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Menopause Symptoms - Do I Have It?
Posted Monday, November 10, 2003E-mail this page Printer-friendly page
What is Menopause?
Menopause is the point in a woman's life where they stop having menstrual periods. This is a sign that the ovaries have stopped producing the usual womanly hormones. As a result, women become low in estrogen after the onset of Menopause.
The average age for Menopause is around 50, however, there is a wide range, so it's not unheard of that women in their early 40s may develop menopause.Menopause Symptoms
The primary symptom of Menopause is the cessation of your monthly periods. This may occur irregularly at first, so it may not just stop completely one day. In fact, you can develop irregular bleeding as well as heavy bleeding in the years surrounding menopause. (any irregular bleeding should be evaluated by a doctor)
Another major symptom that most people are aware of is "hot flashes". Hot flashes are very common during menopause and occur in 3/4th of all women during this time. The symptoms include sudden sensations of heat and warmth in the face and chest. It lasts only a couple of minutes and can be associated with a lot of sweating and even chills. It can happen multiple times a day. For some women it can be very distruptive to their day to day activities.
Other localized symptoms due to the loss of estrogen's effect include vaginal dryness, incontinence, and more frequent urinary tract infections.
And, over the long term, there are several global effects on your body due to the lack of estrogen. The two that are of concern are Osteoporosis (weakening of bones) and a higher risk of heart disease (blockages and heart attacks).What can I do?
Menopause is a natural event in your life. There is nothing specific you can do to prevent it's occurance, however, there are many options available to help improve symptoms related to menopause and reduce the long term side effects on your body.
The best treatment for you is best decided jointly by yourself and your doctor. As well, if you are unsure of that you may have menopause, there are blood tests that you doctor can perform to confirm the diagnosis.