Most women experience menopause when they’re around 50 years old, but some may go through menopause in their mid 40’s or later into their 50’s. Perimenopause, the phase leading up to menopause, normally lasts between two and eight years and can begin as early as your late thirties or as late as your early fifties. A common sign of menopause is when a woman hasn’t had a period for one year.
You should expect irregular periods, headaches, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, and changes in mood. These symptoms are caused by changes in your reproductive cycle and its hormones, primarily estrogen and progesterone. Your hormones will fluctuate for a period of time and will eventually drop low enough to stop your menstrual cycle completely.
Menopause is a normal part of a woman’s life, so you may not need to seek treatment if your symptoms are mild enough. Women with particularly severe symptoms should talk to Dr. Betre about different medications available. Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most common treatments for menopause symptoms and, in some cases, this method of treatment can lead to harmful side effects. Therefore, anti-depressants, anti-seizure medications, and blood pressure medication are a few other common treatments.
After you’ve officially entered menopause, your body will continue to go through changes as your estrogen levels decline. Decreased estrogen means decreased bone density, which increases your risk of developing osteoporosis. Estrogen loss also affects your connective tissues in your gums, increasing your risk of gum disease and tooth loss. Lower estrogen also means lower collagen in your skin, causing drier, less elastic and thinner skin. Women’s risk of heart disease increases after menopause as well.
Dr. Betre accepts most major insurances. This is a list of some of the major insurances we offer. If you do not see your insurance listed here, please feel free to call our office to confirm.