Every woman experiences menopause differently. Even the age at which menopause begins is unique to each woman. Some of our patients reach menopause in their 30s and 40s, and some not until their 60s. However, menopause most often occurs around the age of 51.
Your signs and symptoms may include:
- Irregular menstruation—your cycle may stop suddenly, or gradually become lighter or heavier and then stop.
- Decreased fertility—when ovulation begins to fluctuate, you are less likely to become pregnant. However, pregnancy is still possible until it has been a year since your last period.
- Vaginal changes—as your estrogen level declines, the tissues lining your vagina and urethra become drier, thinner, and less elastic. You may experience burning or itching, along with increased risk of infection. These changes may make sexual intercourse uncomfortable or even painful.
- Hot flashes—the most common symptom of menopause. As your estrogen level drops, your blood vessels may expand rapidly, causing your skin temperature to rise. This can lead to a sudden feeling of warmth that moves upward from your chest, causing you to sweat or your skin to redden.
- Sleep Disturbances and Night Sweats—night sweats are often a product of hot flashes. You may be woken from deep sleep with soaking night sweats followed by chills. You may have difficulty falling back to sleep or achieving a deep, restful sleep. Lack of sleep may affect your mood and overall health.
- Emotional changes—As you go through menopause, you may experience mood swings, be more irritable, or be more prone to emotional upsets.
Menopause itself requires no medical treatment. Instead, our treatments focus on relieving the symptoms in our patients. Additionally, our staff is trained to prevent or lessen any chronic conditions that may occur during the postmenopausal years. Before deciding on any form of treatment, talk with your doctor at Moscow-Pullman OB/GYN about your options and the risks and benefits involved in each.