What is menopause ?

Menopause is defined as the absence of a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. The menopausal transition starts with varying menstrual cycle length and ends with the final menstrual period.

What is the average age of the onset of menopause?

The average age for the onset of menopause is 50. Still, there is no way to predict when an individual woman will enter menopause. The age at which a woman starts having menstrual periods is also not related to the age of menopause onset. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but menopause may occur as earlier as the 30s or 40s, or may not occur until a woman reaches her 60s. As a rough “rule of thumb,” women tend to undergo menopause at an age similar to that of their mothers.

What is the most characteristic symptom of Menopause?

It varies from woman to woman. It is important to remember that each woman’s experience is highly individual. Some women may experience few or no symptoms of menopause, while others experience multiple physical and psychological symptoms. The extent and severity of symptoms varies significantly among women.

What are health risks that are associated with Menopause?

Menopause increases a woman’s risks for heart disease and osteoporosis. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death and osteoporosis results in dangerously thin bones. Before menopause, estrogen gives women some protection against those conditions, so when estrogen levels end with menopause, that advantage is lost. Of course, heart and bone health is important throughout a woman’s life, but menopause means it’s really time to step up and get serious about it for women who haven’t already.

What kinds of medications or dietary supplements should Menopausal women take ?

It depends on the woman, her symptoms, and her medical history. Menopause itself is a normal part of life and is not a disease that requires treatment. However, treatment of associated symptoms is possible if these become substantial or severe. A woman should discuss her symptoms with her health care practitioner and together they can decide what treatment options for menopausal symptoms are the best. Possible if these become substantial or severe. A woman should discuss her symptoms with her health care practitioner and they together can decide what treatment options for menopausal symptoms are the best.

How is Menopause diagnosed ?

The only way to diagnose menopause is to observe the lack of menstrual periods for 12 months in a woman in the expected age range. Because hormone levels may fluctuate greatly in an individual woman, even from one day to the next, hormone levels are not a reliable method for diagnosing menopause. Even if levels are low one day, they may be high the next day in the same woman. There is no single blood test that reliably predicts when a woman is going through the menopausal transition. Therefore, there is currently no proven role for blood testing regarding menopause except for tests to exclude medical causes of erratic menstrual periods other than menopause.

Which factors can affect the timing of Menopause ?

Surgical removal of the ovaries and chemotherapy and radiation can affect the timing of menopause. The surgical removal of the ovaries (oophorectomy) in an ovulating woman will result in an immediate menopause. Additionally, depending upon the type and location of the cancer and its treatment, these types of cancer therapy (chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy) can result in menopause if given to an ovulating woman.

Hot flashes can last from a few minutes to a few hours.True or False?

False. Hot flashes are typically brief, lasting from about 30 seconds to a few minutes. Redness of the skin, known as flushing, may accompany hot flashes along with excessive perspiration (sweating). When hot flashes occur during sleep, they may be accompanied by night sweats.

Osteoarthritis, vaginal atrophy,decreased estrogen,osteoarthritis. Which is LEAST likely to occur as a result of Menopause?

Osteoarthritis. is not a usual manifestation of menopause. As estrogen levels decline, the lining of the vagina becomes thinner, drier, light pink to bluish in color, and less elastic. This is a normal change, noticed by many perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, this called vaginal atrophy. Estrogens also protect the bone. Therefore, a woman can develop osteoporosis (thinning of bone) later in life when her ovaries do not produce adequate estrogen.


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