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When Does Menopause Start?
Looking for information on menopause? An OBGYN is a type of health care professional who can help women manage their menopausal symptoms. While not all women will need to undergo menopausal treatment, many are in need of menopausal support.
When menopause starts
This new stage in a woman's life can start anywhere between the ages of 40 and 58. The average age of a woman entering menopause is 51. While rare, some women will enter menopause in their late 30s, with others entering menopause not until they reach their 60s. When it comes to knowing whether or not a woman is actually entering menopause, the official definition is when a woman no longer has any menstrual periods for at least 12 months. When it comes to how long menopause can last, the average amount of time is somewhere between four and five years.
Women will first undergo perimenopause before actually entering menopause. Perimenopause can start up to 10 years before entering menopause. It usually begins when a woman's ovaries begin to gradually stop producing estrogen. Women will stay in perimenopause until they reach menopause, which is the time when a woman's ovaries stop releasing eggs. Women who are going through perimenopause will still get regular menstrual cycles and can therefore still become pregnant.
After menopause, women will enter postmenopause. This is the term used to describe the rest of a woman's life after going through menopause. Although this is the stage when women will often start to experience fewer menopausal symptoms, some women will continue to experience menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes, for many more years. The fact that women have a lower level of estrogen once they enter postmenopause, means that they are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with certain types of health conditions, including heart disease.
How OBGYNs can help women who are entering menopause
Women who are experiencing a lower quality of life when going through menopause will benefit from being under the care of an OBGYN. This type of health care professional is one who can offer menopausal women a few different types of treatment options, of which all are based on addressing their symptoms. It is not necessary to actually treat menopause, as it is a natural occurrence. It is essential for women who seek the professional assistance of an OBGYN to be completely honest about their symptoms, as this allows them to undergo care that is right for them.
Examples of ways that an OBGYN can provide support for menopausal women include hormone replacement therapy and providing advice on how to make any necessary positive lifestyle changes. Hormone replacement therapy helps to replenish a woman's estrogen and progesterone levels, which is available in pill form, patches, gels and sprays. Lifestyle changes are often necessary, as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly is important for all women who are going through this natural transition.
For women who experience symptoms and feel they would benefit from being under the care of an experienced OBGYN, making a consultation appointment is the best place to start.
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