What is menopause?
Menopause date calculator age
a point in thời gian when you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle. The phút giây leading up phệ menopause is called perimenopause. This is when a lot of women or people assigned female at birth ( AFAB ) start mập transition mập menopause. They may notice changes in their menstrual cycles or have symptoms lượt thích hot flashes .
What are the three stages of menopause?
Natural menopause is the permanent ending of menstruation that doesn’t happen because of any type of medical treatment. The process is gradual & happens in three stages :
- Perimenopause or “menopause transition”: Perimenopause can begin eight to 10 years before menopause when your ovaries gradually produce less estrogen. It usually starts when you’re in your 40s. Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when your ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last one to two years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many people may experience menopause symptoms. But, you’re still having menstrual cycles during this time and can get pregnant.
- Menopause: Menopause is the point when you no longer have menstrual periods. At this stage, your ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and stopped producing most of their estrogen. A healthcare provider diagnoses menopause when you’ve gone without a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months.
- Postmenopause: This is the name given to the time after you haven’t had a period for an entire year (or the rest of your life after menopause). During this stage, menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, may get better. However, some people continue to experience menopausal symptoms for a decade or longer after the menopause transition. As a result of a lower estrogen level, people in the postmenopausal phase are at an increased risk for several health conditions, such as osteoporosis and heart disease.
What is the normal age for menopause?
The average age of menopause in the United States is approximately 51 years old. However, the transition bự menopause usually begins in your mid-40s .
Symptoms and Causes
What are the signs of menopause?
You may be transitioning into menopause if you begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms :
- Hot flashes, also known as vasomotor symptoms (a sudden feeling of warmth that spreads over your body).
- Night sweats and/or cold flashes.
- Vaginal dryness that causes discomfort during sex.
- Urinary urgency (a pressing need to pee more frequently).
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
- Emotional changes (irritability, mood swings or mild depression).
- Dry skin, dry eyes or dry mouth.
- Breast tenderness.
- Worsening of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Irregular periods or periods that are heavier or lighter than usual.
Some people might also experience :
- Racing heart.
- Joint and muscle aches and pains.
- Changes in libido (sex drive).
- Difficulty concentrating or memory lapses (often temporary).
- Weight gain.
- Hair loss or thinning.
Changes in your hooc môn levels cause these symptoms. Some people may have intense symptoms of menopause, while others have mild symptoms. Not everyone will have the same symptoms as they transition mập menopause .
Liên hệ a healthcare provider if you’re unsure if your symptoms are related béo menopause or another health condition .
How long do you have symptoms of menopause?
You can have symptoms of menopause for up bự 10 years. However, most people experience symptoms of menopause for less than five years .
What are hot flashes and how long will I have them?
Hot flashes are one of the most frequent symptoms of menopause. It’s a brief sensation of heat. Aside from the heat, hot flashes can also come with :
- A red, flushed face.
- A chilled feeling after the heat.
The intensity, frequency & duration of hot flashes differ for each individual. Typically, hot flashes are less severe as phút giây goes on .
Why does menopause happen?
When menopause happens on its own ( natural menopause ), it’s a normal part of aging. Menopause is defined as a complete year without menstrual bleeding, in the absence of any surgery or medical condition that may cause bleeding mập stop such as hormonal birth control, radiation therapy or surgical removal of your ovaries .
As you age, your reproductive cycle begins Khủng slow xuống dốc & prepares lớn stop. This cycle has been continuously functioning since puberty. As menopause nears, your ovaries make less of a hooc môn called estrogen. When this decrease occurs, your menstrual cycle ( period ) starts béo change. It can become irregular và then stop .
Physical changes can also happen as your body toàn thân adapts Khủng different levels of hormones. The symptoms you experience during each stage of menopause ( perimenopause, menopause và postmenopause ) are all part of your body’s adjustment mập these changes .
What hormonal changes happen during menopause?
The traditional changes we think of as “ menopause ” happen when your ovaries no longer produce high levels of hormones. Your ovaries are the reproductive glands that store & release eggs. They also produce the hormones estrogen & progesterone. Together, estrogen & progesterone control menstruation. Estrogen also influences how your body toàn thân uses calcium và maintains cholesterol levels in your blood .
As menopause nears, your ovaries no longer release eggs, & you’ll have your last menstrual cycle .
How do I know if I’m in menopause?
You’ll know you’ve reached menopause when you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period. Contact your healthcare provider if you have any type of vaginal bleeding after menopause. Vaginal bleeding after menopause could be a sign of a more serious health issue .
Diagnosis and Tests
How is menopause diagnosed?
