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What age you get menopause: Menopause – Symptoms and causes

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Menopause – Symptoms and causes

Overview

Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It’s diagnosed after you’ve gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States.

Menopause is a natural biological process. But the physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy or affect emotional health. There are many effective treatments available, from lifestyle adjustments to hormone therapy.

Symptoms

In the months or years leading up to menopause (perimenopause), you might experience these signs and symptoms:

  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain and slowed metabolism
  • Thinning hair and dry skin
  • Loss of breast fullness

Signs and symptoms, including changes in menstruation can vary among women. Most likely, you’ll experience some irregularity in your periods before they end.

Skipping periods during perimenopause is common and expected. Often, menstrual periods will skip a month and return, or skip several months and then start monthly cycles again for a few months. Periods also tend to happen on shorter cycles, so they are closer together. Despite irregular periods, pregnancy is possible. If you’ve skipped a period but aren’t sure you’ve started the menopausal transition, consider a pregnancy test.

When to see a doctor

Keep up with regular visits with your doctor for preventive health care and any medical concerns. Continue getting these appointments during and after menopause.

Preventive health care as you age may include recommended health screening tests, such as colonoscopy, mammography and triglyceride screening. Your doctor might recommend other tests and exams, too, including thyroid testing if suggested by your history, and breast and pelvic exams.

Always seek medical advice if you have bleeding from your vagina after menopause.

Causes

Menopause can result from:

  • Naturally declining reproductive hormones. As you approach your late 30s, your ovaries start making less estrogen and progesterone — the hormones that regulate menstruation — and your fertility declines.

    In your 40s, your menstrual periods may become longer or shorter, heavier or lighter, and more or less frequent, until eventually — on average, by age 51 — your ovaries stop releasing eggs, and you have no more periods.

  • Surgery that removes the ovaries (oophorectomy). Your ovaries produce hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, that regulate the menstrual cycle. Surgery to remove your ovaries causes immediate menopause. Your periods stop, and you’re likely to have hot flashes and experience other menopausal signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms can be severe, as hormonal changes occur abruptly rather than gradually over several years.

    Surgery that removes your uterus but not your ovaries (hysterectomy) usually doesn’t cause immediate menopause. Although you no longer have periods, your ovaries still release eggs and produce estrogen and progesterone.

  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These cancer therapies can induce menopause, causing symptoms such as hot flashes during or shortly after the course of treatment. The halt to menstruation (and fertility) is not always permanent following chemotherapy, so birth control measures may still be desired. Radiation therapy only affects ovarian function if radiation is directed at the ovaries. Radiation therapy to other parts of the body, such as breast tissue or the head and neck, won’t affect menopause.
  • Primary ovarian insufficiency. About 1% of women experience menopause before age 40 (premature menopause). Premature menopause may result from the failure of your ovaries to produce normal levels of reproductive hormones (primary ovarian insufficiency), which can stem from genetic factors or autoimmune disease. But often no cause of premature menopause can be found. For these women, hormone therapy is typically recommended at least until the natural age of menopause in order to protect the brain, heart and bones.

Complications

After menopause, your risk of certain medical conditions increases. Examples include:

  • Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. When your estrogen levels decline, your risk of cardiovascular disease increases. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women as well as in men. So it’s important to get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet and maintain a normal weight. Ask your doctor for advice on how to protect your heart, such as how to reduce your cholesterol or blood pressure if it’s too high.
  • Osteoporosis. This condition causes bones to become brittle and weak, leading to an increased risk of fractures. During the first few years after menopause, you may lose bone density at a rapid rate, increasing your risk of osteoporosis. Postmenopausal women with osteoporosis are especially susceptible to fractures of their spine, hips and wrists.
  • Urinary incontinence. As the tissues of your vagina and urethra lose elasticity, you may experience frequent, sudden, strong urges to urinate, followed by an involuntary loss of urine (urge incontinence), or the loss of urine with coughing, laughing or lifting (stress incontinence). You may have urinary tract infections more often.

    Strengthening pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises and using a topical vaginal estrogen may help relieve symptoms of incontinence. Hormone therapy may also be an effective treatment option for menopausal urinary tract and vaginal changes that can result in urinary incontinence.

  • Sexual function. Vaginal dryness from decreased moisture production and loss of elasticity can cause discomfort and slight bleeding during sexual intercourse. Also, decreased sensation may reduce your desire for sexual activity (libido).

    Water-based vaginal moisturizers and lubricants may help. If a vaginal lubricant isn’t enough, many women benefit from the use of local vaginal estrogen treatment, available as a vaginal cream, tablet or ring.

  • Weight gain. Many women gain weight during the menopausal transition and after menopause because metabolism slows. You may need to eat less and exercise more, just to maintain your current weight.


Oct. 14, 2020

Treatments & Solutions for Menopause Symptoms

Here are five solutions for five symptoms common to midlife women. (Remember, you should always discuss any concerns you have with your healthcare provider first. There may be other treatments or potentially harmful side effects. Together, you can decide which options are best for you.)

1. Mood Changes

Some women find that hormone fluctuations in perimenopause create a feeling of being out of control. Reports of increased irritability, anxiety, fatigue, and blue moods are not uncommon. Relaxation and stress-reduction techniques, including deep-breathing exercises and massage, a healthy lifestyle (good nutrition and daily exercise), and enjoyable, self-nurturing activities may all be helpful. Some women try to treat their menopause symptoms with over-the-counter products such as St. John’s wort or vitamin B6.

Discussing mood issues with your healthcare provider can help you identify the cause, assess for severe depression, and decide on the most appropriate intervention. For depression, prescription antidepressant medications may be indicated to correct a chemical imbalance. Although several weeks are usually needed to experience the full effect of one of these drugs, many women show a marked improvement with these medications with relatively few side effects. Some antidepressants have also been found to treat hot flashes. Antidepressant therapy is most effective when combined with counseling or psychotherapy.

2. Urinary Incontinence

While it is defined as the persistent, involuntary loss of urine, most women would say urinary incontinence is an unfortunate, unwelcome, unwanted annoyance. Luckily, there are strategies to help improve the various forms of incontinence without medication or surgery. Try drinking adequate water to keep urine diluted (clear and pale yellow), and avoid foods or beverages with a high acid or caffeine content, which may irritate the bladder lining. These include grapefruit, oranges, tomatoes, coffee, and caffeine-containing soft drinks. Also try Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and reduce incontinence episodes.

3. Night Sweats

To get relief from night sweats (hot flashes that occur during sleep), try different strategies to stay cool while you sleep:

  • Dress in light nightclothes.
  • Use layered bedding that can easily be removed during the night.
  • Or, try wicking materials for both.
  • Cool down with an electric fan.
  • Sip cool water throughout the night.
  • Keep a frozen cold pack under your pillow and turn over the pillow often so that your head is always resting on a cool surface, or put a cold pack on your feet.

4. Trouble Falling Asleep

Establish a regular sleep schedule and sleep routine:

  • Wake up and go to bed at consistent times, even on weekends.
  • Relax and wind down before sleep by reading a book, listening to music, or taking a leisurely bath.
  • Milk and peanuts contain tryptophan, which helps the body relax.
  • A cup of chamomile tea may also do the trick.
  • Keep bedroom light, noise, and temperature at a comfortable level — dark, quiet, and cool are conditions that support sleep.
  • Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol late in the day.

5. Sexual Discomfort

Menopause contributes to sexual function changes through the decreases in ovarian hormone production and may lead to vaginal dryness and a decline in sexual function. To counteract these changes, try:

  • Vaginal lubricants: Available without a prescription, these products decrease friction and ease intercourse when the vagina is dry. Only water-soluble products should be used because oil-based products such as vaseline may actually increase irritation. Only products designed for the vagina should be used; avoid hand creams and lotions containing alcohol and perfumes as well as warming/tingling and flavored lubricants which may irritate tender tissue. (Examples of available vaginal lubricants include Astroglide, Moist Again, and Silk-E.)
  • Vaginal moisturizers: Also available without a prescription, these products improve or maintain vaginal moisture in women with mild vaginal atrophy (when tissues of the vulva and the lining of the vagina become thin, dry, less elastic, and less lubricated as a result of estrogen loss). They also help keep vaginal pH low, which ensures a healthy vaginal environment. (Examples include Replens and K-Y Long-lasting Vaginal Moisturizer.) These products can be used on a regular basis and offer a more lasting effect than vaginal lubricants.
  • Regular sexual stimulation: Last but certainly not least, women can maintain vaginal health through regular painless sexual activity, which promotes blood flow to the genital area.

