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Menopause 101: What you need to know

Some women dread it. Some accept it as a rite of passage into life’s next chapter. No matter how you look at menopause, it’s a natural stage of aging for women. Menopause can affect women physically and emotionally – some women may not get any symptoms. Whatever the experience may be, here are a few things to know to give you a better understanding of the process.

What is menopause?

Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 58. A woman has reached menopause after she has missed her period for 12 consecutive months.

What happens during menopause?

Each woman’s experience with menopause varies. The most common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes – a sudden hot feeling usually accompanied by sweat and a rapid heartbeat. Night sweats, which are very much like hot flashes, are also common, but happen while she’s sleeping. They can be so bad that they will cause her to wake up. Additionally, some women may experience vaginal dryness, which is caused by the reduction of estrogen production after reaching menopause. 

Can menopause symptoms be treated?

There are remedies to help treat some symptoms. For instance, there are lubricants that can help with vaginal dryness, and there are prescription drugs and hormone therapies that can help with hot flashes and night sweats. Women can also try natural treatments like lavender and chamomile to help with sleep. 

So what is perimenopause?

Perimenopause refers to the years leading up to menopause; it’s the stage when a woman’s body prepares to no longer reproduce. It is during perimenopause when the body’s production of estrogen decreases, and the menstrual cycle starts to become irregular. Women may even begin to start experiencing some menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.

If you feel like you are experiencing menopausal symptoms, please call our office at 307-634-5216 to make an appointment. Cheyenne OBGYN provides treatment options for relief of menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, mood swings, and night sweats, all of which can vary in severity. 

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