Most women go through menopause when they are between the ages of 45 and 55 but the “change in life” can occur earlier or later. The key indicator is your period: Dr. J. David Edwards would likely say you are in menopause when you have not had your period for at least one full year.
Symptoms of menopause begin as your period becomes more irregular as you move towards menopause. These symptoms include flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness or frequent infections, joint pain, insomnia and more. Fortunately, the symptoms stop once you are in menopause. Unfortunately, it can take months or even years to reach menopause. Dr. Edwards can also perform tests to make sure your symptoms are caused by approaching menopause and not by some other underlying condition.
Side effects associated with approaching menopause are the result of hormone imbalances. As you age, your body produces smaller quantities of your primary sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Unfortunately, as you move towards menopause, your body produces these hormones sporadically so that you have high estrogen levels one week and low levels the next. This causes a rollercoaster of symptoms.
You can control some symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes. Hormone replacement therapy may also provide relief from symptoms. Hormone therapy restores hormones to therapeutic levels to smooth out the rollercoaster ride of menopause. Dr. Edwards can prescribe the right balance of estrogen and progesterone to curb your symptoms.
You can get pregnant as you approach menopause, even when you have not had a period in several months. You can no longer become pregnant after you have gone an entire year without a period.
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