There are several ways your healthcare provider can diagnose menopause. The first is discussing your menstrual cycle end the last year. Menopause is chất lượng in that your provider diagnoses it after it occurs. If you’ve gone a đầy đủ year ( 12 straight months ) without a period, you’ve entered menopause & may be postmenopausal .
Management and Treatment
Can menopause be treated?
Menopause is a natural process that your body toàn thân goes through. In some cases, you may not need any treatment for menopause. When discussing treatment for menopause with your provider, it’s about treating the symptoms of menopause that disrupt your life. There are many different types of treatments for the symptoms of menopause. The main types of treatment for menopause are :
- Hormone therapy.
- Nonhormonal treatments.
It’s important bự talk bự your healthcare provider while you’re going through menopause lớn craft a treatment kế hoạch that works for you. Every person is different và has quality needs .
What is hormone therapy for menopause like?
During menopause, your body toàn thân goes through major hormonal changes — decreasing the amount of hormones it makes. Your ovaries produce estrogen và progesterone. When your ovaries no longer make enough estrogen & progesterone, hooc môn therapy can make up for lost hormones. Hormone therapy boosts your hooc môn levels và can help symptoms lượt thích hot flashes & vaginal dryness. It can also help prevent osteoporosis .
There are two main types of hooc môn therapy :
- Estrogen therapy (ET): In this treatment, you take estrogen alone. Your provider prescribes it in a low dose. Estrogen comes in many forms, such as a patch, pill, cream, vaginal ring, gel or spray. Estrogen therapy isn’t a good treatment for you if you still have a uterus.
- Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy (EPT): This treatment is also called combination therapy because it uses doses of estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is available in its natural form, or also as a progestin (a synthetic form of progesterone). This type of hormone therapy is for people who still have their uterus.
Are there any risks to hormone therapy?
The health risks of hooc môn therapy include :
- Endometrial cancer (only increased if you use estrogen therapy and still have your uterus).
- Gallstones and gallbladder issues.
- Blood clots.
- Deep vein thrombosis.
- Pulmonary embolism.
Thes e risks are lower if you start hooc môn therapy within 10 years of menopause. After that point, your risk for cardiovascular diseases is higher .
A correlation exists between severe hot flashes và night sweats và your risk for cardiovascular disease. Healthcare providers may suggest starting hooc môn therapy if you have these severe symptoms since it’s an indicator for future cardiovascular risk .
Going on hooc môn therapy is an individualized decision. Discuss all past medical conditions và your family history with your healthcare provider mập understand the risks versus benefits of hooc môn therapy .
What are nonhormonal therapies for menopause?
Though hooc môn therapy is a very effective method for relieving menopause symptoms, it’s not the perfect treatment for everyone. Nonhormonal treatments include changes mập your diet và lifestyle. Thes e treatments are often good options for people who have other medical conditions or have recently been treated for breast cancer. The main nonhormonal treatments that your provider may recommend include :
- Changing your diet.
- Avoiding triggers to hot flashes.
- Joining support groups.
- Prescription medications.
Sometimes changing your diet can help relieve menopause symptoms. Limiting the amount of caffeine you consume every day và cutting back on spicy foods can make your hot flashes less severe. You can also add foods that contain plant estrogen into your diet. Plant estrogen ( isoflavones ) isn’t a replacement for the estrogen your body toàn thân makes before menopause. Foods béo try include :
Avoiding triggers to hot flashes
Certain things in your daily life could be triggers for hot flashes. To help relieve your symptoms, try & identify these triggers và work around them. This could include keeping your bedroom cool at night, wearing layers of clothing or quitting smoking. Weight loss can also help with hot flashes .
Working out can be difficult if you’re dealing with hot flashes, but exercising can help relieve several other symptoms of menopause. Exercise can help you sleep through the night và is recommended if you have insomnia. Calm, tranquil types of exercise lượt thích yoga can also help with your mood & relieve any fears or anxiety you may be feeling .
Joining support groups
Talking phệ other people who are also going through menopause can be a great relief for many. Joining a tư vấn nhóm can not only give you an outlet for the many emotions running through your head, but also help you answer questions you may not even know you have .
Prescription medications such as estrogen therapy ( estrogen in a cream, gel or pill ), birth control pills & antidepressants ( SSRIs and SNRIs ) can help manage symptoms of menopause lượt thích mood swings và hot flashes. Prescription vaginal creams can help relieve vaginal dryness. A seizure medication called gabapentin has been shown mập relieve hot flashes. Speak with your healthcare provider lớn see if nonhormonal medications could work for managing your symptoms .
