Menopause is a stage in a women’s life. It starts when a woman stops having monthly periods for 12 months in a row.

Estrogen is a hormone made by the ovaries. For several months before menopause, less estrogen is made by the ovaries. As the estrogen decreases, body changes and the signs of menopause occur.

 

Menopause occurs:

  • As a natural part of aging
  • When the ovaries are removed
  • When ovaries are changed by radiation or chemotherapy
  • When less estrogen is made by the body

Signs of menopause

Many women have uncomfortable signs. Often these improve over time.
Talk with your doctor about your body changes because there are treatment options and because these changes may be signs of other health problems.

Common signs of menopause are:

  • Changes in menstrual cycle or periods
  • Hot flashes or warm flush feeling and sweating
  • Problems sleeping
  • Mood changes
  • Headaches
  • Feeling anxious
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Lack of sex drive or painful intercourse
  • Dryness of the skin or hair

Signs to Report to Your Doctor

If you have any of these signs, call your doctor’s office. You may need to be seen to start treatment or to find out if the problem may be caused by
something other than menopause.

  • Irregular bleeding
  • Chronic vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal itching, burning or irritation
  • Urinary frequency and burning
  • Anxiety or depression that affects sleep, relationships and work routines

Ways to Manage Your Signs

Talk to your doctor about ways to manage your signs of menopause. Some treatments have side effects to consider.

 

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