Predicting Your Menopause Age: What Factors Matter

It’s a question many women wonder about, especially if you’re thinking about planning a family and your 20s are but a distant memory.

How many more years of fertility might you have, and how much longer will it be before you start experiencing “the change?”

Here’s what does — and does not influence the age at when a woman reaches menopause.

The Top Factor

There are a number of factors that affect women’s age at menopause, but one is more important than any other: the age their mother experienced menopause.

“Menopause is strongly genetically linked, so you’re very likely to fall within a few years either way of the age your mother was at menopause,” says Nanette Santoro, MD, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Colorado-Denver School of Medicine and a member of the board of directors of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

This isn’t always true, of course. Some women reach menopause at an unusually early age — before 45 or so — with no known cause, which could be the result of an inherited issue or a one-time genetic mutation. “These can be random events, but can also be passed on,” says Howard Zacur, MD, PhD, who directs the reproductive endocrinology and infertility division at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

So if your mother reached menopause at 40, but their sisters and your grandmother were all around the average age of 50, it’s unclear whether you’ll follow their path or theirs.

But if most of the women in your family, your mother included, reach menopause early, late, or somewhere in the middle, you can eye your calendar with some degree of confidence.

Menopause Age: 4 More Influences

Your mother’s age at menopause is a key factor, but not the only one. Here are four others to consider:

  1. Smoking. No other lifestyle factor does more damage to your ovaries than smoking. So if you smoke and your mother didn’t, you’ll probably reach menopause earlier than they did. If they smoked and you don’t, you probably reach menopause later than they did.
  2. Chemotherapy. Most forms of chemotherapy used in younger women are at least mildly toxic to the ovaries. Many women go through temporary menopause while undergoing chemotherapy; if cycles do return (they don’t always), you can still expect to reach regular menopause a couple of years earlier than you otherwise would have.
  3. Ovarian surgery. “The more you operate on the ovaries, the more healthy tissue gets damaged,” says Marcelle Cedars, MD, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. So if you’ve had diagnostic surgery for endometriosis, for example, Cedars recommends using medical options (such as hormonal suppression) to treat the condition in order to avoid repetitive surgeries.

Not a Factor

Here are three things you might think would influence menopause age, but don’t:

  1. Age at first period. Although the average age of menarche (onset of first menstrual period) has been getting younger in U.S. women, there hasn’t been a corresponding shift in the average age at menopause. The average age at menarche is now about 12.4 years old, down from 13.3 in women born prior to the 1920s, but the average age at menopause has been around 51.5 for decades. “You would assume that a woman only has so many cycles in her life and if she menstruates later, she’ll reach menopause later, but that doesn’t seem to be true,” Cedars says.
  2. Pregnancy and breastfeeding. These have no impact on menopause age.
  3. Use of hormonal birth control methods. “Even if you’re using a birth control method that stops ovulation, it doesn’t stop the loss of follicles, the constant process of the ovary taking them from the resting pool of eggs,” Cedars says. “All the follicles available in the cohort that month die away, even if you’re not ovulating, so birth control doesn’t appear to delay menopause.”
  4. Ethnicity. A study of premenopausal and early perimenopausal women found that race/ethnicity played no role in what age the women experienced menopause. The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) looked at cross section of women from different races from 7 different states and found that most of the women experienced menopause between the ages of 52 and 54.

There is no way to delay menopause; it can only be sped up, not slowed down, by external factors.

And there are some factors that are still unknowns. For instance, researchers are studying bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to make certain plastics, in relation to various cancers as well as the reproductive system and metabolic processes.

Could BPA exposure influence age at menopause? “My guess would be no, since the age of menopause hasn’t changed much over the years as we’ve been exposed to more of these environmental toxins, but research will be exploring the role of substances like BPA in ovarian function,” Santoro says.

Predicting Menopause Age

Other than avoiding smoking, there’s probably not much you can do to influence the age at which you’ll reach menopause. But as you get closer to that time, it will be easier to predict more accurately when it will happen.

“If you’re over the age of 45 and skip at least three periods in a row, that tells us that you’re going to move on to menopause relatively soon,” Santoro says. “But we’re still working on blood tests to see if we can predict this more accurately.”

Predicting the Age at Which You’ll Reach Menopause, Length of Transition| Everyday Health

“Is this normal?” has to be one of the most common questions posed to doctors about a host of health-related signs and symptoms, from the crackling sound your knees make when you take the stairs to the number of times your sleep is interrupted each night.

And it’s often the question women pose to their ob-gyn when they begin to notice changes in their monthly period or have their first hot flash. When it comes to the menopause transition, what’s the normal age, and more importantly, why does it matter?

RELATED: 10 Ways to Beat Menopausal Belly Fat

The average age for reaching menopause is 51 years old, and it does matter, in part because the timing of the menopause can be predictive of other health issues, according to Stephanie S. Faubion, MD, the director of the Center for Women’s Health at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and the medical director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

RELATED: Mindfulness May Help Improve Menopause Symptoms

Are You Headed Toward Early Menopause?

“There are many negative health consequences linked to early menopause, including a higher risk of osteoporosis and fracture, heart disease, cognitive impairment and dementia, and early death,” says Dr. Faubion.

If you have questions about when you’ll experience menopause and if you can do anything to change it, keep reading for answers.

1. At What Age Do Most Women Reach Menopause?

The medical definition of menopause is no menstrual bleeding for a year, according to Lauren Streicher, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and the medical director of the Northwestern Center for Menopause and the Northwestern Center for Sexual Medicine in Chicago.

Most women experience menopause between age 40 and 58, and the average age at menopause is 51, according to the North American Menopause Society.

Many women are surprised when they go through menopause in their forties because they think they’re too young, but it’s not unusual, says Dr. Streicher.

2. What Age Is Considered Early for Menopause?

If you reach menopause before age 40, that is considered premature menopause, says Faubion. “This occurs in about 1 to 2 percent of women,” she says.

“Experiencing menopause at 40 to 45 years of age is called early menopause, and that occurs in about 5 to 7 percent of the population, so it’s safe to say that at least 7 percent of women are going to go through menopause early or prematurely,” says Faubion. Menopause at age 46 or older is considered normal, she says.

3. How Long Will Menopausal Transition Symptoms Last?

Menopause is technically one full year without bleeding, and perimenopause is the stage before the final menstrual period, also known as the menopausal transition. Puberty and perimenopause are similar in that they both involve hormonal changes, and the transitions can take place over several years. Some medical organizations, such as the American Osteopathic Association, refer to perimenopause as “reverse puberty” in women.

According to NAMS, this phase can last four to eight years, and it comes with symptoms caused by hormone fluctuations, such as mood swings, poor sleep, and hot flashes.

RELATED: Coping With Hot Flashes and Other Menopausal Symptoms: What 10 Celebrities Said

The age at which a woman begins perimenopause can help predict how long the transition to menopause will last, according to research published in the journal Menopause in February 2017. The authors found that perimenopause lasted longer in women who started the transition at a younger age, and the women had more symptoms, such as hot flashes.

4. Does the Age My Mother Reached Menopause Mean Anything?

Most likely your mom’s age at menopause will provide a clue. “When we look at the things that are the greatest determinants for when someone is going to go through menopause, genetics seems to be one of the most important things,” says Streicher.

A woman’s race or ethnicity can influence when she goes through menopause, too, she says. Findings from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) indicate that women of color tend to begin perimenopause and menopause at earlier ages than white women.

RELATED: What Experts Want BIPOC Women to Know About Menopause

“The question I always ask women when they ask when they’re going to go through menopause is, ‘When did your mom go through menopause?’ because that is very often predictive,” says Streicher.

“There’s a lot of truth in that. You may follow what happened with your mother; if she went through menopause early or late, you may, too,” she says.

Certain medical conditions such as autoimmune problems, thyroid issues, and lupus can make a woman go through menopause earlier, adds Streicher.

