Home
Up
Appointment Booking
Consultation
Question of the Month
FAQ
Newsletter
Media Coverage
Search
Links
Books
Dr Redmond Biography
Research
Privacy Statement




 

To keep up with the latest in women's hormones,
subscribe now to our free email newsletter
 

WHAT’S HAPPENING?  WHAT DO I DO?
A GUIDE TO MENOPAUSE

WHAT IS MENOPAUSE?

What is Menopause?
When does menopause happen?
How Menopause Feels
What is HRT?
Surviving  – and thriving – during menopause
The big question: HRT
HRT and Breast Cancer
HRT and Contemporary Lifestyles
The HRT Option
How is HRT taken:
The different forms of estrogen:
Estrogen as a skin patch:
The splendors and miseries of progesterone
What are SERMs?
If you've had a hysterectomy
Deciding about YOUR Menopause
I'm on HRT but I don't feel any better
Conclusion

The term “menopause” means the end of menstruation but what happens is much more than this. Menopause is a life passage whose approach often stirs apprehension. Yet the meaning of menopause has changed. The first thing to realize is that menopause is simply a decrease in estrogen; the idea that it is the equivalent of getting old is obsolete. While menopause used to mean withdrawal from active life for many women, this is fortunately no longer true. Yet women still worry about what will happen and what they should do when menopause arrives. And menopause often does bring considerable discomfort. Very effective treatments are available but require decisions to be made which are difficult ones for many women. For some, choosing the right treatment is almost as difficult as putting up with the symptoms themselves.

This article is intended to help in understanding what happens to a woman’s body at this time and also to prove that menopause need not take away achievement – or enjoyment. Women at this life stage may need to do things to keep their body feeling its best but there are many options; one is likely to be right for you. It may involve taking hormones but it may not.

All women’s ovaries eventually stop working because their supply of eggs becomes depleted (why we don’t know) as are the granulosa cells which make estrogen. It used to be imagined that menopause was a sudden event. One day the last egg was used up, two weeks later you had your last period and then you were in menopause. This picture does not describe what the experience of menopause is actually like. The ovary does not shut off suddenly but slows down gradually over a period of several years. The term “perimenopause” refers to this interval when symptoms have started but periods have not yet stopped. However menopause does hit suddenly when the ovaries are removed surgically. Fortunately there are ways to ease this abrupt transition.

In the lead up to menopause, referred to as perimenopause, the function of the ovary tends to be less consistent. Periods may come some months but not others. The hormonal swings in perimenopause are greater than at any other time in a woman’s life, even greater than in adolescence. If hormones are not quite as hard to deal with as they were in the teens, it is because by her forties, a woman has learned to live with them.

Menopause also marks the end of fertility and when it comes early can be a disappointment. But for women not wishing to conceive, reaching the forties or having occasional hot flashes does not necessarily mean contraception is no longer necessary. Deciding when contraception is no longer needed can be dicey. It is something to be careful about because many unwanted pregnancies occur when women are in their forties. It is hard for me to give guidelines here because they can all have exceptions. Generally, a physician can tell this based on your history, examination or blood tests.

Next page ->

What is Menopause?
When does menopause happen?
How Menopause Feels
What is HRT?
Surviving  – and thriving – during menopause
The big question: HRT
HRT and Breast Cancer
HRT and Contemporary Lifestyles
The HRT Option
How is HRT taken:
The different forms of estrogen:
Estrogen as a skin patch:
The splendors and miseries of progesterone
What are SERMs?
If you've had a hysterectomy
Deciding about YOUR Menopause
I'm on HRT but I don't feel any better
Conclusion

Home  Consultation  Help for Hormone Problems   Question of the Month   FAQ
Newsletter  Media Coverage 
Links  Biography  Research   Privacy Statement   Map to Clinic

Information provided by Hormone Center of New York  212-338-0002
Copyright © 2008 Hormone Center of New York.
E-mail: info@hormonehelpny.com 
 

This web site is not intended as a substitute for medical advice.
The reader should regularly consult a physician in all matters relating to his/her health,
and particularly in respect of any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.

Copyright © 2008 Hormone Center of New York.  Last modified: 03/23/08
Site designed and hosted by