The first signs of menopause can occur as early as the late 30's. This is normally referred to as peri-menopause. It is a transitional period where the levels of hormones begin to drop, but not far enough to cause noticeable and prolonged symptoms. Full menopause often begins in the mid-40s and can last well into the 50s. Every woman is different and her symptoms will vary depending on her age, weight, general health, and any health conditions she may be experiencing. Hormonal imbalances throughout the body may cause menopause symptoms to begin earlier than usual. Annual OB/GYN wellness exams can help determine whether or not a woman is entering menopause.
Menopause is not a medical condition, it is more of a process the body goes through. Since there is nothing to heal or cure, the most common form of treatment involves addressing the symptoms and doing what can be done to help the body adjust during the transition. Doctors will often treat the fluctuations in hormones and the resulting symptoms with hormone replacement therapy. Hormone replacement therapy can be in the form of oral medications or transdermal patches. There also newer non-hormonal remedies for hot flashes that the providers at Craig Ranch OB-GYN can review with you. Each patient's symptoms and individual need will determine the mode of treatment that is chosen.
Each case is different. Menopause symptoms can last for many months or many years depending on each woman's unique physiological makeup. Existing health conditions and other environmental factors will also play a role in how long menopause lasts, or if it occurs at all. As the amount of estrogen produced by the ovaries gradually decreases, the body will begin to adjust. Many women pass from full menopause to post menopause with very few complications. If a woman is in excellent health, she may have no indication whatsoever that she has entered the postmenopausal phase.
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