Signs You're Reaching Menopause

Are you in your 40s or 50s? Have you started noticing hot flashes, mood swings, irregular periods, or other changes? If you answered yes to these questions, you might also be wondering if you’re in menopause.

Menopause is a biological process that every woman experiences when her reproductive years end. But when it happens and the symptoms it brings can vary widely from woman to woman, and it’s not always easy to know if you’ve reached menopause.

You don’t have to decipher your body’s changes on your own. Our gynecology team at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta specializes in diagnosing and treating the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, so you can maintain your best health as you move to the next stage in your life.

Signs of perimenopause

Perimenopause is the period of time before menopause officially begins, but your most fertile years are behind you. In perimenopause, your estrogen levels (and your fertility) naturally begin to decline.

As hormone levels begin to fluctuate, you begin to notice symptoms characteristic of menopause. These signs commonly include:

Many women enter perimenopause while in their 40s. It lasts about four years on average, but ranges anywhere from a few months to 10 years. The symptoms of perimenopause and menopause are very similar, but there’s one key difference: if you’re in perimenopause, you still get your period, even if it’s irregular.

The start of menopause

Your hormone levels continue declining as perimenopause progresses. Your periods may become light or irregular, and once you’ve gone a full year since your last period, you’ve reached menopause.

Many women find that the symptoms they experienced in perimenopause continue or get worse after menopause begins, but the good news is that your symptoms aren’t permanent. Symptoms often last for 4-5 years after the onset of menopause, but after that, hormone levels stabilize and symptoms begin to dissipate.

Adjusting to life in menopause

The symptoms of perimenopause and menopause may not be permanent, but they can significantly impact your quality of life. Healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating a nutritious diet and getting regular exercise, have been proven to help manage menopausal changes.

Some women find that their symptoms are mild or short-lived, but for others, lifestyle changes aren’t enough to manage their more intense symptoms. If your daily life is disrupted by symptoms of perimenopause or menopause, medical intervention could help.

Our team at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta partners with women to help them navigate menopause. We offer a range of solutions, from lifestyle adjustments to hormone replacement therapy, to minimize symptoms.

Hormone therapy is customizable, and we work with you to find a dose that relieves your most bothersome symptoms. It’s available in skin patches, oral medication, or vaginal creams and inserts, so you can choose the method that fits your life.

Are you nearing menopause? We’re here to help you learn what to expect next. Call our office in  Marietta or Woodstock, Georgia, to schedule your first appointment.

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