Between the ages of 45 and 55, a woman's ovaries stop producing new eggs and she is no longer able to get pregnant. At this stage of life, her body begins to produce less estrogen, and as result, a gradual or sudden end to the menstrual cycle. This phenomenon is called menopause.
In some cases, menopause may be brought on by surgeries such as hysterectomy or chemotherapy treatments used to fight cancer.
No two women are the same, and the symptoms associated with menopause can vary in severity from person to person. In addition to a gradual reduction and loss of her period, a woman going through menopause may also experience:
The first step in any menopause treatment is to determine whether or not the symptoms experienced are actually caused by menopause. Urine and blood tests are typically used to check for declined hormone levels associated with the onset of menopause.
The menopause experience can be a challenging one, but it doesn't have to be faced alone. Although menopause is considered a natural stage of life rather than a medical condition, women can still turn to their health care professionals for help in coping with symptoms of menopause.
Hormone therapy can be used to treat symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. The process involves increasing the body's estrogen levels through the use of oral medications, patches, or vaginal creams.
In addition to hormone therapy, doctors may recommend the use of antidepressants or blood pressure medication to control the symptoms associated with menopause.
Lifestyle changes may be recommended to help you cope with the discomfort. Examples of positive lifestyle habits that can help make the process of menopause easier to handle include:
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