by Rachel Burt, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Roswell OB/GYN ……………………………..
I wish there was an easy answer to this question. I get asked this question from patients as young as 35 to those well into their 50s. For some women, they struggle with menopausal symptoms for years. Other lucky women just stop having periods, do not have a single hot flash, and gracefully find themselves in menopause. I wish this experience for all my patients! If you are not so lucky, there are a few important things to know…
The definition of menopause is one full year without a period. The average age of menopause is 51. Perimenopause is defined as the transition time between getting regular monthly periods and the cessation of menstruation. Some women struggle through months of irregular cycles. They will go two months without a period and then out of the blue start bleeding. You should notify your provider of bleeding changes. It is not normal to have heavy bleeding or bleeding between periods. We also want to know if you start bleeding after having completed a full year without a period.
Medically, it is very important to me to know what is going on with your periods. But, I also care about your quality of life. Hot flashes will not harm you per se, but they can definitely reduce your quality of life. Some women also struggle with vaginal dryness and painful sex. We have a variety of options to help with hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Some women just benefit from lifestyle changes whereas others decide to start hormone therapy or another option in between. We want you to be healthy as well as have good quality of life through this transition. If your symptoms are bothersome or uncomfortable, please contact us. We can help you through the transition to menopause.
Any questions, please contact us at 770-751-3600.