Menopause Age

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There is no set year when every woman is of menopause age.
Traditionally, she is said to be in menopause when she has had no menses for one year.
Up until that time a woman is in perimenopause.
"Peri" means around; so perimenopause is the time around menopause.
Others will use the term pre menopause.
That's easy enough to understand.
Perimenopause can begin as early as the late 30's when periods that might once have been regular like clockwork become irregular.
There are other signs such as increased irritability, and changes in dysmenorrhea or PMS symptoms, changes in sexual desire, skin texture becoming courser or rougher, short term memory loss, or shifts in body shape (this is a partial list).
Women are individual in how they each will experience the change.
Some, as they get near their last period will have very scant periods and others will experience what is called flooding or continuous bleeding with large clots, which can be rather alarming.
Both can be inconvenient and uncomfortable, but can be considered completely normal.
There are at least two schools of thought among medical professionals about menopause.
One side treats it as a hormonal deficiency syndrome with dysfunction of the ovaries.
Their reasoning is that menopausal women have an increased risk of heart disease, bone thinning, breast or endometrial cancer.
These doctors believed in the past that if they supplemented estrogen for these women, such risks could be significantly lowered.
Unfortunately, in February 2004, their theories were proven dangerous by the Women's Health Initiative Study results.
The other side of this argument believes that the "medicalization" of menopause builds negative attitudes toward natural aging.
Menopause is a natural stage in a woman's life and should not be feared.
Currently supplementing estrogen is safely recommended only for short term use as a treatment for hot flashes.
It's possible that most women living today will live 25 to 30 years or more after their menopause age.
Something to keep in mind is that menopause is not a disease to be cured.
Perimenopause is transitional to the state of being menopausal and all the pills, potions and creams in the world will not prevent it from happening.
If you are a woman, when your body reaches your individual menopause age, you will be in menopause.
By definition, though, you can't know it until one year has passed.
Understanding the process can ease the transition and help women be prepared to protect their health in later years.
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