5. What Other Factors Influence When Perimenopause Starts or When a Woman Reaches Menopause?

New research published online on April 12 in Menopause, the journal of NAMS, looked at the various factors that may affect the age when natural menopause occurs.

“They found that there are factors that do seem predictive of when a woman will approach menopause, such as higher estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, which we’ve known for a while,” says Streicher. “Irregular menstrual bleeding and hot flashes were also indicators of earlier menopause,” she adds.

RELATED: Study Confirms Strong Connection Between Menopause and Depression

One new finding uncovered in the research was around alcohol consumption. The authors observed that participants tended to increase their alcohol consumption when approaching menopause, making it a potential clue that the change was coming.

That makes sense, says Streicher. “This can be a time of added stress for women, and we know that any stressful situation can cause someone to drink more,” she says.

Although this study didn’t find a strong association with smoking, other research has indicated that smoking is related to early onset of menopause, says Streicher.

6. What Else Affects When a Woman Will Finally Stop Having Menstrual Periods?

Researchers continue to explore a number of factors that may influence the timing of menopause.

The level of education a woman has completed is one thing that seems to correlate with menopause timing, says Faubion. “Women who have more education tend to go through menopause later,” she says.

A study published in January 2020 in JAMA Network Open found that pregnancy and breastfeeding may reduce the risk of early menopause.

How frequently a woman has sex has also been correlated with early menopause. A study published in January 2020 in Royal Society Open Science found that women who had sex at least once a week were less likely to go through menopause compared with women who had sex less than once a month.

RELATED: Will Not Having Sex Trigger Early Menopause?

7. I Got My First Period Early. Does That Mean I’ll Go Through Menopause Early?

“I have many patients tell me, ‘I know I’m going to go through menopause earlier because I started my period really early,’” says Streicher. “The reason women think that is because they think menopause occurs when you run out of eggs. This isn’t going to happen; we’re born with millions of eggs and many of those are never used. When you go through menopause is really about the aging of eggs and what causes them to age more quickly,” she says.

The average age of menarche (the onset of menstruation) in the United States has gotten younger for a variety of reasons, but that hasn’t made women go through menopause earlier, she points out.

8. Are Women Who Aren’t Experiencing Menopausal Symptoms Still Fertile?

“No matter when you experience natural menopause, your chances of getting pregnant after the age of 40 are low,” says Faubion. But you can still become pregnant as you’re transitioning to menopause, and you still need to use birth control if you don’t want to conceive, she adds.

Streicher confirms, saying, “Fertility and menopause are not the same thing; there are plenty of women who are pumping out estrogen and menstruating and are not fertile.” If you’re sexually active, it’s important to consult with your doctor before making any decisions about birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

On the other hand, don’t assume that just because you are still menstruating that you can get pregnant. Women who are concerned that they may have trouble conceiving or think they may experience menopause early and still want children should discuss options such as egg freezing with their doctor, says Streicher.

9. Will Being Super Healthy Help Delay Menopause?

Although maintaining good overall health is important for a variety of reasons, it won’t necessarily translate to later menopause, says Streicher. “I have women who tell me, ‘I have a healthy diet, I’m thin, I work out all the time, and I look young. I’m sure I’m not going to go through menopause early, and when I do, I won’t have hot flashes and other symptoms.’ I wish I could say that was true, but it’s not,” she says.

Body weight might matter, though. “We do know that the extremes of weight, in someone who is very obese or someone with very low body weight, may impact the onset of menopause, but for the majority of women in the middle it doesn’t seem to have a big impact,” says Streicher.

RELATED: Having Multiple Severe Menopause Symptoms Linked to Increased Risk for Heart Disease

10. Predicting Natural Menopause: Why Does Age Matter?

If there’s not a lot that women can do to change when they’ll experience menopause, why does predicting it even matter?

It would be helpful for every woman to know exactly when menopause will arrive. Beyond recognizing and addressing issues such as increased cardiovascular disease risk and risks related to bone health, if a woman knows her age of menopause and how long the perimenopause transition will last, it could help her make important health decisions, says Faubion.

“If you’re bleeding like crazy it would be helpful to know,” she says.

As of now, research hasn’t uncovered a way to determine when a women will go into menopause, but having that information could be useful in making decisions such as whether to have a hysterectomy or other invasive procedures, says Faubion. “If menopause is going to be a few months or a year from now, you may choose to wait it out; if it’s going to be five years from now, you might want to go ahead and have an invasive procedure,” she says.

The ability to predict when menopause will occur could also help with managing menopause symptoms or deciding which type of birth control to use, adds Faubion.

Premature and early menopause – Better Health Channel

Menopause occurs when a woman stops ovulating and her monthly period (menstruation) ceases. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, with the average age being around 51. However, about one per cent of women experience menopause before the age of 40 years. This is known as premature menopause. Menopause between 41 and 45 years of age is called early menopause.

In some cases, early or premature menopause is brought on by surgical removal of the ovaries, or by medical treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In the case of premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), the woman’s ovaries spontaneously stop producing eggs and the underlying cause may not always be found. For many women, the loss of their fertility is devastating, particularly if they had planned to have children and menopause occurs before they are able to.

Most women with premature or early menopause will experience a long period of postmenopausal life. Unless there are reasons why a woman is unable to take hormone therapy, hormone treatment, which may be the combined oestrogen and progesterone oral contraceptive pill, or menopause hormone therapy (MHT) – also known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – will be recommended to counteract the health risks of early or premature menopause. These may include early onset of osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.

Symptoms of premature and early menopause

The symptoms of early menopause are the same as for menopause at the typical age and can include:

  • menstrual cycle changes, including changes to the usual bleeding pattern, particularly irregular bleeding
  • hot flushes
  • sweats
  • sleep disturbance
  • urinary problems, such as increased frequency of urination or incontinence
  • vaginal dryness
  • increase in mood changes
  • increase or decrease in weight
  • aches and pains.

Causes of early or premature menopause

Premature menopause means a woman’s ovaries have spontaneously stopped working before she has reached the age of 40 years. Women can be affected in their teens or early 20s. About one in 1000 women reach menopause before the age of 30.

Some possible causes include:

  • unknown causes – in the vast majority of cases (60%), the cause can’t be found. This is known as idiopathic premature menopause
  • autoimmune conditions – about 10 to 30 per cent of affected women have an autoimmune disease such as hypothyroidism, Crohn’s disease, systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis
  • genetic conditions – about 5 to 30 per cent of women with early or premature menopause have an affected female relative, which suggests a genetic link. Genetic conditions which can lead to early or premature menopause include:  
    • galactosaemia – this is when the body cannot convert the carbohydrate galactose into glucose. It is thought that the unconverted galactose could be toxic to the ovaries
    • conditions characterised by enzyme problems, such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia
    • Turner’s syndrome – this chromosomal abnormality can cause early menopause, but this is usually evident before puberty
    • Fragile X premutation
  • viral infections – the evidence is inconclusive, but it is thought that a viral infection, such as mumps or cytomegalovirus, could trigger premature menopause in some women.

Induced menopause

Menopause can be specifically induced for medical reasons, such as cancer surgery. For example, a woman with ovarian cancer will require surgery to remove her ovaries.

Early menopause can also be triggered by radiation therapy or chemotherapy. About one in two women treated for leukaemia or Hodgkin’s disease will experience menopause early.

In cases of premature menopause caused by cytotoxic treatments such as chemotherapy, the ovaries can sometimes start working again after a period of time. This depends on many factors, including the woman’s age, the types of drugs used and the dosage. Chemotherapy for breast cancer in premenopausal women may also lead to early menopause.

Diagnosis of premature or early menopause

Premature and early menopause is diagnosed using a number of tests including:

  • medical history, family history and medical examination
  • investigations to rule out other causes of amenorrhoea (absence of periods), such as pregnancy, extreme weight loss, other hormone disturbances and some diseases of the reproductive system
  • investigations into other conditions associated with premature or early menopause, such as autoimmune diseases
  • genetic tests to check for the presence of genetic conditions associated with premature or early menopause
  • blood tests to check hormone levels.

Treatment for early or premature menopause

There is no treatment available to make the ovaries start working again.

