7 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Menopause

One: What is Natural Menopause?

Natural menopause happens to women as they age and typically occurs between the age of 40 and 58. Menopause is when women stop having monthly menstrual periods, and most women experience several years of perimenopause that cause skipped periods and other symptoms. While some women are distressed by beginning menopause, other women are happy because they no longer have periods.

Two: What are the Symptoms of Menopause?

The symptoms of menopause vary for each woman, but skipped periods are common, leading some women to think they are pregnant. Other women experience debilitating periods that may last for a week or longer. A woman’s cycles each month are frequently irregular with a woman having two in one month before not having a period the next month. Some women experience severe cramping that affects their daily living.

Three: How Long Does Menopause Last?

The perimenopause phase can last only a few months or several years with symptoms changing throughout this change of life. There is no way of knowing how long the symptoms will last for each woman, but many women have the same experience as their mother. Once monthly periods stop for three months and a woman has verified that she is not pregnant then she has entered natural menopause.

Four: Are There Treatments to Relieve Symptoms?

Fortunately, there are now ways to relieve the difficult symptoms of menopause that some women experience because researchers have found new treatments. Hormone replacement therapy can reduce hot flashes, nighttime sweating and urinary incontinence. Physicians can test a woman’s blood to understand exactly how much estrogen and progestin that she needs to feel better.

Five: Does Diet Affect Menopause Problems?

Dietary changes are an effective way for many women to control their menopause symptoms. Experts recommend avoiding large amounts of starchy foods such as pasta, candy and potatoes. Eating a healthy daily diet of fresh vegetables and fruit along with dairy products and lean meats helps to prevent hot flashes.

Six: What is Surgical Menopause?

Surgical menopause can occur at any age if a woman or girl has her ovaries removed to avoid spread of cancer. Occasionally, the ovaries are affected by disease or injury that disrupts the production of hormones, leading to the menopause symptoms unless a woman receives hormone replacement on a constant basis. Surgical menopause rarely occurs to women before the age of 35.

Seven: Does Menopause Change a Woman’s Life?

While menopause is considered a woman’s change of life, it does not need to ruin her life. For most women, the years after menopause are a time to focus on goals for their own future rather than worrying about their children.