WHAT IS MENOPAUSE?

DURING MENOPAUSE, YOUR BODY UNDERGOES MANY CHANGES.

You might find it helpful to understand the changes your body may go through during this natural stage of life.


IN NATURAL MENOPAUSE:

  • You have not had your period for 12 straight months
  • Your doctor has not told you that you have another medical condition that is causing your missed periods

Be sure to seek advice from your healthcare professional if you have questions about menopause.

SURGICAL MENOPAUSE begins immediately after surgery to remove both ovaries. (This may be part of a total hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy.)

After surgical removal of ovaries, you no longer have menstrual periods.

The sudden estrogen loss may quickly lead to many of the same menopausal symptoms that women face in natural menopause, like hot flashes, bone loss, and vaginal symptoms. For some women, those symptoms can be more severe than those experienced through natural menopause.

WHEN DOES MENOPAUSE BEGIN?

Menopause begins at different times for different women, but most can expect it between the ages of 40 and 58. Whether you have reached menopause naturally or it has occurred due to surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries (called a hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy), this loss of estrogen can result in a variety of physical symptoms.

Common menopausal symptoms that may vary in intensity include moderate to severe hot flashes, bone loss, and vaginal symptoms.

Ask your healthcare professional if you have questions about menopause or if you need more information about menopause and your health.

A TRANSITION IN 3 STAGES.

During this time of your life, your body usually moves through 3 gradual stages, unless your menopause is a result of surgery to remove your ovaries (called bilateral oophorectomy), which puts you in menopause immediately.

 PERIMENOPAUSE: Perimenopause is the stage when estrogen production from the ovaries starts to fluctuate and drop. Typically affecting women in their forties, periods become less predictable and less frequent. Perimenopause can last for 6 years or more and ends 1 year after the final period (when the lack of period is not due to another medical condition).

 MENOPAUSE: You are in menopause when confirmed by your doctor and when you have not had your period for 12 straight months. Estrogen levels continue to drop, which may cause other natural changes in your body, like hot flashes, bone loss, or vaginal dryness. The average age of a woman reaching menopause is 51.

 POSTMENOPAUSE: This stage typically affects women in their fifties. Estrogen levels continue to drop, causing other natural changes like hot flashes, bone loss, or vaginal dryness.

It is important to talk to your doctor or other healthcare professional about the effects these changes may have on your body and your health.