How Will Menopause Affect My Body?
posted by OB/GYN | March 28, 2017
From adolescence through adulthood, women experience an important process called the menstrual cycle. As women age, however, this process stops and the body enters another important phase known as menopause, which begins 12 months after the body’s final menstrual period.
Menopause is a natural process that occurs in all women, typically in their 40s or 50s—the average age of entering menopause in the United States is 51. Although it affects many hormones in your body and causes infertility, it does not mean you can’t remain sexually active and healthy. Here are some of the basic facts about menopause and how you can manage symptoms.
Menopause is accompanied by a number of symptoms, making it generally easy for women to recognize the start of their transition into menopause. Often, these symptoms present themselves months or even years before menopause fully begins. These signs and symptoms include:
There are several reasons that can cause a woman to enter menopause:
Primary ovarian insufficiency: Menopause occurs in only about 1 percent of women before age 40, often as a result of primary ovarian insufficiency. This condition causes a failure to produce enough hormones necessary for reproduction, and is caused by genetics or autoimmune disease.
Your risk of certain conditions or complications increases after menopause. These include:
Treatment for menopause focuses on reducing painful or uncomfortable symptoms. Treatments involving medications may include:
In addition, there are several lifestyle habits you can focus on to stay comfortable and manage your symptoms:
If you’re noticing signs of menopause, or if you are unable to manage your symptoms, speak to your doctor about your options.
“Menopause.” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/basics/definition/con-20019726
“What Is Menopause?” National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.