The transition period in a woman’s life when her ovaries stop producing eggs, her estrogen levels decrease, and menstruation becomes less frequent or stops altogether is most likely menopause. This generally happens between the ages of 45-55 and is a very normal thing. Menopause can happen earlier in a woman’s life due to a hysterectomy or other issues. Some women have had the ACLS certification course to secure the health and safety as well.

The symptoms of menopause can last up to 5 or more years. The first couple of years are generally the worst. The symptoms are caused by changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. The severity of the symptoms varies from woman to woman. A slow decrease of estrogen allows your body to slowly adjust to the hormonal changes. Some of the most common symptoms are night sweats and hot flashes. These are normally worse during the first year and if severe enough can be controlled with estrogen. In most cases the symptoms will cease over time. Other common symptoms are skin flushing, sleeping problems, and heart racing. Most but not all women may experience forgetfulness, headaches, decreased interest in sex, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and irregular menstrual periods. Treatment with hormones may be helpful if your symptoms become severe especially with mood issues, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and night sweats. You should discuss hormone therapy thoroughly with your doctor and learn the risks of hormone therapy. Your doctor should know your full history and help you to make the right decision for you. Not all women have success with this type of therapy.

Some major health studies have questioned the health benefits and risks of hormone therapy. In fact some studies have shown the risk of developing breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. Women who qualify for this treatment can only use it if they have recently entered menopause. It is not recommended for patients who started menopause years ago. Women taking the HT should be at low risk for heart attack, breast cancer, blood clots and strokes. The HT medicine should also not be taken for more than five years.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should be seen by your physician. Your physician can perform some tests to see if you are in fact entering menopause. Blood and urine tests can be used to measure changes in hormone levels some examples of these tests are LH, FSH, and Estradiol. Although it is not something women look forward to going through, you should be aware of symptoms and treatments. This could make it a lot easier for you when it happens.

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