What is Menopause?

Menopause Image

Menopause can seem intimidating if you don’t know anything about it. Read on to learn what menopause is and what to expect from it.

Menopause is a normal part of a female’s life that happens when there is a reduction in the reproductive hormones. It usually occurs around 45 to 50 years old. If you’ve ever heard of people talking about menopause before it probably sounded unpleasant or scary but it is a natural part of life. The symptoms can be unpleasant, uncomfortable, and sometimes embarrassing, but these symptoms won’t last forever and there are methods to help.

The official sign of menopause is that it has been 1 year since your last menstruation. Leading up to menopause you may start to notice irregularities in your monthly menstruation. This is caused by a decline in reproductive hormones. The progression of menopause is gradual and does not usually happen suddenly. The time and transition leading up to menopause is referred to as perimenopause. If you are not at the age that you should expect menopause you should see your healthcare provider because it could be an indication of other underlying medical conditions.

Other symptoms of menopause that females may experience include hot flashes, mood changes, weight gain, issues with sleep, fatigue, night sweats, hair loss, vaginal dryness, sexual issues, headaches, and joint discomfort. These symptoms are caused by the decrease in the reproductive hormones. Every case of menopause is different and unique. Some women may have very minimal symptoms while others have severe symptoms. These symptoms can last months or years.

If your symptoms are severe and causing disruptions to your daily life, talk to your primary healthcare provider or gynecologist. They will be able to discuss your concerns and any treatment options that are recommended. Menopause is a natural progression of life and in most cases does not require any treatment other than symptom relief.

Everyone has a different experience with menopause. For some it is a walk in the park and for others it is very difficult. Fortunately, your healthcare provider can offer you support through this time and there are many resources available. Talk to your friends and family about what you are experiencing. Don’t feel like you are alone in this, every female will eventually experience menopause and it is a natural part of life.

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Posted in: Women's Health

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