Menopause Explained

By: Dzhingarov

Menopause transition can bring with it numerous emotional, psychological and physical adjustments – each woman will experience this change differently.

If you experience symptoms like irregular periods, hot flashes or mood changes that you cannot manage on your own, visit a women’s health specialist to seek assistance in managing those symptoms and rule out other causes for your symptoms. They will help manage them as well as check that there may be something more serious going on that needs treating.

Age at Menopause

Doctors typically start by considering a woman’s age at menopause when assessing symptoms such as irregular periods, hot flashes or loss of bladder control. However, this answer depends on numerous factors including her race/ethnicity/genetics as well as when her mother first went through menopause or perimenopause.

Perimenopause refers to the period surrounding menopause, typically starting around mid-40s for most women. At this stage of life, perimenopause women may experience emotional changes such as irritability, anxiety and mood swings that can occur at any age; they also might notice physical differences like vaginal dryness and difficulty with sexual intimacy.

As women age, their ovaries produce less estrogen to regulate menstruation; as a result, their menstrual cycle becomes irregular or stops altogether – known as natural menopause. Although some may reach it sooner due to genetics or medical reasons such as surgery on or removal of their ovaries (for instance through radiation therapy or severe injury).

At natural menopause, women will not have periods for an entire year – which marks their transition into the stage known as menopause – although symptoms may continue for years afterwards.

The other type of menopause is induced menopause, caused by medication or surgery to cause the ovaries to stop functioning (for instance chemotherapy or radiation surgery). While this form can occur at any age, younger women seem particularly susceptible.

Women typically reach menopause between 45 and 58. It typically begins around age 51, though symptoms can appear anytime between 45 and 58. Women in early stages of menopause or perimenopause often struggle to comprehend their symptoms which may be confusing and upsetting, and should seek professional advice for help managing them if severe symptoms interfere with daily life or interfere with sleep or other daily functions. Sleep and stress reduction may help ease some common menopausal symptoms like hot flashes or difficulty sleeping.


As women age, their hormone levels gradually change over time and this can result in various symptoms. Most commonly this change is a result of your ovaries ceasing to produce estrogen and progesterone; this process is called menopause and typically begins after not having had a period for 12 months; once menopause has set in further changes may include irregular periods and hot flashes as well as other side effects.

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Some women experience difficulty sleeping during this period, particularly if night sweats wake them often and make them wake more frequently during the night. Some may notice their memory is not as sharp, and changes to estrogen levels could affect musculoskeletal systems, leading to stiffer and sorer muscles than before.

Hot flashes are one of the hallmarks of both perimenopause and menopause. They’re sudden waves of heat that cause flushed cheeks or reddened patches on chest, back, arms or shoulders; lasting 30 seconds to 10 minutes on average and occurring several times each day or hour; typically they affect upper bodies such as necks.

Menopause can have an impactful effect on a woman’s bladder, with some experiencing loss of control over her urine; she might leak during exercise or when sneezing; bladder infections become more likely during midlife; many also experience bladder spasms that lead them to unknowingly urinate involuntarily – known as incontinence.

If you are having any of the above issues, it is essential that you contact your physician. OB-GYNs, certified nurse-midwives and other women’s health experts can listen to your symptoms and offer solutions such as lifestyle modifications, medications or supplements; in some cases they can also recommend specialists if menopause symptoms need additional support.


Menopause may be seen as a natural part of aging, yet its changes to your body may bring with them uncomfortable symptoms that may require treatment or alleviation. Following a healthy diet and getting plenty of physical activity are two effective approaches; hormone replacement therapy may also provide support if symptoms become more severe.

Women entering perimenopause usually experience early symptoms, including changes to their periods or mood swings, before entering postmenopause. This occurs when their ovaries produce lower levels of estrogen and progesterone – this process may last from several months or years, with periods eventually ceasing altogether once post-menopause has kicked in.

Your hormones will continue to change throughout this stage, so birth control should still be used if you wish to avoid pregnancy. While your risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remains the same, hormonal shifts could cause your libido to decrease and vagina to become dryer and less sensitive – both factors which could make sexual encounters uncomfortable or painful.

Your doctor can assist in managing the physical changes associated with menopause by prescribing hormone replacement therapy medications. Hormone replacement therapy can replace hormones your ovaries no longer produce, providing relief from symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Furthermore, hormonal replacement therapy has long-term health benefits by decreasing osteoporosis risk factors that increase following menopause.

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Although menopause is most frequently experienced by cisgender women, transgender women and people who identify neither as male nor female can also go through it. Each transition can differ significantly; therefore it’s essential to speak to your physician about any symptoms you are experiencing and how they might impact your daily life.

Before taking herbal or dietary supplements without consulting with a doctor first, it’s also wise to speak to him or her first as these products could interact with medications you are currently taking or cause serious side effects – for instance reducing hormone production can trigger hot flashes – so keep a record of when they occur so you can discuss this matter at your next visit with him/her.


Women can ease menopause by taking several key steps. Regular physical activity and eating a well-rounded diet of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains should help. Saturated fats, oils and sugar should also be limited; talk to providers if additional calcium or vitamin D supplements may be needed; women should avoid smoking since smoking increases risks associated with heart disease, osteoporosis, hot flashes and postmenopausal conditions such as osteopenia.

Menopause symptoms often begin with period changes, including skipped periods or lighter or heavier flows than normal. After that comes the perimenopause phase – lasting several years and marked by symptoms like irregular bleeding, hot flashes and vaginal dryness – though some women may never experience them at all.

Women undergoing menopausal transition should utilize birth control until at least a year post-last period has ended. They should also discuss sexuality options with their doctors as menopausal vagina can become dryer, increasing risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhea and HIV.

If you are experiencing symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness or mood changes it’s essential that you consult with a healthcare provider immediately. Your physician will assess both your symptoms and medical history in order to rule out possible causes, such as thyroid dysfunction or infection; or refer you to a specialist if necessary.

Preventive healthcare for women in their 40s and 50s should include recommended screening tests like colonoscopies, mammographies, triglyceride testing and bone scans. Exercise regularly while eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D to strengthen bones. Women should ask their doctors if a bone scan or other tests are needed; should menopausal symptoms arise they can prescribe treatments to ease discomfort while protecting overall health.