If you are a women and are in your late forties or early fifties, you may be wondering what to expect from the next phase in your life: Menopause. You have survived puberty, made it through the hormonally-charged teenage years, muddled through countless menstrual cycles and handled multiple pregnancies… so what is next? While Menopause can present some challenges for many women, being aware of what to expect can help you deal with the symptoms associated with this natural stage of your life.
The average age for Menopause is 51, however, it can occur earlier or later for many women. The symptoms can also vary widely between individuals. Your genetics, diet, lifestyle and general health can also affect how dramatically you experience the symptoms of Menopause. Common symptoms of Menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, headaches, pain during intercourse (due to vaginal dryness) and increased irritability and/or anxiety.
Menopause lasts a different period of time for each woman, however, for most, the symptoms disappear approximately one year after the last menstrual period. The onset of Menopause can be detected or confirmed using a blood test. However, in many cases, a blood test is not needed.
If you are experiencing symptoms and think you may be entering Menopause, talk to your physician. He or she can discuss the severity and frequency of your symptoms and determine if any type of treatment is needed to help you through this natural stage of your life. Current treatments include lifestyle adjustments, hormone therapy, natural remedies and more. Your OBGYN can help determine if treatment is needed and if so, recommend the most appropriate treatment to meet your specific needs.