What Is Menopause?
Menopause is the time when a woman’s menstrual periods stop for good, and she can no longer get pregnant. You’ve reached menopause when you haven’t had a period for one year. It’s a normal part of aging. But the transition to menopause affects every woman differently.
The menopausal transition often begins between ages 45 and 55. It can last for many years. During this time, women may notice changes to their periods. They may have hot flashes, sleep problems, and mood changes. They may also have problems with bladder control or weight gain. Sex may be uncomfortable. Body changes during this transition can also raise the risk for certain health problems, like heart disease or osteoporosis.
For some women, symptoms are mild and need no treatment. Lifestyle changes can help to relieve certain symptoms. But if symptoms are severe or bothersome, it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor about treatment.
After menopause, symptoms may continue for years. Deciding whether and how to treat these symptoms can be complicated and personal. The benefits and risks of some treatments may vary, depending on your medical and family history.
Learn more about the changes that happen during the menopausal transition. Get links to more information, including videos and shareable infographics.
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