Everything You Need to Know About Menopause

How it occurs? When? What are the symptoms? Is hormone therapy right for you? Dr. Hadley is giving you the answers to all the questions you may have. Here’s everything you need to know about menopause!

Menopause is something every woman goes through.

It is not a health condition. It is simply a physiological process that occurs when a woman hits a certain age (typically early forties – late fifties). What age this will be varies very much from woman to woman, but this is definitely something that will happen and something that is very natural.

However, menopause is perceived to be this scary moment when you undergo drastic changes in your body and in general. This is not the right way to look at it whatsoever. It should be looked at as something completely natural which may or may not have certain presentations and symptoms. What’s less known is that a woman who is completely healthy in general and doesn’t have any health issues is likely to go through menopause without any discomfort.

Woman in 40s in Bed

Common Symptoms:

If you are affected by the premenopausal the most common symptoms are:

  • irregular periods
  • skipping periods
  • periods heavier/lighter than usual
  • hot flashes
  • vaginal dryness
  • worsening of bladder control/bladder irritability
  • mood swings
  • loss of sleep

What causes these symptoms is the fact that the ovaries don’t only stop producing eggs when menopause draws closer – they also lower their production of progesterone and estrogen which leads to changes happening in your body.

However, these symptoms can be effectively managed. Sure, some of them can be quite uncomfortable, but it’s not knowing exactly what’s going on, life’s stresses and other health related issues are what’s making going through menopause seem like a huge deal rather than a normal process of aging.

There are things you can do to try and alleviate all of the symptoms listed above, like eating well, exercising, wearing loose cotton clothing and keeping your house/room cool… The best thing you can to is to just go about your life, with the support of your friends (who may have gone, or are going through the same things) and family.

two senior couples

If the symptoms are weighing heavily on you hormone therapy might be the right thing for you! In fact, lots of women are going through with it and it’s definitely clear why – to make up for losing all that estrogen. Low estrogen levels can in fact lead to more serious health issues such as osteoporosis (the brittle bone disease), coronary artery disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s etc. The fact of the matter is that estrogen levels are very important for keeping your body healthy, so, if it’s not producing as much of it as before – something should be done to help prevent possible health problems. Even though not all women get any of these if they don’t receive HT – far from it, it still may be smart to think about it.

Hormone therapy is basically treatment program where a woman takes estrogen and progestin (which is a synthetic form or progesterone) to supplement the low doses of these hormones her body is now producing. HT can relieve all of the symptoms listed about AND lower the risk for any illnesses that are related to the decrease of estrogen levels.

However it is not completely risk free (if prolonged it increases the risk for breast cancer and can increase the risk of blood cloths), especially if you have any health issues so you MUST console with your doctor prior to undergoing HT.

About the author

Dr. Hadley

Dr. Hadley is YouQueen's resident gynecologist with over 25 years of experience as a specialist with her own practice. Feel free to ask her questions in the comments.

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