Menopause typically begins in the 40s as the production of estrogen and progesterone decline. Hormonal decline begins earlier, but symptoms related to this decline don’t typically begin until the 40s or even the early 50s for some women. Perimenopause is the entire time from when a woman first starts noticing symptoms until her periods stop. Menopause refers to the time after a woman’s periods have completely stopped. Once a woman has had 12 consecutive months without a period, she’s said to be in menopause.
Symptoms vary from woman to woman but most women experience at least a few of these symptoms:
Not only will symptoms vary from woman to woman, but the degree to which these symptoms affect their daily lives will also vary.
There’s no “cure” for menopause, but there are plenty of options to reduce and relieve symptoms. Treatment options can include:
Because the decline in estrogen can increase the risks of certain diseases including osteoporosis and heart disease, screenings for these and other diseases also may be recommended as part of a menopause treatment plan.
Bioidentical hormones are synthetic (lab-created) hormones that have the same chemical structure as the hormones that are produced naturally by the body.
For many years, HRT relied on chemical hormone “substitutes” that had a different chemical structure. That meant while they were useful in reducing some symptoms, the body wasn’t able to process them or eliminate them in the same way it treats natural hormones. As a result, the synthetic hormones were able to “build up” in the body, increasing the risks of several serious complications.
Because bioidentical hormones have the same chemical structure as natural hormones, the body processes and eliminates them in the same way, significantly reducing the risk of complications.
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