A woman’s ovaries will naturally start to produce less estrogen and progesterone as she approaches middle-age. In addition to playing a critical role in your fertility, these two hormones also help regulate menstruation. Your estrogen and progesterone hormones will continue to decrease over time, so it is extremely common to experience irregular periods after turning 40. This is the telltale sign that you are approaching menopause.
Menopause is a natural biological process that officially marks the end of a woman’s fertility. The estrogen and progesterone levels in your body become so low that you are no longer able to have a child. You will also no longer go through a menstrual cycle, so you will stop getting periods. Since it is common for middle-aged women to have irregular periods as they approach this stage, you will not officially enter menopause until you have gone 12 months without a menstrual period.
Since every woman’s body is completely different, you can naturally enter menopause at any time in your 40s or 50s. The average woman in the United States will begin this life phase when they are 51. There are also several different medical conditions that can cause you to enter menopause at a much younger age.
If you have to get a total hysterectomy to remove your uterus and ovaries, then you will immediately enter menopause. A total hysterectomy will only be performed to avoid a serious medical issue. You can also enter this stage early if you are forced to get regular chemotherapy treatments. The hormone balance in your body is altered by the radiation, so menopause starts earlier than normal.
You can expect to experience some changes to your body after entering menopause. Hot flashes, mood swings, slower metabolism, thinning hair and night sweats are the most common symptoms. You will also be at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, heart disease and urinary incontinence. While there is no way to medically treat menopause, there are treatment options to eliminate the chronic side effects of the condition.
Fortunately, hormone therapy can be used to alleviate the hot flashes and night sweats caused during menopause. This may be part of the natural life cycle of a woman, but it does not have to completely change the way you live on a daily basis. Let the team at Envoque MD help you during this life phase. Contact us today to book an appointment at our office in Scottsdale or Mesa.