For most women, menopause is never a fun topic of conversation. Starting as early as age 35, the female body experiences a lot of changes. It’s important to note that menopause is a biological process that is completely normal. While some women start this process earlier than others, the average age of a woman entering menopause is 51. An official diagnosis is usually made after experiencing 12 months without a menstrual period. While symptom directly associated with menopause can be both emotional and physically uncomfortable, it is important to know what treatment options are available to you and how they can help you through the change.
Common Symptoms Associated With Menopause
While there are a wide array of symptoms associated with menopause, each woman will likely experience different levels of each symptom. Irregular periods are very common before you stop experiencing them all together. Most women experience months without periods followed by 3-5 regular cycles followed by another month of without a menstrual cycle.
- Acne Under The Chin
- Hot Flashes
- Mood Swings
- Weight Gain
- Breast Pain / Reduction Of Breast Tissue
- Vaginal Dryness
- Irregular Periods
- Night Sweats
- Hair Loss / Thinning Hair
- Dry Skin
- Decreased Sex Drive
- Irregular Periods (pre-menopausal symptom)
Primary Causes Of Menopause
While there are several reasons to why a woman’s body will begin the menopausal process, here are some of the more common factors.
Decrease In Reproduction Hormones
Starting in your mid to late 30’s, the female naturally experiences a decline in the production of estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are directly attributed to regulating menstrual cycles and fertility. Over the next twenty years (on average), your ovaries will produce less and less of these hormones before eventually stopping all together. When this happens your ovaries will stop producing eggs all together and your menstrual periods will end.
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
Very seldomly (approximately 1 percent), a woman may experience a condition known as Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. This can kick start the menopausal process at a much earlier age than the average woman. There have been reports of woman experiencing menopause in their early 30’s. Primary Ovarian Insufficiency is when your ovaries are not producing sufficient amounts of reproductive hormones. This can stem from genetic disorders or autoimmune diseases.
Other Causes of Menopause
- Radiation Treatment
Treatment Options For Menopause
Today, many treatment options for menopause are focused around decreasing symptoms often associated with the process.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is an all natural solution to help women restore their hormone levels back to normal. Many women using BHRT often experience a decrease in hot flashes, vaginal dryness and mood swings. The treatment starts by meeting with a hormone specialist. They run tests to measure your hormone levels and provide a customized solution based on your lab results. If you are interested about learning more about how bioidentical hormone replacement therapy might make sense for you, we offer free initial consultations to discuss treatment options.
Changing Your Diet & Exercise Routine
Focusing on a healthier lifestyle can often help women combat symptoms associated with menopause. Examples of healthy lifestyle changes that can help include:
- Cardio (running, swimming, biking)
- Quit Smoking
- Decrease Alcohol Consumption
- Decrease Fatty Foods
- Cut Out The Caffeine
Curious about your current hormone levels? Take the quiz below and see if you may be experiencing a decrease in hormones.