Rarely, the ovaries may spontaneously start working again, for reasons unknown. According to some studies, about one in 10 women who are diagnosed with premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) get pregnant, for reasons that are not yet clear.

Women with early menopause have a long period of postmenopausal life, which means they are at increased risk of health problems such as early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease. For this reason, it is recommended that they take some form of hormone therapy until they reach the typical age of menopause (around 51 years old). This may be the combined oestrogen and progestogen oral contraceptive pill, or menopausal hormone therapy (MHT).

Either option treats menopausal symptoms and reduces the risk of early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease.

Emotional impact of early or premature menopause 

Premature menopause can be emotionally devastating. Some of the common issues women may face include: 

  • grief at the prospect of not having children
  • fear of ‘growing old before their time’
  • concern that their partner won’t find them sexually attractive anymore
  • self-esteem problems.

Psychological counselling and support groups may help women come to terms with their experience of early or premature menopause.

Genetic counselling

If you have been diagnosed with a genetic condition that is thought to have caused your premature menopause, it may be helpful to speak to a genetic counsellor. Genetic counsellors are health professionals qualified in both counselling and genetics. As well as providing emotional support, they can help you to understand the condition, what causes it, how it is inherited (if it is), and what a diagnosis means for your health and for your family. Genetic counsellors are trained to provide information and support that is sensitive to your family circumstances, culture and beliefs.

A genetic counsellor can also explain what genetic testing options are available to you and other family members.

The Genetic Support Network of Victoria (GSNV) is connected with a wide range of support groups throughout Victoria and Australia and can connect you with other individuals and families affected by the condition.

Where to get help

First Signs Of Perimenopause | Franciscan Health

If you thought hormonal ups and downs ended in your teenage years, surprise! Perimenopause, the time leading up to your final menstrual cycle, can also be a hormonal roller coaster.

But don’t despair – while it’s true perimenopause brings along a smorgasbord of unpleasant symptoms, it doesn’t have to control your life. There are steps you can take to feel your best during this phase.

What Is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause occurs during the 40s for most women, but some notice changes as early as their mid-30s. As estrogen hormones rise and fall, periods grow longer or shorter and women experience menopause-like symptoms. Perimenopause is a natural part of the aging process, although some medications, cancer treatments and ovary surgery can speed up the process or cause menopause sooner. 

“Your ovaries are shutting down, but the process takes some time. That process is called perimenopause,” explains Kourtney Morris, MD, a Franciscan Physician Network Obstetrics & Gynecology in Lafayette, Indiana. “For some women, perimenopause is barely noticeable, but for others, the symptoms make them miserable.”

Perimenopause lasts for four years on average but sometimes only a few months. In the last one or two years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen speeds up, and women experience menopause symptoms while still having a period. 

Dr. Morris discusses this stage of life and how to deal with uncomfortable perimenopausal symptoms.

What Are The Stages Leading Up To Menopause?

After puberty, there are three other phases of female fertility:

  • Pre-menopause: Women have full ovarian function, regularly produce estrogen and ovulate.
  • Perimenopause: The ovaries begin to fluctuate in their ovulation and production of estrogen, which can result in unpredictable menstrual cycles and symptoms.
  • Menopause: When the ovaries have shut down. Someone would be in menopause after 12 months without menses.

When Does Perimenopause Start?

The average age of menopause is 51, and perimenopause symptoms typically begin about four years before your final period. Most women start to notice perimenopause symptoms in their 40s. But perimenopause can happen a little earlier or later, too. The best predictor of when your final period will be is the age at which your mother entered menopause (if she didn’t have a hysterectomy).

What’s The First Sign Of Perimenopause?

The first perimenopause sign is typically a disruption of your menstrual cycle. For many women, your period starts earlier or later than normal. For example, if your menstrual cycle has always been 28 days, during perimenopause, your period could come as early as 21 or as late as 35 days. Some women start skipping months entirely and then experience heavier-than-normal periods when they do have them.

What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopause?

During perimenopause, you can experience a variety of symptoms. The reason: Your ovaries have been making estrogen since your first period. During perimenopause, the estrogen production decreases substantially. Your body has to adjust to functioning with less of the hormone, putting you into estrogen withdrawals. The type and intensity of symptoms vary greatly among women – some just feel a little off or don’t notice anything at all.

Others can experience perimenopausal symptoms including:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling irritable, anxious or depressed
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes

About 80 percent of women will experience some form of a hot flash during perimenopause or menopause. Hot flashes happen when your brain has trouble regulating your internal temperature, which is a common response to having less estrogen. The shift in temperature may not be noticeable. Or, it may feel like someone cranked up the thermostat on your core body temperature. You suddenly feel uncomfortably hot and sweaty, or you may wake up drenched in sweat (called night sweats).

How Can You Alleviate Perimenopausal Symptoms?

Some women deal with the symptoms of perimenopause, and some women seek treatment for specific health concerns. Women with heavy bleeding, periods that last longer than seven days, spotting between periods or cycles that are less than 21 days should contact a doctor.

Typically, perimenopause is a gradual transition, and no particular test indicates what is happening to the body. Hormone therapy, vaginal estrogen treatments and antidepressants can help treat perimenopausal symptoms.

Start by identifying what’s bothering you most and then working with your doctor to address it. There are steps you can take to feel better. Lifestyle changes that can make a big impact in easing perimenopausal symptoms and improving your overall health include:

  • Yoga
  • Regular exercise
  • Meditation
  • Losing weight if needed

Your gynecologist can help develop a treatment plan to tackle symptoms, like:

  • Erratic bleeding: Hormonal medications can create a predictable menstrual cycle.
  • Depression: A low-dose antidepressant can improve a mood disorder.
  • Irritability: An exercise plan can improve mood.

But sometimes, what comforts women most is knowing that they’re not alone – and that perimenopause doesn’t take away vitality. Your body is moving toward not having babies anymore. It’s completely normal and natural. You’re just preparing for the next stage in life.

Find a gynecologist near you or learn about Franciscan Health’s gynecology services.

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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Menopause?

Women may have different signs or symptoms at menopause. That’s because estrogen is used by many parts of your body. As you have less estrogen, you could have various symptoms. Many women experience very mild symptoms that are easily treated by lifestyle changes, like avoiding caffeine or carrying a portable fan to use when a hot flash strikes. Some women don’t require any treatment at all. Other symptoms can be more problematic.

Here are the most common changes you might notice at midlife. Some may be part of aging rather than directly related to menopause.

Change in your period. This might be what you notice first. Your periods may no longer be regular. They may be shorter or last longer. You might bleed more or less than usual. These are all normal changes, but to make sure there isn’t a problem, see your doctor if:

  • Your periods come very close together
  • You have heavy bleeding
  • You have spotting
  • Your periods last more than a week
  • Your periods resume after no bleeding for more than a year

Hot flashes. Many women have hot flashes, which can last a few years after menopause. They may be related to changing estrogen levels. A hot flash is a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part or all of your body. Your face and neck become flushed. Red blotches may appear on your chest, back, and arms. Heavy sweating and cold shivering can follow. Hot flashes can be very mild or strong enough to wake you up (called night sweats). Most hot flashes last between 30 seconds and 10 minutes. They can happen several times an hour, a few times a day, or just once or twice a week.

Vaginal health and bladder control. Your vagina may get drier. This could make sexual intercourse uncomfortable. Or, you could have other health problems, such as vaginal or bladder infections. Some women also find it hard to hold their urine long enough to get to the bathroom. This loss of bladder control is called incontinence. You may have a sudden urge to urinate, or urine may leak during exercise, sneezing, or laughing.

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Sleep. Around midlife, some women start having trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Maybe you can’t fall asleep easily, or you wake too early. Night sweats might wake you up. You might have trouble falling back to sleep if you wake up during the night.

Sex. You may find that your feelings about sex are changing. You could be less interested. Or, you could feel freer and sexier after menopause. After 1 full year without a period, you can no longer become pregnant. But remember, you could still be at risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as gonorrhea or even HIV/AIDS. Your risk for an STD increases if you have sex with more than one person or with someone who has sex with others. If so, make sure your partner uses a condom each time you have sex.