Outlook / Prognosis
Can I get pregnant during menopause?
The possibility of pregnancy disappears once you’re postmenopausal. However, you can get pregnant during the menopause transition ( perimenopause ). If you don’t want phệ become pregnant, you should continue Khủng use some khung of birth control until you’re sure you’ve gone through menopause. Ask your healthcare provider before you stop using contraception .
What are the long-term health risks associated with menopause?
There are several conditions that you could be at a higher risk of after menopause. Your risk for any condition depends on many things lượt thích your family history, your health before menopause & lifestyle factors. Two conditions that affect your health after menopause are osteoporosis & coronary artery disease .
Osteoporosis, a “ brittle-bone ” disease, occurs when the insides of bones become less dense, making them more fragile và likely lớn fracture. Estrogen plays an important role in preserving bone mass. Estrogen signals cells in the bones mập stop breaking lao dốc .
People thảm bại an average of 25 % of their bone mass from the giây phút of menopause béo age 60. This is largely because of the loss of estrogen. Over time, this loss of bone can lead lớn bone fractures. Your healthcare provider may want béo kiểm tra the strength of your bones kết thúc thời gian. Bone mineral mật độ trùng lặp từ khóa testing, also called bone densitometry, is a quick way béo see how much calcium you have in certain parts of your bones. The chạy thử is used bự detect osteoporosis & osteopenia. Osteopenia is a disease where bone mật độ trùng lặp từ khóa is decreased và this can be a precursor béo later osteoporosis .
If you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, your treatment options could include estrogen therapy .
Coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease is the narrowing or blockage of arteries that supply your heart muscle with blood. This happens when fatty plaque builds up in the artery walls ( known as atherosclerosis ). This buildup is associated with high levels of cholesterol in your blood. After menopause, your risk for coronary artery disease increases because of several things, including :
- The loss of estrogen.
- Increased blood pressure.
- A decrease in physical activity.
- Certain lifestyle habits from your past catching up with you (like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption).
Will hormone therapy help prevent long-term health risks?
The benefits & risks of hooc môn therapy vary depending on your age và health history. In general, younger people in their 50 s tend mập get more benefits from hooc môn therapy compared phệ those who are postmenopausal in their 60 s. People who undergo premature menopause often receive hooc môn therapy until age 50 béo make up for the extra years of estrogen loss .
Can menopause affect sleep?
Some people may experience trouble sleeping through the night & insomnia during menopause. This can be a normal side effect of menopause itself, or it could be due béo another symptom of menopause. Hot flashes are a common culprit of sleepless nights during menopause .
Can menopause affect my sex life?
After menopause, your body toàn thân has less estrogen. This major change in your hormonal balance can affect your sex life. Many people experiencing menopause may notice that they’re not as easily aroused as before. Sometimes, people also may be less sensitive Khủng touch và other physical tương tác than before menopause .
Thes e feelings, coupled with the other emotional changes you may be experiencing, can all lead béo a decreased interest in sex. Keep in mind that your body toàn thân is going through a lot of change during menopause. Some of the other factors that can play a role in a decreased sex drive can include :
- Having bladder control problems.
- Having trouble sleeping through the night.
- Experiencing stress, anxiety or depression.
- Coping with other medical conditions and medications.
All of these factors can disrupt your life và even cause tension in your relationship ( s ). In addition béo these changes, the lower levels of estrogen in your body toàn thân can cause a decrease in the blood supply bự your vagina. This can cause dryness. When you don’t have the right amount of lubrication in your vagina, it can lead lớn painful intercourse .
Don’t be afraid Khủng talk mập your healthcare provider about any decreases you’re experiencing in your sex drive. Your provider will discuss options lớn help you feel better. For example, you can treat vaginal dryness with over-the-counter ( OTC ), water-soluble or silicone lubricants. Your healthcare provider can also prescribe estrogen or non-estrogen hormones béo treat the vaginal tissue. They can prescribe this in a low-dose cream, pill or vaginal ring .
Do all menopausal people experience a decrease in sexual desire?
Not all people experience a decreased sexual desire. In some cases, it’s just the opposite. This could be because there’s no longer any fear of getting pregnant. For many, this allows them Khủng enjoy sex without worrying about family planning .
However, it’s still important lớn use protection ( condoms ) during sex if you’re not in a monogamous relationship. You still need mập protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections ( STIs ). You can get an STI at any thời gian in your life, even after menopause .
Can I get pregnant if I’ve gone through menopause?
No, you can’t get pregnant after menopause because ovulation is no longer occurring .
Frequently Asked Questions
Does menopause cause weight gain?
