Menopause is defined as the cessation of menstruation for 12 months uninterrupted. The lack of hormones means pregnancy is no longer possible and changes the body's appearance. Most women enter peri-menopause when estrogen levels begin to decline,as early as their 30s and reach menopause somewhere between 50 and 55, or following a complete hysterectomy.

Age of onset, duration, and symptoms of menopause vary from woman to woman. Symptoms occur as the production of estrogen and progesterone decrease. Some women stop menstruating abruptly, but most women experience periods that taper off before stopping. Your periods may become farther apart or closer together. You may experience bleeding between periods. Although the duration varies, menopause usually takes from one to five years to complete.

The severity and type of menopausal symptoms vary. Potential symptoms include hot flashes, skin flushing, heart palpations, and night sweats. You may have problems falling or remaining asleep at night. Your moods may change, and you may feel more irritable, depressed, or anxious than usual. You may feel tired and have difficulty concentrating. Menopause can cause vaginal dryness, urinary changes, and a decrease in sex drive. Menopausal symptoms usually stop when menopause is complete.

The physicians at Victoria Women's Clinic will work with you to develop a treatment plan and lifestyle options to make the process as comfortable as possible.

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