Mood changes. You might feel moodier or more irritable around the time of menopause. Scientists don’t know why this happens. It’s possible that stress, family changes such as growing children or aging parents, a history of depression, or feeling tired could be causing these mood changes.

Your body seems different. Your waist could get larger. You could lose muscle and gain fat. Your skin could get thinner. You might have memory problems, and your joints and muscles could feel stiff and achy. Are these changes a result of having less estrogen or just related to growing older? Experts don’t know the answer.

In addition, in some women, symptoms may include aches and pains, headaches, and heart palpitations. Since menopausal symptoms may be caused by changing hormone levels, it is unpredictable how often women will have hot flashes and other symptoms and how severe they will be. Talk with your doctor if these symptoms are interfering with your everyday life. The severity of symptoms varies greatly around the world and by race and ethnicity.

Read about lifestyle changes to improve hot flashes and night sweats, and ways to get a good night’s sleep during the menopausal transition.

Read about this topic in Spanish. Lea sobre este tema en español.

For More Information on Menopause

Office on Women’s Health                                             
Department of Health and Human Services
800-994-9662 (toll-free)
www.womenshealth.gov

National Institutes of Health Menopausal Hormone Therapy Information
(Información de los Institutos Nacionales de la Salud sobre la terapia hormonal para la menopausia)
www.nih.gov/PHTindex.htm (en inglés)

This content is provided by the NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date.

Content reviewed:
June 26, 2017

Fomin’s Clinic – a network of multidisciplinary clinics

During menopause, serious changes take place in the body, which women usually know very little about. In this article, we will debunk the most popular myths, and at the same time we will explain what menopause is, what to expect from it, and whether it is necessary to endure the unpleasant symptoms associated with it.

The age of onset of sexual activity does not in any way affect the rate of onset of menopause. Genetics determine when menopause begins. You will most likely start menopause at about the same age as your mom.

To date, scientists know only one external, independent of heredity factor that can bring menopause closer in otherwise healthy people – smoking. On average, smokers stop menstruating 2 years earlier than non-smokers.

This is not the case. The climacteric period is a smooth physiological restructuring associated with a decrease in the level of sex hormones up to the complete disappearance of menstruation. Changes in hormonal levels begin from about 40-50 years old, can last up to 8-10 years and take place in three stages.

Perimenopause . Normally, it begins at the age of 40-45 years and can last from 4 years to several months. At this time, a woman produces less and less female sex hormones – estrogens. At this time, menstruation becomes irregular, sometimes their nature changes – the discharge becomes either unusually abundant, or, conversely, scanty.

In the last year or two of perimenopause, the decline in estrogen levels has accelerated. Approximately 40% of women experience menopausal symptoms for the first time at this time – due to biochemical and hormonal changes, they can become more irritable, experience hot flashes (an unexpected feeling of rolling heat and sweating), sleep disturbances, or even fall into depression.

Menopause . At this time, menstruation stops. However, it is possible to argue that this is menopause, and not a failure of the cycle, only after a woman has lived without menstruation for a whole year. At this time, menopause symptoms appear in 60-80% of women.

Postmenopause . Comes after a year of menopause. During this time, many women experience better menopausal symptoms. Unfortunately, at this stage, health problems associated with a lack of estrogen, such as osteoporosis, can appear.

With age, the level of sex hormones decreases in both women and men, so the term “male menopause” has a right to exist. At the same time, age-related hormonal changes in women do not occur in the same way as in men.

In women during the last period of perimenopause, the level of estrogen decreases quite sharply in just 1-2 years, so that this leads to the complete cessation of menstruation, that is, to menopause. Although this is a natural physiological process, due to the gradual “shutdown” of the usual hormonal background, women often face unpleasant symptoms.

In men, testosterone levels begin to decline gradually from the age of 30. After this age, testosterone levels drop by about 1-2% each year. A sharp decrease in the level of sex hormones in men does not occur, therefore, the “male menopause” most often goes without noticeable physical symptoms.

However, there are exceptions to any rule. In about 2.1% of men, the age-related decrease in the level of sex hormones leads to changes reminiscent of female menopause. True, “male menopause” is usually not considered a natural part of aging.According to British doctors, age-related decline in testosterone levels is a disease that must be treated with hormone therapy.

Not really. Although the ability to have children decreases in perimenopause, there is still a chance. In order not to get pregnant, you need to use contraceptives until the “guaranteed” menopause occurs, that is, at least a year must pass from the moment of the last menstruation.

However, you should not completely abandon condoms even after menopause.Although it is no longer possible to become pregnant, there is still a risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease through unprotected sex with a new / fickle partner.

Indeed, there is evidence that estrogens improve learning and memory in healthy women. But it is not a fact that the lack of estrogen is to blame for the forgetfulness of older women. Memory problems can be associated with age-related changes in the cardiovascular system. Because of this, the blood supply to the brain is impaired in older people of both sexes.

As for hysteria, some menopausal women occasionally experience mood swings, may become more irritable and experience unreasonable anxiety. But sudden mood swings depend not only on hormones, so they cannot be attributed solely to menopause.

The only climacteric symptom clearly associated with a decrease in the synthesis of sex hormones is hot flashes, which 80% of women of different cultures face. Fortunately, menopausal hormone therapy or non-hormonal therapy, which may be prescribed by your gynecologist, can help to cope with hot flushes that are too strong and too frequent.

Tooth decay is not associated with menopause, but with the normal aging process. Unfortunately, a lack of estrogen leads to other problems, such as hair loss and dry skin, and in some people, menopause provokes muscle and joint pain. If you are faced with such manifestations, it is not necessary to endure them – you need to contact a gynecologist who will select the appropriate treatment for you.

43% of women in menopause lose interest in sex.But despite their age, more than half of women continue to do it! Another thing is that due to a lack of estrogen, sex may not be as pleasant as it used to be.

According to a large American study, 39% of women in menopause complained of lack of lubrication, 34% noted an inability to climax, 23% did not feel pleasure from sex, and 17% experienced pain during sex.

Fortunately, these problems are surmountable. To revive your interest in sex, you can try doing it more often and doing Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles – this will help increase blood flow to the vagina and strengthen the muscles involved in orgasm.

Lack of lubrication can be compensated for with lubricants, and interest in sex is often restored in women who begin menopausal hormone therapy.

However, it should be borne in mind that menopausal hormone therapy is not indicated for everyone. For example, there is evidence that hormone therapy hurts rather than helps women over 60. Before starting treatment, it is imperative to consult a doctor.

The benefits of intelligent menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) far outweigh the risks.MHT relieves the discomfort of hot flashes, helps avoid osteoporosis-related fractures, and generally improves quality of life.

When hormone therapy was first used to relieve symptoms of menopause, there was evidence that it increased the risks of breast cancer and coronary heart disease.

However, subsequent studies have shown that if you start MHT immediately after the onset of menopause, then it, on the contrary, reduces the risk of death from coronary heart disease and other causes, and also relieves the symptoms of menopause and reduces the risk of fractures due to osteoporosis.

However, MHT is not suitable for everyone: for example, it should not be performed on women with severe liver disease, venous thrombosis, and breast cancer. However, this does not mean that women who have contraindications to MHT are doomed to endure the symptoms of menopause. In addition to hormone therapy, the doctor can choose non-hormonal treatments that can significantly improve the quality of life.

The benefits of plant estrogens have not been proven: it is still unknown whether phytoestrogens can “cancel” hot flashes and improve well-being.But they are quite capable of doing harm: some doctors believe that because of their similarity to estrogens, plant hormones can be dangerous for women with breast cancer.

  • Climax is not a disease, but a natural stage in a woman’s life. It is impossible to attribute all health and mood problems only to menopause.
  • Not all women in menopause experience unpleasant symptoms. But if there are symptoms, it is not necessary to endure them: hot flashes, mood swings and other “companions” of menopause can and should be treated.
  • Self-medication with menopause is not worth it. In order for the treatment to help, it must be selected individually, and the doctor must do this.

ᐉ How and at what age does menopause begin in women: symptoms and signs

Speaking of menopause, they mean physiological changes in a woman’s body associated with a decrease in the production of the hormone estrogen. At a certain period of her life, the functions of the ovaries begin to fade away, because the number of follicles in them allotted by nature is coming to an end.Therefore, the production of female hormones decreases, and then completely stops, which means that monthly ovulation no longer occurs. In this regard, the ability to conceive and bear children is lost.

