Ascension Saint Agnes OB/GYN Columbia
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Menopause is a normal part of a woman’s aging process. For many women, stopping menstruation is a welcome part of life that typically begins in your 40’s and 50’s. The average age of menopause in the U.S. is 51 years, but symptoms can begin earlier. You may first begin to notice changes in your cycle several years before your last period. This period of time is called Perimenopause. Because every woman is unique, menopause symptoms may vary.
Some of the more common signs of menopause include:
The physical symptoms of menopause can sometimes interfere with a woman's quality of life. Talk to your gynecologist about treatment options to manage symptoms which can range from lifestyle and dietary changes to hormone replacement therapy. Some ways to manage menopausal symptoms include:
During and after menopause, two common health problems many women should be aware of include osteoporosis and heart disease.
Osteoporosis – This means porous bones, and the common condition can cause bones to become weak and brittle. This is due to a decrease in estrogen and changes to your body's chemistry after menopause. Increasing your activity level and performing weight bearing exercises can help strengthen muscles that support your bones and keep your bones strong.
Heart Disease – A decrease in estrogen levels, coupled with a woman’s increasing age, can leave many women prone to developing heart disease. Weight gain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can all increase your chances of heart disease. Maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet and exercising can help you and your heart stay healthy after menopause.