Menopause is a natural and normal transition period in a woman’s life that typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 and could last for five or more years. The word “menopause” literally means the “end of monthly cycles” from the Greek word pausis (cessation) and the root men—(month). Because the word “menopause” was created to describe this change in women where the end of fertility is typically indicated by the permanent stopping of monthly menstruation.
Over time, the ovaries have reduced functionality, resulting in decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone. Symptoms of menopause are caused by these decreased hormone levels. Specific symptoms and how significant they are varies from woman to woman.
Your Doctor's Role
Your doctor can help you make a smooth transition into menopause and beyond by:
- Letting you know what physical and emotional changes to expect
- Helping you explore all your options to handle minor or complex issues
- Working with you to develop an individual strategy, depending on your symptoms and your preferences
Many women find menopausal and post-menopausal life to be liberating. No monthly bloating, cramping, tampons, or pads. No pregnancy concerns. Don't be afraid of this stage of your life. Both short and long-term conditions can be managed with your doctor’s help.