Let’s Talk Menopause!

We have quite a few women interested in the topic of MENOPAUSE, mainly help with symptoms. First, we have to begin with some definitions so we are all talking about the same thing. Menopause is the actual cessation of menstruation; therefore the effective date of the menopause is the date of the last menstrual period. Convention has it that this cannot be officially determined until one year has passed without menstrual periods. The average age of the menopause is about 49 years with a normal range of between 37 and 56 years. The cessation of menstruation is caused by the marked reduction in ovarian function which occurs with age. However, due to illness some women have medically induced menopause.

The timeframe leading up to the menopause and then leading away from it for a year or two is often referred to as the perimenopausal period. As a woman approaches the time of menopause, she may encounter a variety of different situations. Her menstrual cycles may become somewhat more irregular, primarily due to the increased incidence of the anovulatory menstrual cycles. Remember, you have a period because you ovulated. No ovulation, no period. In addition, some women experience hot flashes. A hot flash is classically a warm or hot sensation that begins in the chest and moves toward the head and the extremities creating a flushing. The entire hot flash does not last more than 60 to 120 seconds. The natural course of hot flashes is for them to decrease or disappear over a period of 6 to 24 months, or longer in rare cases.

Common Symptoms of Menopause:

  • Hot Flashes Fatigue
  • Night Sweats Emotional Changes
  • Irregular Periods Weight Gain
  • Loss of Libido Headaches
  • Vaginal Dryness Depression
  • Mood Swings Memory and Concentration issues

One should always keep in mind that the menopause is a period of time in which most women and their families (including husbands) are undergoing a number of changes. All of the difficulties that are experienced at this age are not simply related to the menopause. It is a time when most families are growing up and the children are beginning to leave home. It is also a time when many husbands become very dissatisfied with their work but find it difficult to change because of their age. And, combined with the loss of one’s fertility that occurs at this time there are a number of reasons why women and their families may go through some difficulties. We cannot attribute all of this simply to the hormonal changes occurring around the time of the menopause.

Please let me know your thoughts, what you are experiencing and any specific questions.

Resources on Menopause:

Secrets about Bioidentical Hormones to Lose Fat and Prevent Cancer, Heart Disease, Menopause, and Andropause, by Optimizing Adrenals, Thyroid, Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, and Growth Hormone! By Y.L. Wright

Pope Paul VI Institute

Catholic Medical Assocation

The North American Menopause Society

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