The natural biological process that is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles is known as menopause. Reaching menopause is a stage in life when a woman stops having her monthly period and is a normal part of aging and marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. Menopause is diagnosed after you have gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Although menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s the average age is 51 in the United States. Menopause's physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, and emotional symptoms may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy or affect emotional health. However there are many effective treatments available, from lifestyle adjustments to hormone therapy and selective medications.
Menopause Hot Flashes
The hot flashes (a sudden feeling of warmth that spreads over the body) are the most well-known sign that you are going through "The Change". But be aware that you may be transitioning into menopause if you begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms such as sleep problems, night sweats, chills, vaginal dryness and irregular periods. Other signs include urinary urgency (a pressing need to urinate more frequently) and emotional changes like irritability, mood swings, and mild depression. You might also experience dry skin, eyes or mouth, weight gain and slowed metabolism, and loss of breast fullness.
Changes in menstruation and other symptoms are different for every woman. It is most likely that you will experience some irregularity in your periods before they end. Most women can tell that they have started the menopausal transition through the signs and symptoms of menopause. However, if you have concerns about irregular periods or hot flashes then further evaluation by your doctor may be recommended. Under certain circumstances, your doctor may recommend blood tests to check your level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen (estradiol), because your FSH levels increase and estradiol levels decrease as menopause occurs.
Menopause Requires No Medical Treatment
Generally tests are not needed to diagnose menopause and menopause requires no medical treatment. Menopause treatments rather will focus more on relieving your signs and symptoms and preventing or managing chronic conditions that may naturally occur with aging. Your doctor may recommend estrogen in the lowest dose and the shortest time frame needed to provide symptom relief for you. Doctors find that estrogen therapy is the most effective treatment option for relieving menopausal hot flashes.Also certain antidepressants may decrease menopausal hot flashes. Doctors may recommend medication to prevent or treat osteoporosis depending on individual needs.
It has been found that complementary and alternative treatments, such as herbal remedies and bioidentical ("natural") hormones, are not effective and therefore not recommended for the symptoms of menopause. It is generally unclear how safe and effective they are and some remedies can also interact with other medications and cause side effects.
Talk with your doctor about your options and the risks and benefits involved with each any form of treatment. Remember to review your options yearly, as your needs and treatment options may change. Menopause can cause some noticeable and uncomfortable changes but these can be effectively managed. Menopause can be a positive time of life.