Menopause is a natural biological process that all women experience as they age. It refers to the point when a woman stops having her menstrual periods, marking the end of her reproductive years.
The years leading up to menopause are called perimenopause. During this transition time, usually starting in a woman's 40s, the body begins making less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This leads to changes in her menstrual cycle, as well as possible symptoms like hot flashes, trouble sleeping, and mood changes.
Eventually, menstruation stops completely. The average age for menopause is 51, but it can happen anywhere between the ages of 45 and 55. After a full year without a period, a woman has reached menopause.
Some key symptoms to know about during perimenopause and menopause include:
The severity of symptoms varies widely from woman to woman. While some may struggle with disruptive symptoms, others breeze through “the change” with few issues.
Over the long-term, menopause impacts bone and heart health. Estrogen plays protective roles in keeping bones strong and regulating cholesterol. So in menopause, when estrogen is declining, women may face higher risks of osteoporosis and high cholesterol or heart disease.
Managing risk factors are important. Stopping smoking, eating healthy, exercising, and taking supplements like calcium and vitamin D can help protect long-term health. Some women may opt to take low-dose hormone therapy temporarily to relieve severe symptoms, in consultation with their doctor about potential risks.
At Vitality Wellness Clinic, our caring medical team specializes in guiding women through perimenopause and menopause with personalized care plans to help control symptoms and support long-term wellness during this transition. We offer both conventional and natural hormone therapy options to help women thrive through “the change.” Call us today for a consultation.