Doctors define menopause as 12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle, but the progression of menopause is a gradual one that can take several years. Symptoms of perimenopause or pre-menopause can begin as early as 10 to 15 years before you have your last period. In addition, a woman who has not begun menopause and has both of her ovaries removed — such as during a hysterectomy — undergoes surgical menopause.
Hormone changes that happen around menopause affect every woman differently. For some women, the symptoms can be severe enough to disrupt their lives and emotional well-being. Seventy percent of women experience symptoms that can include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mood swings
- Urinary incontinence
- Memory problems
- Irregular periods
- Loss of libido
- Weight gain
- Vaginal dryness
- Problems sleeping
When to See Your Doctor or Care Provider
When menstrual cycles start to change — unusually heavy, irregular, or longer-lasting than normal — it’s time to see a medical professional. However, don’t assume that missing a couple of periods automatically means menopause. A medical professional needs to rule out pregnancy or other health issues.
Specialties: Surgery / Gynecology / Hormone Replacement Therapy / Urogynecology /
Gynecology and Obstetrics
HealthConnection Episodes: Stress Incontinence
Dr. Turner, a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, has more than 30 years of experience as a gynecologist. He is an expert in treating pelvic, bowel, or bladder control problems as well as advanced gynecological and laparascopic surgery. Dr. Turner has undergone special training and is nationally certified to treat health problems associated with menopause.
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