How Will I Know When I’m In Menopause?

Menopause pertains to a period in a woman’s life when she no longer menstruates. Menstruation means a woman can still technically become pregnant. The cessation of menstruation can bring big changes to a woman’s body and consequently, her life.

Dr. Sweeten Menopause Symptoms Treatment

Of course, the most common cause of menopause is natural aging. The female body eventually reaches a peak in producing viable egg cells. After this peak, the ovaries begin to slow down following its natural design and eventually, ovum production ceases completely. Some women experience menopause early, in their forties but on the average menopause occurs to women aged 50 and above.

Menopause is not a disease nor should anyone be ashamed that they have experienced it already. It is a natural part of aging and for the most part, it makes sense as the human body also loses its flexibility and adaptability that are both needed for bearing a child safely during pregnancy. Menopause is considered a turning point in a woman’s life.

While there are average ages for menopause, there is no single test that can pinpoint the exact year, month or week that a woman will experience it. In medical parlance, a woman is said to have experienced menopause if she has not menstruated for twelve months straight. Note that it has to be a full year without menstruation before a medical professional can consider that a woman has finally experienced menstruation.

As for risk factors, it has been noted that women who smoke tend to experience menopause a few years earlier compared to non-smoking women. A small percentage of women, as we have mentioned earlier also undergo it early – at age forty.

Unbeknownst to many, there is actually a period that occurs before menopause. This is considered the transitional phase that happens before full menopause. This change in a woman’s physiological function is called perimenopause. Now what happens during perimenopause is that the female reproductive system begins to wind down. So a woman who normally menstruates on a monthly basis will begin to notice gaps or skips in the menstrual calendar. There will be months when she will not menstruate, only to be surprised by the sudden appearance of menses. Eventually this slow-down will end with a complete stoppage of ovulation.

Ovulation or the release of a mature ovum or egg cell is the pre-requisite of menstruation. When a woman is ovulating the lining f the uterus changes in preparation for the fertilization of the ovum. When there is no fertilization, the lining of the uterus sheds and comes out as menses.

Some women experience little to no symptoms when enter their menopause stage. Others may experience painful sexual intercourse, irritability, hot flashes and a host of other symptoms. Estrogen treatment may be indicated to address these symptoms of menopause. Your female health specialist will be able to tell you the full range of options for addressing any menopause-related symptoms. It’s important that you reach out to your GP when you feel that you’ve already reached this turning point in your life.

To learn more about menopause and what you can do to help transition as smoothly as possible, call today 602.393.0661