Menopause is a normal part of life, affecting more than 1 million women in the United States every year. Though women are talking about menopause more and sharing their experiences, there are still a lot of misconceptions about the change of life.
At Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC, our highly skilled women’s health experts provide comprehensive care throughout every stage of life, including the years leading up to and following menopause. Here, we dispel some of the lies many women still believe about menopause.
When periods stop, menopause starts
Yes, menopause starts when you no longer menstruate, but it’s not a sudden and immediate event. You reach menopause when you’ve gone one full year without a period. Before this happens, you go through a transitional period called perimenopause.
Perimenopause may begin several years before you stop having your period, causing many of the symptoms associated with menopause, including fatigue, moodiness, and hot flashes. These symptoms occur from changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. Your period stops when your ovaries no longer make estrogen.
Menopause means hot flashes
Hot flashes are one of the most common menopause symptoms. The sudden, intense warming sensation starts in the chest and moves to your head, and the sensation lasts a few seconds or a few minutes. The flare of heat is difficult to ignore, which is why so many people talk about it.
But not every woman has hot flashes — and it’s not the only symptom of menopause. Depression, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping are other symptoms women experience with menopause.
Menopause is a normal physiological process that occurs due to changes in hormone production. It marks the end of your fertility and requires medical monitoring throughout each stage — before, during, and after. No matter where you are on the spectrum of menopausal symptoms, we’re here to help.
You don’t need hormone therapy
Many health professionals recommend nonhormonal treatments to manage menopause symptoms. But hormone therapy has its place and offers benefits beyond symptom relief.
Current guidelines suggest women younger than 60 without a history of breast cancer or heart disease can benefit from low-dose hormone therapy for a short period of time to get relief from their menopause symptoms.
Hormone therapy also protects the bones and may prevent or delay the loss of bone mass that leads to osteoporosis.
It’s all downhill after menopause
There’s a stigma that menopause is the end of your youth and vitality. But that’s a major lie. Menopause is a new stage of life filled with energy and opportunity. Many women enjoy their menopausal years because they no longer have to deal with painful or messy periods.
Menopause also gives women more freedom.
Women need to continue to talk about menopause to educate each other and dispel the myths and lies that surround this stage of life. If you have questions about menopause or symptoms you can’t explain, we can provide the answers you need.
all our office in either Hastings and Grand Island, Nebraska, or request an appointment online to schedule a consultation with one of our experts to learn the truth about menopause in your life.