During menopause, your body undergoes many changes.  Preparing for these changes and the symptoms you may experience involves understanding some of the basics of menopause.

What is menopause?

Menopause, or “ a pause of the menses” is a normal and natural event in a women’s life.   It is defined as the last menstrual period.   A woman can usually be  considered  postmenopausal if she has not had a period for 12 consecutive months.

What causes menopause?

Generally, as the years go by, the ovaries naturally produce less estrogen, and other hormones.  This ultimately results in levels too low to initiate a period and to become pregnant.  Sometimes menopause is brought about by a medical intervention such as cancer treatment or the surgical removal of both ovaries.

What is the average age for menopause?

While the average age for menopause is 51 years old, some women may not undergo menopause until the late 50’s.  Some women experience premature menopause – at age 40 or younger.

What are some of the medical risks or symptoms associated with menopause?

Lowered estrogen levels may increase the risk of such health problems as heart disease and osteoporosis, for example.   A lack of estrogen can also be associated with hot flashes, sleep disturbances,  and vaginal dryness.

What can the menopausal woman do to address her symptoms?

While there are a variety of supplements available, some  women  may not be aware that many of these over the counter remedies do not have the effectiveness and safety data that are mandatory for prescription menopausal medications.  While hormonal therapy is generally effective and safe for the young symptomatic woman, many women have unnecessarily discontinued these medications due to fear fostered by some research studies.

There are now new and exciting non-hormonal options available, as well.

Dr. Kurss, a nationally certified menopausal expert and the team at Suburban Obstetrics and Gynecology hope that you will always feel comfortable discussing your concerns relative to menopause and the symptoms you are experiencing.