What is the typical age range for women to experience menopause?
The average age for a white woman to experience menopause is 52, but the age varies based on race. Asian women tend to undergo menopause at an earlier age, whereas African American and Native American women tend to experience menopause at a later age. One needs to remember that menopause is not an event. It doesn't occur on a day. It is a process over time.
What are common signs and symptoms of menopause?
Common signs and symptons of menopause are usually vasomotor symptoms, which include hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbance, and even vaginal dryness. Menopause is defined by absence of menses for six months with symptoms or the absence of Menses for 12 months without symptoms.
What should I do if I believe I’m going through menopause? Should I see my doctor?
If you think you are experiencing menopause, it is a good time to contact your physician. But first of all, remember, this is a normal phenomenon. As women are now living much longer than they did in the past, we are basically outliving the lifespan of your ovaries. So as you age, your ovarian reserve loses capacity and you start to have symptoms. Menopause has many treatment options, and that is something we can address during your exam.
What physical changes should I expect after menopause?
At the time of menopause, many women experience vasomotor symptoms, which can be hot flashes and night sweats. They also report sleep disturbance. If they already have depression sometimes depression or mood swings get worse and they will report some vaginal dryness and discomfort with intercourse if they are sexually active.
What mental or emotional changes should I expect after menopause, if any?
Mental effects of menopause vary significantly between patients. If patients are already having depression or other mood swings, they may be worsened by menopause. Other times, the early onset of menopause may worsen their symptoms or bring about mental changes. Often their significant other notices that they're more emotional or short tempered and then they realize that they're undergoing menopause.