This is a natural process that every woman faces at a certain age.

At what age does the climax begin

Usually, the climacteric period occurs in a woman at the age at which it manifested itself in her mother, grandmother.Doctors have traced the connection between the onset of menopause and genetic predisposition. An exception may be cases when the early menopause is caused by surgery, during which the organs responsible for the reproductive function were removed from the patient.

When and how menopause begins in women

According to the observations of scientists, a woman can feel the first signs of the onset of menopause in the age range from forty to forty-five years (this is the so-called premenopausal period).During this five-year period, the ovaries gradually reduce estrogen production, so there may be disruptions in the menstrual cycle. From fifty to fifty-five years of age, the menstrual cycle should completely disappear. Twelve months after the end of the last menstrual period is usually called menopause, the time following this year is called postmenopause.

Symptoms of the beginning menopause

Every woman can endure menopause differently than others.It all depends on the state of her body, heredity and lifestyle. But there are a number of symptoms that, to one degree or another, are felt by all the fair sex.

The most common manifestation of the climacteric syndrome is hot flashes. This extremely unpleasant condition is characterized by a sudden sensation of fever and even a burning sensation in the head and chest area, may be accompanied by pouring sweat, pain in the back of the head and temples, a feeling of nausea, and shortness of breath.Hot flashes cause both physical and mental discomfort for women. They not only negatively affect the state of health, but also do not go unnoticed by the people around them, being a vivid evidence of age-related changes.

Another sign of approaching menopause is a change in the nature of menstrual flow. They can be scarce. But often changes in the endometrium make themselves felt with profuse bleeding of varying severity. Sometimes they bring a woman to a critical state and cause hospitalization.

Often, negative changes in mood and behavior become a real disaster both for the woman herself and for those who are with her. A sharp change in the emotional mood for no apparent reason, tearfulness, intolerance towards others, and even outright manifestations of aggression make being around some ladies unbearable.

With the onset of menopause, a woman may experience problems with the health of the heart muscle and blood vessels. The reason for this is hormonal imbalance.An increase in body weight is also associated with this factor, which overtakes even very slender women before.

At fifty, women usually work actively at home and at work, therefore, they consider such a sign of impending menopause as a decrease in working capacity associated with poor health and a weakening of attention as a very annoying circumstance.

These and other symptoms that menopause is not far off, can and should be corrected with the help of special drugs that are prescribed by a doctor.Taking care of the health of mind and body, a woman in the postmenopausal period can enjoy life.

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Contents

The climacteric period (Climax) is the physiological period in a woman’s life, during which, against the background of an age-related decrease in ovarian function, a complex biological transformation of various functions of the female body occurs, the activity of individual structures of the central nervous system (CNS) changes, the activity of the autonomic nervous system changes.Involutionary processes in the reproductive system are characterized by the cessation of first reproductive function, and later, menstruation. In connection with the peculiarities of systemic changes caused by the gradual extinction of ovarian function, the allocation of individual phases of the climacteric period (“menopausal transition”, perimenopause, postmenopause) is of great practical importance.

Menopause is the last independent menstruation in a woman’s life, due to the hormonal function of the ovaries.The exact date of menopause is established only retrospectively – after 12 months of absence of menstruation. Menopause is a natural genetically programmed process, however, hormonal changes that occur during this period, especially a sharp decrease in estrogen levels, make a significant contribution to changing the quality of life and the development of many age-related diseases in women, which leads to an increase in the importance of medical and social problems of this age group of the population. for society.

Symptoms and signs of menopause (menopause)

Early symptoms:

  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Excessive sweating
  • Headaches
  • Increase or decrease in blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Forgetfulness
  • Concentration and attention disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased libido

Moderate symptoms:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • Itching and burning
  • Urethral syndrome (cystalgia, urinary incontinence)
  • Dry and brittle nails
  • Wrinkles
  • Dryness and hair loss

Late symptoms:

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Postmenopausal osteoporosis
  • Arthrosis-arthritis
  • Dementia

Treatment of climacteric disorders (menopause)

The use of hormone replacement therapy effectively relieves vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, hyperhidrosis, palpitations, etc.)), normalizes sleep, improves mood and general well-being, and also prevents the development of atrophic changes in the urogenital tract. At the same time, the appointment of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms or manifestations of urogenital atrophy counteracts some age-related metabolic disorders, especially important of which, of course, are dyslipidemia (violation of fat metabolism) and a decrease in bone mineral density.

After the onset of natural menopause at the age of about 50, the goal of hormone replacement therapy is to preserve the quality of life, maintain the normal functioning of organs and tissues, and maintain health for the future.

Recently, much attention has been paid not only to the presence of clear indications for hormone therapy, the initial state of women’s health and the assessment of risk factors for these diseases, but also to the individual selection of the dose, start time, regimen, route of hormone administration, which largely determines its effectiveness and safety. …

It has been proven that in postmenopausal women, a low dose of estrogen is quite sufficient and provides all the necessary effects: it relieves vasomotor symptoms, favorably affects the lipid profile, prevents bone loss and does not negatively affect metabolic processes in the body and is well tolerated.

Examination of patients before the treatment of climacteric disorders (menopause)

Before prescribing any therapeutic regimen for hormone replacement therapy in the climacteric period, each woman should undergo a full assessment of her health, including collection of family and personal history and physical examination, ultrasound examination (ultrasound) of the pelvic organs.

Taking into account the woman’s age and the terms adopted by national recommendations, mammography is performed, preferably within the previous 12 months before starting therapy.Other special research methods, such as bone densitometry, are used when indicated, but mandatory in the presence of fractures.

Indications for hormone replacement therapy of the climacteric period (menopause):

  • Presence of climacteric syndrome
  • Urogenital disorders
  • Postmenopausal osteoporosis

A special place is occupied by a group of women with premature (idiopathic or surgical) menopause (up to 40 years old) due to an increase in their risk of heart attack by 4-5 times in comparison with practically healthy women of a similar age, as well as the accelerated development of osteoporosis.

The effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy in the climacteric period (menopause)

The effectiveness of hormone therapy depends on the severity of the manifestations of climacteric disorders, the presence of somatic diseases and the correct choice of the drug.

The early typical symptoms of climacteric syndrome, as a rule, begin to decrease by the end of the first month of hormone replacement therapy, a stable effect is achieved by 4-6 months of treatment, the maximum effect – after 2-3 years.

Thus, the prevention and treatment of climacteric disorders, especially metabolic trophic, in addition to hormone replacement, requires complex measures, including not only work, rest and nutrition, but also the use of oral magnesium preparations in combination with pyridoxine. Magnesium in combination with pyridoxine makes it possible to neutralize the negative effects of hormone therapy, to positively influence a woman’s health, to maintain her ability to work and quality of life.

In the Medsi clinic in St. Petersburg, highly qualified gynecologists will quickly and professionally conduct a full examination of the woman, select the most optimal drug for hormone replacement therapy and will dynamically monitor the woman’s health throughout the entire period of treatment.

Doctors-gynecologists hold an appointment at a convenient time for you, including weekends and holidays.

Find out in time: how to determine the onset of menopause?

What is climax

Menopause is usually divided into three stages: premenopause, menopause and postmenopause.The International Menopause Association cites data that premenopause lasts from 15 to 18 months. In 80% of cases, menopause is accompanied by hot flashes, increased sweating, dizziness, tachycardia, increased blood pressure, and insomnia. But the main sign of the onset of menopause, after which a woman usually turns to a gynecologist, is a failure of her period.

Photo: freepik.com

At what age does menopause occur?

The snag is that there is no exact age at which menopause occurs.Usually, the extinction of reproductive function occurs in the interval between 45 and 55 years, however, the deficiency of female hormones can occur earlier, up to 40 years.
Autoimmune and infectious diseases, hormonal disruptions, chemotherapy courses, or genetic predisposition lead to early menopause. Bad habits also affect: it has been proven that smoking, alcohol and drug use accelerate the onset of menopause. Also, recent studies say that nulliparous women are more susceptible to early onset of menopause.

