menopause are called the perimenopause. Beginning in your 30’s and 40’s, the amount of estrogen produced by the ovaries begins to fluctuate and it is possible your cycles may begin to change. It is very common for women to report that they may skip their periods or that they may become lighter or heavier. These changes should be discussed during your visit, as abnormal bleeding may also be a sign of a problem.
Menopause is a natural biological process. Although your fertility may end, you can stay healthy, vital and have a normal sex life.
Even so, the physical and emotional symptoms may disrupt your sleep, sap your energy, and in some cases trigger anxiety or feelings of sadness or loss. Many effective treatments are available, from lifestyle adjustments to hormone therapy. These can all be discussed during your visit. It is important to have an open and honest discussion about your symptoms and feelings.
After menopause, you may risk certain medical conditions, examples include:
These will be discussed during your visit and appropriate evaluation and treatment can be arranged.