It may. Hormone changes can impact your weight. For example, you may start béo thua kém muscle as you get older, which can affect how your body toàn thân gains weight .
Does menopause affect your teeth or mouth?
Yes. Your teeth và gums are susceptible phệ the hormonal changes that occur during menopause. This can lead mập noticeable symptoms lượt thích a dry mouth or sensitive teeth và gums. This could increase your risk of developing cavities or gingivitis .
Does menopause affect your eyes?
Yes. One of the symptoms of the transition lớn menopause is dry eyes .
Can menopause cause facial hair growth?
Yes, facial hair growth can be a change related Khủng menopause. This is because testosterone is relatively higher than estrogen. If facial hair becomes a problem for you, waxing or using other hair removers may be options .
Is having a hard time concentrating and being forgetful a normal part of menopause?
Unfortunately, concentration và minor memory problems can be a normal part of menopause. Though this doesn’t happen bự everyone, it can happen. If you’re having memory problems during menopause, Hotline your healthcare provider. Several activities have been shown lớn stimulate the brain và help rejuvenate your memory. Thes e activities can include :
- Doing crossword puzzles and other mentally stimulating activities like reading and doing math problems.
- Cutting back on passive activities like watching TV.
- Getting plenty of exercise.
What is premature menopause?
Menopause, when it occurs between the ages of 45 và 55, is considered “ natural ” và is a normal part of aging. Menopause that occurs before the age of 45 is called early menopause. Menopause that occurs at 40 or younger is considered premature menopause. When there’s no medical or surgical cause for premature menopause, it’s called primary ovarian insufficiency .
Can menopause cause depression?
Yes, several factors related phệ menopause can lead mập depression. Your body toàn thân goes through a lot of changes during menopause. There are extreme shifts in your hooc môn levels, you may not sleep well because of hot flashes và you may experience mood swings. Anxiety và fear could also be at play during this giây phút .
If you experience any of the symptoms of depression, talk phệ your healthcare provider. During your conversation, your provider will tell you about different types of treatment và kiểm tra Khủng make sure there isn’t another medical condition causing your depression .
Are there any other emotional changes that can happen during menopause?
Menopause can cause a variety of emotional changes, including :
- A lack of motivation and difficulty concentrating.
- Anxiety, depression, mood changes and tension.
- Aggressiveness and irritability.
All of these emotional changes can happen outside of menopause, too. You’ve probably experienced some of them throughout your life .
Your healthcare provider may be able béo prescribe a medication phệ help you ( hooc môn therapy or an antidepressant ). It may also help Khủng just know that there’s a name for the feelings you’re experiencing. Support groups & counseling are useful tools when dealing with emotional changes during menopause .
How does menopause affect my bladder control?
Unfortunately, bladder control issues ( also called urinary incontinence ) are common for people going through menopause. There are several reasons why this happens, including :
- Estrogen. Estrogen plays many roles in your body, including keeping the lining of your bladder and urethra healthy.
- Pelvic floor muscles. They support the organs in your pelvis — your bladder and uterus. Throughout your life, these muscles can weaken. This can happen during pregnancy, childbirth and from weight gain. When the muscles weaken, you can experience urinary incontinence (leakage).
Will I start menopause if I have a hysterectomy?
It depends on if your surgeon also removed your ovaries during the hysterectomy. If you kept your ovaries, you may not have symptoms of menopause right away. If your surgeon also removes your ovaries, you’ll have symptoms of menopause immediately .
Can I have an orgasm after menopause?
Yes, you can still have an orgasm after menopause. An orgasm may feel hard lớn achieve once you’ve reached menopause, but there’s no physical reason bự prevent you from having an orgasm .
Do men go through menopause?
Andropause, or male menopause, is a term that describes decreasing testosterone levels in men or people assigned male at birth ( AMAB ). Testosterone production in men declines about một % per year — much more gradually than estrogen production in women. Healthcare providers often debate calling this slow decline in testosterone “ menopause ” since it’s not as drastic of a hooc môn shift & doesn’t carry the same intensity of side effects as menopause in women. Some men won’t even notice the change because it happens kết thúc many years or decades. Other names for the male phiên bản of menopause are age-related low testosterone, male hypogonadism or androgen deficiency .
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Menopause is a natural và normal part of the aging process. Once you’re in menopause, you’ve gone 12 months without a menstrual period. It’s common mập experience symptoms lượt thích vaginal dryness & hot flashes. Be open with your healthcare provider about the symptoms you’re experiencing & how they impact your unique of life. They can recommend treatments Khủng manage your symptoms và make you more comfortable .
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