Although every woman's body is different, most women will go through menopause. Women in their late 30s through their early 40s may have a talk with their doctor regarding menopause, but others may not and might not know exactly what this change of life entails. Menopause happens naturally with age, but it can also stem from surgery, treatment of a disease, or an illness.
Menopause is the stage in a woman's life where she has stopped having menstrual periods for at least 12 months due to the decline in the levels of reproductive hormones.
Although the average age of menopause is 51, menopause can actually happen any time from the 30s to the mid-50s or later.
Generally, a woman tends to have menopause at about the same age as her mother did. Certain lifestyle factors may also influence when you go through menopause, including:
Additionally, certain health conditions (for example, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic fatigue syndrome) may result in you experiencing menopause sooner.
Perimenopause is the transitional time around menopause. Menopause is marked by changes in the menstrual cycle, along with other physical and emotional symptoms.
If you think you are going through menopause, talk to your doctor.
Family medicine physician Crystal Hines-Mays, MD, who practices at Franciscan Physician Network Homewood Health Center in Homewood, Ilinois, says that it is important for women to discuss their physical and emotional changes with their doctors. Your healthcare provider will perform a thorough history and evaluation, order blood testing and check vitamin levels, which is done to rule out other conditions, such as ovarian failure or a thyroid condition.
Dr. Hines-Mays says to be open to exploring different options to help your menopausal symptoms. Treatment options will be suggested based on what is uncovered during the evaluation, but some of the different options include:
By Ariel Anderson
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