Menopause can make women feel uneasy. In fact, it can even be a bit scary but the best way to deal with it is to better understand it. The fact is that a surprising number of women sail right through menopause with no real problems at all, while other women have a very difficult time.
Here are the menopause facts: According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there were approximately 37.5 million women reaching or currently at menopause in the year 2000. Every woman must expect that she will go through the change of life usually between the ages of 46 and 54. The woman, regardless of age, should feel better knowing this is a natural phase of her life.
Okay, so what is female menopause? The word “menopause” is a reference to a time in a woman’s life when she will stop ovulating and will be void of her monthly periods for 12 consecutive months. Although the average age is 51, female menopause can happen as early as age 30 or even into a woman’s 60’s. Keep in mind that that the closer a woman gets to female menopause, before menstruation stops completely, she will probably experience changes in her periods, which will become irregular, shorter or longer in length, the flow may be lighter or heavier, and she may have extensive bleeding with clots.
If menopause happens before the age of 40, the actual name is “premature menopause”. Now, premature menopause can occur by having the ovaries surgically removed via hysterectomy or should the ovaries be damaged due to radiation or chemotherapy treatments.
In both cases, menopause happens immediately. Some of the common symptoms of female menopause are hot flashes, profuse day and/or night sweats, frequent headaches, mood swings, chronic depression, sleep disturbances, insomnia, severe fatigue, lack of energy, memory loss, vaginal dryness, and decreased sex drive. For most women, the symptoms do not last more than a few years, although they can last up to 10 years.
The good news is that most or all of the symptoms will diminish or disappear over time, and some of them can be reduced with certain lifestyle changes to include diet and exercise. A woman’s family doctor can aid her in making informed decisions regarding her menopausal symptoms and therapeutic options. The female menopause experience is different for every woman. Fortunately, the majority of women continue to function very well during this transition phase.
Keep in mind that menopause can bring a sense of freedom to a woman’s life because it is the end of fertility and best of all she no longer has to deal with periods. Menopause should be a part of life when women feel more confident and energized than in their younger years. However, there are times when menopause can contribute to serious health problems. For that reason, it is important that women be educated about their bodies, health prevention, and maintenance during the change of life.
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