What is menopause?
Menopause is the time in your life when you naturally stop having menstrual periods. Menopause happens when the ovaries stop making estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone that helps control the menstrual cycle.
What is the average age of women who go through menopause?
The average age that women go through menopause is 51 years old.
What is perimenopause?
Perimenopause refers to the years leading up to menopause, and for most women, it usually begins in their 30s and 40s. During this period, the amount of estrogen produced by the ovaries begins to fluctuate and this will cause menstrual periods to become irregular.
What other signs and symptoms can occur during menopause?
There are four common symptoms experienced by women during perimenopause and menopause.
Hot flashes. Hot flashes are exactly as they sound. They are a sudden feeling of heat that rushes to the upper body and face. Hot flashes may last from a few seconds to several minutes, sometimes longer.
Night sweats. Night sweats are like hot flashes, but they occur at nighttime and can cause difficulty sleeping.
Difficulty sleeping. Insomnia or waking up earlier than planned is a common problem for menopausal women.
Vaginal dryness. As estrogen levels decrease, the lining of the vagina may become thinner, dryer, and less elastic, resulting in vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness may cause pain during sex and vaginal infections also can occur more often.
What else happens after menopause?
It is not unusual for menopausal women to lose bone mass during the first 4–8 years after the onset of menopause. This is known as osteoporosis and is another cause of decreased levels of estrogen. This places women at great risk of fractures.
Is menopause the end of my sex life?
While menopause marks the end of the reproductive years, it also opens a new chapter in women’s lives. There is a big upside in no longer having to worry about menstrual cycles or the discomfort that accompanies them. Nor do women who have gone through menopause have to worry about getting pregnant.
Can vaginal moisturizers and lubricants help with menopause symptoms?
There are over-the-counter products, such as vaginal moisturizers and lubricant which can be used to help with vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse that may occur during menopause. They do not contain hormones, so they do not have an effect on the vagina’s thickness or elasticity, however, vaginal moisturizers replace moisture and restore the natural acidity of the vagina.
What can I do to stay healthy after menopause?
There are several things you can do to stay healthy after menopause.
A well-balanced diet will help you stay healthy before, during and after menopause. Be sure to include enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet to help maintain strong bones.
Regular exercise can slow down bone loss and improve your overall health. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, can help keep bones strong. Strength training strengthens your muscles and bones by resisting against weight, such as your own body, an exercise band or handheld weights. Balance training, such as yoga and tai chi, may help you avoid falls, which could lead to broken bones.