Interesting Facts About Menopause isn’t exactly a time in life women look forward to: Hormone changes can bring on hot flashes, sleep problems, and more. But once you’re well-versed in menopause facts, you can put together a plan to sail through this transition in stride.
“I see a lot of menopausal patients, and one of the first things I try to help them understand is that it’s a natural part of life,” says Karen Deighan, MD, associate professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the Loyola University Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Maywood, Illinois. “Attitude and outlook are huge in terms of managing it and taking it on.”
Every woman will experience
Interesting Facts About Menopause in her own way. “You can’t compare how you feel with someone else,” says Rebecca Papamihalakis, a nurse practitioner at the Community Care Network-Community Care Center for Women in Highland, Indiana.
1. You’ve hit menopause after you go 12 months without a period.Because periods can be irregular in the years leading up to menopause, you won’t know you’ve reached it until you’ve gone a year without menstruating. Menopause means your ovaries have stopped producing estrogen, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
2. On average, menopause occurs around age 51. Most women will have their last period sometime between ages 45 and 55, reports the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
3. Menopause before 40 is considered early menopause. This might run in your family or could be a result of a medical condition, such as an abnormal thyroid or a rheumatic disease such as lupus. Chemotherapy and radiation can also damage the ovaries and bring on early menopause, NAMS notes. If you have your ovaries removed as part of a medical treatment, you will beginearly menopause right away, says Dr. Deighan
4. The years leading up to your last period are called perimenopause.Fluctuating estrogen levels can begin in your thirties or forties, during the transition from menstruating regularly to not menstruating at all, according to ACOG. The most common sign is an irregular period, meaning your cycles may become longer or shorter or become heavier or lighter, says Deighan. You might also skip periods.
5. Symptoms include hot flashes and weight gain. FACTS ABOUT MENOPAUSE, the hot flash, is an intense feeling of warmth that can last a few seconds or several minutes, according to NAMS. When this happens while you’re sleeping, it’s called night sweats. Other possible symptoms of menopause include sleep problems, vaginal dryness, mood changes, headaches, and problems with memory.
Some women experience these symptoms during perimenopause, while others don’t experience them until after they’ve stopped menstruating, Papamihalakis says. Some symptoms, such as hot flashes and memory issues, may go away after you reach menopause, NAMS says
6. Menopause leads to bone loss. This is due to the loss of estrogen. In fact, women may experience as much as a 20 percent drop in bone density in the five to seven years after menopause, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF). “Osteoporosis is a silent and serious disease,” Papamihalakis says, but it is preventable. Get calcium in your diet, add weight-bearing exercise to your routine, check your vitamin D levels, and ask your doctor to check your bone density according to NOF guidelines,recommends Lauren Streicher, MD, Everyday Health columnist and associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. source