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Gynecology and Obstetrics

Menopause or Perimenopause?

Should I see a doctor for menopause or perimenopause?

Menopause or Perimenopause?

Menopause and perimenopause, are you familiar with them? These stages can be challenging, yet they also offer opportunities to connect with ourselves and practice self-love.

So, get ready to explore what they are, their differences, and how we can navigate this transition with the best attitude.

What are menopause and perimenopause? Is there a difference?

Perimenopause means "around menopause," and it's the process leading up to menopause. It can start in the late 30s or even later, in the early 50s. Its duration can vary but generally spans 2 to 8 years. During this time, you may experience irregular periods and other symptoms.

It's important to recognize that menopause is a natural phase of aging. In many cases, treatment isn't necessary unless symptoms are bothersome. However, learning about menopause can provide peace of mind as you enter this stage.

What causes menopause?

Menopause is a natural stage in a woman's aging process. Over time, the ovaries age, and the production of reproductive hormones decreases, culminating in the cessation of menstrual periods.

It's important to note that certain lifestyle choices and medical procedures can cause or be associated with the early onset of menopause, including:

  • Tobacco use

  • Undergoing radiation therapy to the pituitary gland or its removal

  • Chemotherapy treatments

  • Radiation therapy or other procedures in the abdominal or pelvic area that affect the ovaries and compromise their function

  • Autoimmune conditions and genetic predisposition

  • Removal of both ovaries (oophorectomy), causing menopause to occur abruptly

  • Low body fat

What triggers menopause?

As we approach our late 30s, body changes begin to manifest. The production of eggs decreases, affecting their quantity and quality, leading to hormonal alterations. You may notice shorter menstrual cycles and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that you haven't experienced before.

During this period, the ovaries produce hormones unevenly, causing fluctuations and, sometimes, heavy menstrual bleeding. Before reaching menopause, about 6 months to a year before periods cease, estrogen levels begin to decline.

Menopause, defined as a year without menstrual periods, marks a transition that, while reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, also presents challenges. The decrease in estrogen carries risks such as bone mass loss, skin changes and can affect cardiovascular health.

Symptoms you may experience during menopause or perimenopause

Perimenopause and menopause can come with symptoms such as:

  • Irregular menstrual periods

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Hot flashes

  • Chills

  • Night sweats

  • Sleep problems

  • Mood changes

  • Weight gain and slow metabolism

  • Thinning hair and dry skin

  • Loss of breast fullness

These symptoms are completely normal and can vary in intensity from one woman to another; remember that everybody is different, and stay calm during this process.

Should I see a doctor for menopause or perimenopause?

Absolutely! Starting a conversation with an ObGyn when noticeable changes emerge is key. Your doctor provides personalized information about your situation and offers treatment options tailored to your needs.

Moreover, having the advice of a Gynecologist provides valuable guidance on managing any symptoms you may experience effectively.

At BlueNetHospitals, we're here to support you every step of the way!


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