Menopause is defined as one full year without a menstrual period. While the average age of menopause is 51-52 in the United States, it can range from 40-58 years old. Menopause is a natural process that was previously called ‘change of life’.
While most women have minimal symptoms, some women may find the changes profound and sometimes distressing. Physical symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, emotional lability, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, and lower energy can make this transition difficult.
Most women will not need treatment for these symptoms, but some may need help with this transition. Therapies that have been proven effective include use of low dose anti-depressants (SSRI/SNRIs) and hormonal therapies. Choosing a therapy requires an assessment of family and personal history by your healthcare provider prior to making recommendations regarding potential options.
Women also may struggle with the years prior to menopause, called perimenopause. This can last up to 4-5 years prior to a final menses and can be marked by irregular periods, heavy menstrual bleeding, substantial growth of uterine fibroids, and many of the symptoms that are associated with menopause. Bleeding in between periods and heavy vaginal bleeding should be discussed with a gynecologist.
For more information about menopause we encourage our patients to visit: http://www.menopause.org/for-women We can discuss your options for reducing symptoms and remaining healthy throughout this stage of life during a consultation with our gynecologists at Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates. To schedule an appointment, contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form.