Menopause is a time of transition, generally occurring in a person’s fifties, and no period for full 12-months. This happens when ovaries stop releasing eggs. For some, it happens all at once. But for many, it is a gradual process.
If you have not had a period in more than a year, are not pregnant, or do not have another illness, you have most likely reached menopause.
Some may experience perimenopausal symptoms for many years — before and after.
During perimenopause and menopause, a woman may experience many hormonal changes, and may have some mild to serious menopause symptoms.
As you approach menopause, your menstrual periods start to change. The time between periods can be shorter or longer, and this may vary from month to month.
Common symptoms include:
- changes in sexual desire
- extreme sweating
- frequent urinary tract infections
- frequent urination
- hot flashes — sudden or gradual waves of body heat that last from 30 seconds to five minutes
- irritation with urination
- night sweats
- sleep problems
- vaginal dryness/painful intercourse
You may have one, some, or none of these menopause symptoms.
About 1 out of 10 may have serious menopause symptoms that make it difficult to do daily activities.
About 1 out of 10 have few, if any, menopause symptoms.
For most, common menopause symptoms such as mood changes and hot flashes are temporary and last only 3–5 years. But some may have a long and difficult perimenopause, up to 10–12 years.
A few common menopause symptoms — vaginal dryness and changes in sex drive — may continue or even get worse after menopause. If you are experiencing perimenopause or menopause symptoms, you can make an appointment at any of our 7 health center locations to seek treatment for these symptoms.