What is the role of hormones

Follicle-stimulating hormone is produced in the anterior pituitary gland. In women, it is responsible for the maturation of ovarian follicles. This hormone appears during the first menstruation and accompanies it until the postmenopausal stage. It also provokes ovulation – the process of rupture of a mature follicle and the release of an egg. After that, the woman begins the luteal phase, during which progesterone is formed, a steroid that prepares the female body for pregnancy.

With the onset of menopause, reproductive processes go astray. The ovaries stop functioning in the same mode: the production of estrogen decreases, while the pituitary gland increases the production of follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormones. During menopause, the FSH index can reach 133.36 mMe / ml (before menopause, the norm of FSH during ovulation is 5.53 – 16.67 mMe / ml). By the end of postmenopause, this figure drops to 54.9 mIU / L. Hot weather also affects the growth of FSH in the body.

An increase in FSH and other hormones occurs not only with menopause.Among the diseases with such a symptom may be tumors of the adenohypophysis, Swier’s syndrome and Shershevsky-Turner syndrome, endometriosis, ovarian cyst. In order to exclude the presence of severe hormonal and genetic diseases and to understand whether you have started menopause, you need to do an FSH test.

How to find out about the onset of menopause

Clinic

Doctors recommend checking FSH as soon as a woman feels the first signs of menopause – cycle changes, hot flashes, emotional outbursts.You should prepare for the test: follow a three-day diet, exclude alcohol, and so on. On the day of the visit to the laboratory, you cannot eat three hours before the procedure, but you can drink water in small quantities. It is forbidden to smoke 12 hours before the analysis and engage in physical activity. For the best result, it is worth repeating the procedure three times.

Photo: mikalaj / freepik.com

FSH isn’t the only thing doctors check on women with menopausal symptoms. It is possible that when you come to the gynecologist’s appointment, you will be asked to pass additional tests: thyroid ultrasound, mammography, smear for oncopathology and densitometry (it records the early diagnosis of osteoporosis).All these studies require additional costs and time, which not every woman has.

At home

There is another way to find out about the onset of menopause. This will be done by a home diagnostic test to determine the menopause FRAUTEST menopause.

The principle of the test is based on the determination of a long-term increase in the level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in a woman’s urine, so there is no need for a blood test to make a diagnosis.Increased FSH is the main marker of the onset of menopause.

The reliability of FRAUTEST reaches 99%, which is comparable to a laboratory blood test. The use of the test will not cause difficulties: a woman needs to collect a portion of urine, immerse a strip of test in it to the mark and evaluate the result within the time specified in the instructions. Testing is done twice with a break of one week, since only two positive results indicate that you have entered premenopause. The test is completely painless and safe, and the confidence gained through the testing will help to comfortably endure the difficult, but natural for every woman, period of menopause.

In the arsenal of gynecologists there are many drugs that can reduce the manifestations of menopause, make them almost invisible. But not only medicines will help a woman during this period – exercise, a properly selected diet, giving up bad habits, this is the basis for a comfortable climax.

All you need is to establish the onset of menopause on time using the FRAUTEST home test and promptly contact a specialist you trust.

Registration certificate for a medical device dated December 8, 2009 No. FZS 2009/05716

Sources

  • Sweeting H., Whitley E., Teyhan A., Hunt K. Sex differences in child and adolescent physical morbidity: cohort study. // BMJ Paediatr Open – 2017 – Vol1 – N1 – p.e000191; PMID: 29637174
  • Låftman SB., Magnusson C. Do health complaints in adolescence negatively predict the chance of entering tertiary education in young adulthood? // Scand J Public Health – 2017 – Vol45 – N8 – p.878-885; PMID: 28699425
  • Padilla-Moledo C., Ruiz JR., Castro-Piñero J. Parental educational level and psychological positive health and health complaints in Spanish children and adolescents.// Child Care Health Dev – 2016 – Vol42 – N4 – p.534-43; PMID: 27097753
  • Molinero O., Salguero A., Castro-Piñero J., Mora J., Márquez S. Substance abuse and health self-perception in Spanish children and adolescents. // Nutr Hosp – 2011 – Vol26 – N2 – p.402-9; PMID: 21666981
  • Løhre A., Lydersen S., Paulsen B., Mæhle M., Vatten LJ. Peer victimization as reported by children, teachers, and parents in relation to children’s health symptoms. // BMC Public Health – 2011 – Vol11 – NNULL – p.278; PMID: 21548913

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Premenopause: what is it, symptoms, signs of premenopause, treatment | Periods in premenopause (before menopause)

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Last update date: 27.08.2021

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Premenopause (menopause) is the same natural event in a woman’s life as puberty and pregnancy.This is a kind of step in the transition from childbearing age to persistent cessation of menstruation. Moreover, only 20% of the fair sex experience this period without problems. Eight out of ten experience painful symptoms that reduce their quality of life 1 .

What is premenopause

First, let’s understand the terms. As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO),

  • menopause – this is the last spontaneous menstruation, a kind of starting point, which can be talked about if there are no periods for more than one year;
  • premenopause – the period from the beginning of the “failures” of the menstrual cycle to the onset of menopause;
  • perimenopause – the period of menstrual irregularities preceding the cessation of menstruation and continuing for another one to two years after menopause;
  • postmenopause – the period from menopause to the end of a woman’s life 1.2 .

The first symptom of premenopause in women is the instability of the menstrual cycle. Menstruation that used to come “by the clock” is now delayed or begins earlier than the due date by more than 7 days 1 . This is primarily due to a decrease in the synthesis of sex hormones – estrogens involved in the regulation of all processes occurring in the genitals of a woman 1.2

The fall in estrogen levels is due to the depletion of follicle reserves (the bubbles in which eggs mature) and a decrease in their sensitivity to pituitary hormones, which are responsible for the functioning of the ovaries.Follicles stop growing and synthesizing estrogens, eggs stop maturing, and this leads to menstrual irregularities 2 If a blood test for hormones is done at this time, it will detect these changes.

When premenopause occurs

The first signs of ovarian failure can be detected at the age of 35 1 . However, they do not manifest themselves outwardly: menstruation remains regular, and a woman, if desired, can still give birth to a child.

Premenopausal changes begin on average 5 years before menopause, that is, around the age of 45-46 years.Menopause in most European women occurs at the age of 50-51 (the world average is 48.8 years) 1.2 .

Sometimes menstruation stops much earlier – at the age of 40-45. In this case, they talk about early menopause. If they disappear before the age of 40 – about premature menopause. Early and premature menopause is not normal. Therefore, if you develop premenopausal symptoms before the required age, you need to undergo treatment. Contact your gynecologist, he will conduct an examination and prescribe the necessary therapy.

How to deal with premenopausal symptoms

If you are practically healthy, there is a possibility that you will endure menopause more or less easily. Chronic diseases, which, unfortunately, many people have by the age of 45-50, often complicate the period of hormonal changes. Therefore, half of women fully feel what premenopause is 1.2 .

What symptoms can there be?

  • “Tides”.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Chills.
  • Sleepiness.
  • Irritability.
  • Anxiety and depression.
  • Memory impairment and inattention.
  • Recurrent headaches.
  • Blood pressure fluctuations.
  • Attacks of rapid heartbeat.
  • Weight gain.
  • Decreased sex drive 1.2 .

Hot flashes occur in most women, but the severity may vary 1 .Some note the sudden appearance of fever in the face, neck and shoulders, profuse sweating, while others, in addition to this, have bouts of lightheadedness, dizziness and even fainting associated with a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain. Hot flashes can appear at the very beginning of premenopause and persist up to 5 years, and sometimes more than 1 .

Hormonal imbalance, characteristic of menopause, sometimes leads to disruption of the processes occurring in the uterus 1 .The inner mucous membrane can grow, which creates problems during menstruation – they become profuse, with dense blood clots. When these symptoms appear, you should definitely consult a doctor.

The decline of menstrual function is accompanied by natural aging of the skin. It becomes thinner, drier, acquires a grayish tint. Skin tone decreases, every month new wrinkles appear on it. These processes cannot be stopped, but it is still possible to slow down aging.

