Often called “the change of life,” menopause occurs when you stop having menstrual periods and is usually said to be complete when you have not had a period for a full year. Menopause occurs naturally around age 51, but it can begin earlier or later, based on your specific body and health factors.
Women may experience both physical and psychological symptoms during menopause. However, menopause is unpredictable and no two women’s experiences are the same. Your symptoms may be minor or severe and they may last for a few weeks or several years.
Some of the symptoms you may experience can include:
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Hot flashes
- Dry skin
- Night sweats and disturbed sleep patterns
- Vaginal dryness
- More frequent urination or leakage of urine
- More frequent minor vaginal and urinary infections
- Mood swings
- Tearfulness, irritability
- Less desire for sex
- Lack of concentration
- More trouble remembering things
Often, menopausal symptoms can be managed through non-medical means, such as avoiding hot and spicy foods, getting regular exercise and adjusting the thermostat. If your symptoms are moderate to severe, hormone therapy may help. Your gynecologist can give you more information about the risks and benefits of hormone therapy and what impact it may have on your individual situation. Find a gynecologist who is right for you »