Menopause can be a daunting period in a woman's life, especially if it spans for years. Typically, you don't need to worry about menopause until your early 50s. Still, some women may experience it earlier on in life.
Knowing the signs of menopause can prepare you for when they strike. Understanding your body and recognizing the changes is crucial to know when it's time to seek help.
If you're dealing with the uncomfortable signs of menopause and need help navigating the upcoming changes, the Collaborative Women's Care in Miami, Florida, team is here to help.
Dr. Eduardo Valdes is our experienced OB/GYN who offers various treatments to help you deal with the changes associated with menopause.
The facts on menopause
Every woman will go through menopause at some point in their life. Although it's not something any woman looks forward to, being prepared is the best way to transition seamlessly.
Menopause happens when your period stops, and you can no longer get pregnant. Unfortunately, menopausal symptoms don't go away overnight – they can go on for years.
The symptoms of menopause happen due to the extreme fluctuations in the hormones estrogen and progesterone. During perimenopause, which is the time before you enter menopause, these hormones begin to decline, causing the well-known symptoms of menopause.
You enter menopause when you don't have a period for twelve consecutive months. At this point, we consider you in menopause. Post-menopause is the rest of your life when you no longer have a period and can't bear children.
Telltale signs of menopause
Perimenopause usually starts in your 40s, when the estrogen levels begin to decline. It can take anywhere from a few years to over ten years to make it to menopause.
During perimenopause, women experience a variety of symptoms that range from mild to severe. Menopause symptoms can be so bad they disrupt your life and make it difficult to enjoy your normal activities.
Some various signs and symptoms signal the beginning of this stage in your life, and some of the telltale signs include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Decreased sex drive
- Night sweats
- Breast tenderness
- Dry skin or dry mouth
- Emotional ups and downs
One of the most significant telltale signs of menopause is changes in your menstrual cycle. Your periods may become irregular; you may have heavier bleeding or spotting between your cycles.
Your PMS symptoms may also worsen, especially as your estrogen levels drop. You may have some or all of the above signs and symptoms when you enter perimenopause.
How long does menopause last?
Unfortunately, there's no cut-and-dry answer to how long you'll experience the signs and symptoms of perimenopause. Every woman experiences menopause differently, so only time will tell how long you have symptoms.
Some women will go through menopause symptoms for ten years before they reach twelve consecutive months without a period. However, most women only experience symptoms for five years before reaching menopause.
During this time, you can manage your symptoms through lifestyle changes or hormone replacement therapy. Mild to moderate signs of menopause usually respond well to conservative changes in your daily routine.
If you're having trouble managing your symptoms alone, Dr. Valdes offers hormone replacement therapy for long-term relief.
Call our office today at 305-200-3878 to discuss hormone replacement therapy and menopause with Dr. Valdes or schedule a consultation online.