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What Women Need to Know About Menopause
Women who have not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months have officially reached menopause. That is a simple way to explain menopause, but it is actually much more complicated than that. There is quite a bit that women need to know about menopause so that they will be prepared.
What should women know about menopause?
Age women go through menopause
On average, women go through menopause at the age of 51. However, some women go through menopause when they are still in their 30s, while others do not go into menopause until they are in their 60s. Genetics and other factors play a role when menopause occurs.
Symptoms of menopause
Women experience a variety of symptoms during menopause. While each person is different, all women experience hot flashes, mood changes, weight gain and vaginal dryness. An OBGYN can help women manage the symptoms.
Hormones and menopause
Women experience symptoms due to hormonal changes in the body. This leaves many to believe the body completely stops producing hormones during menopause, but that is not true. The adrenal glands still produce progesterone and estrogen, but the production slows down during menopause.
Pregnancy and menopause
During perimenopause, women often start having irregular periods. Women might even go for months without a period. Still, it is possible to get pregnant until the woman has not had a period for a full year.
Women should talk to their OBGYN about contraception options if they do not wish to become pregnant during menopause. The OBGYN might recommend a birth control method that contains progesterone and estrogen.
Menopause and health
Menopause can affect a woman’s health. Estrogen keeps bones strong and healthy, so bone loss is common during menopause. Women who experience bone loss should get a bone density test to see if they are at risk for developing osteoporosis.
Estrogen also affects the cardiovascular system. When the amount of estrogen in the body decreases, women can develop heart disease or other problems. Women should maintain a healthy weight, avoid smoking and exercise to combat this issue. They also need to keep regularly scheduled appointments with their physicians to ensure their hearts are healthy.
Making menopause easier
Women can make the menopause process easier by adopting some lifestyle changes. Women should eat healthy foods that contain calcium to prevent bone loss and exercise regularly to manage their moods.
Women should also keep a log of their hot flashes. They might realize that hot flashes are triggered by some things like spicy foods. They can adjust their habits to limit the hot flashes.
Do not deal with menopause alone
If you are going through menopause, you might have difficulty managing the symptoms. It is important to understand that you do not have to battle this condition on your own. Your OBGYN will work with you to help you manage the symptoms. Talk to your OBGYN about your concerns and get the help you need to navigate this part of your life smoothly.
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