Menopause is defined as the point in a woman’s life in which she has gone a full 12 months without a menstrual cycle. But arriving at menopause can be a long – and for some women arduous – journey. Most women reach menopause sometime in their early 50s, but you can be in perimenopause – the menopausal transition – beginning in your 40s. For some women and AFABs, perimenopause can last a decade or longer.
Symptoms of Menopause
The most common symptom women experience with menopause is irregularity in your period. Your periods may become longer and heavier or lighter and shorter. You may even skip periods or have spotting between periods. Other symptoms include:
- Hot flashes – An often-intense rush of heat that flushes your upper body. It can be uncomfortable, but each instance only lasts a few minutes.
- Night sweats – Hot flashes that occur in the middle of the night, often causing you to awaken drenched in sweat.
- Insomnia – You may have trouble falling asleep and may awaken much earlier in the morning that you have been accustomed to doing.
- Vaginal dryness – You may experience vaginal changes that cause your vaginal lining to become thinner, dryer, and less pliant. This can impact your sex life and libido but there are remedies.
- Mood changes – Because of the intense hormonal changes, you may experience mood swings, anxiety, or irritation.
Osteoporosis and Menopause
There is a significantly increased risk in developing osteoporosis after menopause. Your bones weaken during perimenopause and menopause. To reduce your risk, it’s important to eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. You may want to talk to your physician about supplements. You should also try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
There are treatments to help relieve the symptoms of menopause. If you are experiencing symptoms of menopause, schedule an appointment with an Ob/Gyn specialist at Huey & Weprin Ob/Gyn. With specialized care and cutting-edge treatments in obstetrics and gynecology, Huey & Weprin Ob/Gyn offers a wide variety of gynecologic and obstetric services from leaders in Ob/Gyn research development. Call 937.771.5100 or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment.