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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Everything you always wanted to know about menopause but were afraid (or forgot) to ask

This article features a broad array of information.
Included as issues are bone density to heavy bleeding, even how it effects your teeth.

Also included:
Signs and symptoms of perimenopause
Signs that you are in perimenopause include:
Irregular menstrual periods.
Less frequent, light menstrual periods.
Heavier menstrual periods than you are used to having.

Symptoms of menopause
Symptoms related to menopause are caused by changing or dropping hormone levels and usually end 1 or 2 years after menopause. Some women continue to have symptoms for 5 or more years afterward. Menopause symptoms include:
Hot flashes.
Sleep disturbances (insomnia).
Emotional changes, such as mood swings or irritability.
A change in sexual interest or response.
Problems with concentration and memory that are linked to sleep loss and fluctuating hormones (not a permanent sign of aging).5
Rapid, irregular heartbeats (heart palpitations).
Generalized itching.
Menopause caused by surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy can cause more severe symptoms than usual.6 Preexisting conditions such as depression, anxiety, sleep problems, or irritability can get worse during the perimenopausal transition.

When to Call a Doctor
During perimenopause or postmenopause, call your health professional about:
Menstrual periods that are unusually heavy, irregular, or prolonged (1½ to 2 times longer than normal).
Bleeding between menstrual periods, when periods have been regular.
Renewed bleeding after having no periods for 6 months or more.
Unexplained bleeding while you are taking hormones.
Perimenopause symptoms, such as insomnia, hot flashes, or mood swings, that aren't responding to home treatment and are interfering with your sleep or daily life.
Vaginal pain or dryness that does not improve with home treatment, or you have signs of a urinary tract infection.
If you have concerns about osteoporosis risk and prevention, talk to your health professional during your next office visit.
For more information, see the topics Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding, Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding, and Osteoporosis.

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