A Major Life Transition
Menopause—it’s a transition that looms large in the minds of many women as they approach age 50. It’s sometimes called the “change of life.” Menopause marks the end of menstrual periods and fertility.
It can be a challenging time, physically and mentally. Familiar concerns include hot flashes, trouble sleeping and mood changes, but symptoms can vary greatly for each woman. Many women don’t need treatment. For those bothered by symptoms, choosing the best treatment can be confusing. Different therapies have benefits and risks that need to be weighed carefully.
Knowledge about menopause has grown significantly over the last 2 decades. Large NIH-funded studies of women before, during and after menopause have given new insights into how menopause proceeds. New treatment options are being developed, and long-standing therapies are under more thorough evaluation.
“This ongoing research is necessary because there are 40 million menopausal or postmenopausal women right now in this country, and a growing number are entering menopause each year,” says Dr. Howard N. Hodis, a cardiovascular and menopause researcher at the University of Southern California.
Menopause is defined as the final menstrual period.
|On average, women have their last period around age 51, but it can also occur in their 40s or late 50s.|
If you have bothersome symptoms, here are some ideas to try: