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Learn the symptoms and treatment for menopause from the experts at The University of Vermont Medical Center.
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Menopause is a normal part of life. It is one step in a long slow process of aging. For most women it begins silently somewhere around the age of 40 when menstrual periods may start to become less regular. Declining levels of hormones, estrogen and progesterone cause changes in your periods. These hormones are important for keeping the vagina and uterus healthy, for normal menstrual cycles and for a successful pregnancy. Estrogen also helps keep bones healthy. It helps women keep good cholesterol in their blood.
Symptoms of perimenopause start two-four years before the last period. When a woman notices her menstrual cycles are less regular, she may also feel such symptoms as hot flashes or night sweats. Changing hormone levels can cause a variety of symptoms that may last from a few months to a few years or longer. Some women have slight discomfort or worse. Others have little or no trouble. If any of these changes bother you, check with you nurse-midwife.
The most common symptoms are:
Staying healthy after menopause may mean making some changes in the way you live.
Menopause is not a disease that has to be treated. But you might need help with symptoms like hot flashes.
Here are some ideas that have helped some women: