Menopause Symptoms : What You Need to Know

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Every woman knows about menopause, but they all have some questions. Some things that they may be wanting to know are how long does menopause last, or what are some of the menopause symptoms to be prepared for. In truth menopause, once begun, never ends for the remainder of your life as it is marking the end of your menstrual cycle, much the way menarche is marking the start.

The way people usually use it, the term “menopause” is not just menopause but perimenopause as well. Perimenopause is the time before and just after the last instance of menstruation. Perimenopause can be very prolonged, sometimes lasting even years. Symptoms can be intense for a short period of time, or increasing in intensity over many years. Perimenopausal symptoms can be picked up by laboratory blood tests.

The most frequently presented menopause symptoms include abnormal and irregular periods, whose length and interval become irregular. Hot flashes (sometimes jocularly called power surges), vascular reactions that cause physical sensations, are another frequent symptom. Bleeding during periods may become much heavier and/or may combine with anemia as a more serious symptom of menopause. Ovarian failure, or surgery to remove both ovaries, may result in menopause starting before the usual age range of 45 to 60. Early menopausal symptoms may be stronger than those of normal menopause.

Women want their menopause relief solutions to stop their hot flashes and mood swings, which can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Sudden sweating and flushing are socially embarrassing in ways that other, subtler menopause symptoms are not. The fluctuating levels of the sexual hormones progesterone and estrogen are the cause of most symptoms of menopause. Supplementing the body’s own production of these hormones is a widely used treatment.

With menopause comes an increased risk of cancers such as breast and other types of cancers. Natural remedies, or supplements like products made from soy, herbs such as black and blue cohosh, and others are preferred by many females to treat their symptoms. Soy products contain a substance that is a natural estrogen. Others may choose to use hormone replacement therapy for a short term, a few months only, to alleviate the worst menopause symptoms.

Menopause also carries an increased risk for heart disease and osteoporosis, due to lower levels of protective estrogen. Many women will benefit from taking hormone supplements, despite their known risks, if they have family histories or previous occurrences of these problems. Generally, such women should take the lowest effective dose of such hormones, and should look for other ways to reduce the effects of heart disease and osteoporosis.

The time period for menopause varies greatly. Sometimes it can be very quick when a woman has had her ovaries removed. Other times it can take more than 10 years. The most important thing to realize is that the symptoms she experiences are controlled as much as possible with as little risk as needed.

By: Francine Cook

About the Author:

Francine Cook is an ex-nurse (retired) who now writes articles on women’s issues. Francine is the editor-in-chief of Menopause-Answers.info, a site where you can find more information on menopause symptoms such as menopause weight gain and menopause depression

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