For some women menopause can be very uncomfortable, while others sail right through it. The goal is relief from symptoms while promoting health.

Menopause Questions

Many women notice changes in their bodies after menopause, but every woman is different. The most common symptoms are:
  • Irregular periods right before menopause
  • Hot flashes, which can include flushing and sweating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Less interest in sex
  • A vagina that is drier and less flexible, sometimes making sex uncomfortable
  • More urinary tract infections (UTI), and/or urinary incontinence
  • Mood changes including mood swings
  • Weight gain, especially around the waist
  • Bone loss which can lead to osteoporosis
Taking estrogen (and/or the hormone progesterone) in the form of a pill helps some women get relief from menopausal symptoms. 
Some studies have indicated that HRT might make women more likely to have blood clots which could lead to strokes and heart attacks. You may also be more likely to get breast cancer with HRT. 
However, low doses of hormones (for example in topical vaginal creams) may have beneficial effects while carrying less risk. You should talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
Many symptoms can also be managed without HRT. A good diet and plenty of physical activity will help you sleep better, keep your bones stronger, and make you feel better. If you are at risk for osteoporosis, talk with your doctor about the potential benefit of non-hormonal drugs that help prevent bone loss.
Menopause is the point in time when a woman's menstrual periods stop. Your period may stop for awhile and restart, so you are not considered to be past menopause unless your periods have stopped for at least a year. After menopause, a woman no longer can get pregnant.
As you get older, your ovaries wind down their production of the hormone estrogen, and this causes irregular periods. Eventually, they stop producing estrogen altogether (although low levels of estrogen continue to be produced in other parts of your body). Estrogen has many functions throughout your body, and menopausal symptoms are a result of much lower estrogen levels.
Most women reach menopause in their 40s or 50s, with average age being 51.
There can be many reasons for early menopause. Some are family history, surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy, running out of eggs, chemical imbalances, autoimmune disorder, and genetics.
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