Climax is not a reason to be discouraged at all. Today there are many drugs that can compensate for the deficiency of sex hormones in the body, improve the general condition of the body and protect it from aging and many diseases. You just need to seek help from a doctor and find the necessary medicine.

Something you can do yourself:

  • to exercise and monitor nutrition in order to maintain physical fitness and normal weight;
  • to observe the regime of work and rest, to walk more in the fresh air, to do yoga and breathing exercises to reduce the level of stress;
  • to monitor your health and undergo medical examination on time.

Live a healthy life and o.b.® products can help you survive premenopause.

Literature

  1. Dvoryansky S. A., Emelyanova D. I., Yagovkina N. V. Climacteric syndrome: current state of the art (literature review) // Vyatka medical bulletin. – No. 1 (53). – 2017. – P.7-15.
  2. Romanenko NM Climacteric period in a woman’s life // Crimean therapeutic journal. – No. 1. – 2015 .– S. 38-42.

How to survive menopause and return the joy of sex

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Climax is a very intimate topic for women.This period of life raises many questions in women of age, which sometimes there is no one to ask, but it is necessary

We collected the most pressing questions of women “over 45” and asked them to the obstetrician-gynecologist of the first category of the antenatal clinic of polyclinic No. 88 Irina Zemskikh.

– How do you know when menopause is coming?

– Normally, a woman’s menstruation lasts from two to seven days, the cycle is from 21 to 35 days. Menstruation can be profuse, the cycle can vary – one month be 21 days, the other 35.But this is all the norm. But if menstruation starts to go more often or less often, or becomes too long, this is a reason to contact a gynecologist and undergo an examination. This is how menopause can begin.

– What problems in the field of intimate life face women in menopause?

– The main problem is vaginal dryness, which occurs due to an insufficient amount of estrogen in the woman’s body. Dryness leads to other problems: discomfort or even pain during intimacy, inability to relax.In addition, many women are not sure whether pregnancy is possible during this period and how to protect themselves.

– Is pregnancy during menopause possible?

– Menopause is the period when menstruation has stopped. According to modern data, two years after the cessation of menstruation, a woman’s pregnancy can no longer occur. But the first two years it is possible, especially if the menopause was early. These cases are very rare, but there are, therefore, at least two years after the cessation of menstruation must be protected – it is best to use barrier methods of contraception.

– Why does libido decrease during menopause?

– This also happens due to a decrease in the level of the hormone estrogen and other hormonal changes. Decreased libido is a direct consequence of this process. And of course it doesn’t need to be left as it is.

Photo: cdn.mobsocmedia.com

– What advice can you give women so they can improve their sex life?

– No need to endure discomfort.At the first signs of menopause, you should consult a doctor who will select a special menopausal therapy and help the body cope with the restructuring. These are drugs that affect sexuality, with and without estrogens, and anti-anxiety drugs that can help cope with depression and regulate weight. Libido will be restored at the same time.

– How long can you take hormonal drugs so as not to provoke the development of cancer?

– That hormonal drugs can cause cancer is a myth that has long been scientifically disproved.By themselves, hormonal drugs do not provoke malignant neoplasms, if, of course, the drugs are prescribed correctly. By the way, menopausal therapy should be prescribed in a timely manner. 10 years after the last menstruation, it is no longer possible to prescribe hormonal drugs to a woman. Doctors know this, it is emphasized in the “Russian Association for Menopause.” For 10 years, a woman has already developed chronic diseases, and in this case, the appointment of hormone therapy can aggravate the situation.

– What if hormones are contraindicated? Is it possible to take, for example, vitamins instead of them, and which ones?

– Indeed, there are situations in which hormonal drugs should absolutely not be taken.Then the doctor may prescribe other drugs – phytoestrogens , which are found, for example, in soybeans and red clover. They can help combat certain signs of menopause. For example, with “hot flashes”, sweating, loss of energy. You can, by the way, along with other therapy prescribed by your doctor, take special vitamin complexes for women in menopause – for example, with selenium so that hair does not fall out, and with vitamin E so that the skin is clean and smooth.And, of course, all women, not only menopausal women, need to take vitamin D . In general, it should be accepted by all Petersburgers, because there is not enough sun here.

90,000 what is it, causes, symptoms and how to postpone – ISIDA Clinic Kiev, Ukraine

Contents

With age, involutive processes begin to develop in a woman’s body: a decrease in the production of sex hormones, the extinction of ovarian functions.These phenomena are often accompanied by a certain set of symptoms, which are called menopause. Most intensely, symptoms appear during the first 2-3 years of the postmenopausal period. Therefore, it is important to know when signs of climacteric syndrome appear, to correctly diagnose it. Correct diagnosis and treatment will reduce the intensity of manifestations, ensure the normal adaptation of the body to the extinction of ovarian functions.

What is this

Menopause is a complex of symptoms that occurs in the female body, signaling the termination of reproductive function.It is characterized by neuroendocrine, vasomotor, metabolic disorders. Such changes are formed in women, against the background of the development of general involutive processes. Symptoms may bother women under 60. Therefore, menopause at any age significantly affects the general condition and performance of a woman.

Symptoms, Signs and Types

Menopause can mask various diseases, so it is important to know how to diagnose it. The climacteric syndrome has characteristic manifestations:

  • Psychoemotional – irritability, emotional lability, depression, excitability.Sleep disorders, a constant feeling of weakness, decreased performance, memory and concentration are also characteristic.
  • Vasomotor – frequent sensation of hot flushes in the upper half of the body, a feeling of heat, increased sweating. The duration of each tide is up to 1-2 minutes. Various factors can provoke – climate change, stress.
  • Urogenital – dryness and burning sensation in the vagina, itching in the pubic region, dyspareunia, urinary disorder.
  • Osteoarticular – a tendency to the rapid development of osteoporosis, osteopenia, a high risk of fractures.

Depending on the age period and the factors that lead to the development of symptoms, there are several types of menopause. It is important to know how it starts and how each species differs:

  • Early climax . It develops when the ovarian reserve is depleted by the age of 40-45. It is characterized by slow development, delays in menstruation, first for short, then for long periods. The diagnosis can be made after a year of absence of menstruation. Its development is influenced by a hereditary factor, long-term influence of stress factors, radiation therapy.
  • Artificial climax. It does not arise spontaneously, but under the influence of medicinal measures. It is necessary for certain diseases as therapy. It can be medication (drugs that inhibit the production of estrogens are used), surgical (after removal of the genitals), radiation. Symptoms develop as in a natural process. For treatment, substitution therapy is used, the duration of which is determined by the presence of symptoms.
  • Pathological. May last more than 5 years. It develops more often against the background of prolonged, severe gynecological diseases. Symptoms are classic, only have a more pronounced, intense course. With a sharp decrease in hormones, which leads to a severe course of menopause, complex lesions of the musculoskeletal system, skin problems, and there is a risk of neoplasms can develop.

When the climax comes

Normally, such a phenomenon as menopause occurs at the age of 46 to 50 years.This is a completely natural condition that every representative of the fairer sex faces. With the natural course of menopause, the symptoms insignificantly affect a woman’s life, practically do not reduce her performance. Gradually, within about 2 years after the last menstrual period, the ovaries begin to lose their function. This period is stressful, and it is very difficult for some to maintain a normal psycho-emotional state. The severity of the course of the syndrome depends on the hereditary predisposition, lifestyle and structure of the body.

How to delay the climax

Every woman wants to stay young and beautiful for a long time, and to delay the onset of menopause and menopause as much as possible. To keep the body young as long as possible, it is important to adhere to these recommendations:

  • Cessation of passive and active smoking.
  • Refusal to drink alcohol.
  • Following a diet with an optimal amount of individual nutrients.
  • Effective stress management.
  • Selection of an individual set of physical exercises.
  • Compliance with sleep and rest.
  • Regular sexual relations.

Following these recommendations, you can postpone menopause for several years, as well as effectively prepare your body for its onset.

Complications

After the onset of menopause, the body’s defenses decrease, and the likelihood of developing the following conditions increases:

  • Diseases of the cardiovascular system.
  • Lesions of bones and joints. High risk of fractures.
  • Dysuric phenomena. The pelvic floor muscles lose their elasticity, strength, so urinary incontinence may occur.