Menopause is a normal event in a woman's life and occurs when her menstrual cycle stops permanently due to hormonal changes. Every women's journey through menopause is unique. Some women find it an unsettling physical and emotional time, while others go through menopause without any problems.
Most women don't need treatment, but if you're bothered by symptoms or have other risk factors, make time to see the experts at The Christ Hospital Health Network. We have decades of experience helping women with these issues so they can get back to enjoying their pursuits.
Women reach menopause on average at age 51—a truly mid-life transition all women experience. It may happen earlier, as young as your 30s.
know you’ve come through menopause when you haven’t had a monthly period for
one year. This may be a good time to add activities to your life that help you
stay strong and healthy during this new phase of life.
Menopause is a natural event that happens as a woman ages. By the time you reach your late 30s, your ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone the hormones that regulate your periods. You are then in a natural menopause when you stop having periods.
While menopause occurs naturally for most women, some medical treatments and physical conditions can lead to early menopause. Talk with your doctor if you have any of these increased risk factors:
Autoimmune diseases—conditions that occur when your immune system attacks healthy cells
Chemotherapy and radiation—these treatments may induce menopause symptoms, though they may not be permanent
Chromosome defects—such as Turner Syndrome
Epilepsy – a brain disorder that causes recurring seizures
Primary ovarian insufficiency—may cause premature menopause when the ovaries fail to produce the normal levels of hormones
Smoking—can make menopause occur earlier and with more symptoms
Total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy—these surgeries for cervical or other cancers will result in immediate menopause
Every woman is different, as are her menopause symptoms. It is also possible some symptoms are simply part of the aging process and not a symptom of menopause. You may want to keep track of any symptoms you experience and talk them through with your doctor.
Symptoms may include:
When to see a doctor
Most women do not need to see a doctor as they experience menopause. However, call your doctor if symptoms are interfering with your sleep and daily life, or if you experience:
Bleeding after having no periods for six months or more
Bleeding between menstrual periods, when your periods are normally regular
Hot flashes, insomnia or mood swings that don't resolve on their own
Menstrual periods that are unusually heavy, irregular or much longer than normal
Pain or burning during urination
Unexplained bleeding while you are taking hormones
Vaginal pain or dryness that doesn't improve with other treatment
Do you have concerns about menopause? Discuss them
with your gynecologists or make an appointment with one of our women’s health experts.
Menopause can be overwhelming and frustrating. Do you have menopause-related questions but are not ready to make an appointment with a doctor? Contact our ezCare Concierge nurse navigator, a free, confidential service designed to help you navigate the best next steps for you and your health.