A Look at Menopause

Although menopause--a condition officially determined by naturally living one full year without a menstrual cycle--comes replete with a whole host of issues and symptoms, it is not an illness of any sort.  Rather, it is simply the completely normal biological process that caps the end of a woman’s fertility.  For most women, this occurs naturally sometime around the late 40s or early 50s (the average age is actually 51, give or take a few years depending on certain factors such as ethnicity or overall health), though menopause may be induced via a number of medical procedures if necessary. 

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Common symptoms of menopause, a main portion of which are caused largely by the alteration of the body’s hormonal balance, may include headaches, dizziness, insomnia, internal temperature fluctuations (the so-called “hot flashes” so commonly seen in pop culture), weight gain, changes in mood, thinning hair, and insomnia just to name a few.  It can seem daunting, frightening, and wholly unfair, but it is the lot of every woman nonetheless.  Because every individual’s experience with menopause is unique, There is no set, definite list of symptoms to point to and say, “These symptoms are absolutely going to affect you at these particular times.”  It simply does not work that way.

Many women begin experiencing some of these symptoms several years before the first true sign of menopausal onset, when a woman’s periods become altered due to the change in hormones beginning to take effect.  Blood flow during menstruation may increase or decrease, depending on the person, and the intermissions between menstrual cycles will lengthen significantly.  The personal transition period that covers the time just before until just after menopause officially begins is referred to as “perimenopause” and will be of different lengths depending on the woman.

After menopause, or postmenopause, there are a few other complications that can affect a woman.  The decrease in hormone levels can cause several problems, some of which may require hormone therapy to combat.  Osteoporosis is common, as a woman’s bone density may decrease significantly with menopause.  The threat of cardiovascular disease may also be increased by the reduction in estrogen.

During this time, it is important for every woman to maintain a relationship with a physician they trust, who knows their situation and can offer them focused, personalized care suited to their unique situation.  The Woman’s Clinic, P.A. has been providing quality healthcare to the people of Tennessee for over six decades.  Our mission is to be the clinic of choice for women by providing exceptional and compassionate care for each woman, with personalized attention tailored to all stages of her life.  Our office is located at 244 Coatsland Drive in Jackson, TN.  You can reach us by calling 731-422-4642 or via our website, www.womansclinicpa.com.