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Others might be concerned that they will be less "feminine" or suffer memory loss.

Ten essential menopause facts

Many women have a positive experience of menopause, however, and feel as if they gain confidence and wisdom. In reality, nothing but loss of fertility is inevitable with menopause. Anecdotally, some women find that menopause improves their self-esteem and increases their interest in sex.

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After the menopause, there is no risk of pregnancy and, for some women, this may improve sex. Every woman's experience of menopause will vary. There is no formula that applies across the board, although reading about other women's experience may help.

It is not true that the body stops producing hormones after menopause. The adrenal glands continue to produce estrogen and progesterone , but their overall production declines. For some women, menopause means getting "old. Some derive meaning and wisdom from menopause, while others may experience depression.

10 Essential Facts About Menopause | Everyday Health

The cultural values and assumptions about menopause can affect how a woman feels about this natural body process. The way she reacts to this may affect her relationships and lifestyle. For example, a woman who believes menopausal weight gain is inevitable might stop exercising. Conversely, a woman who takes joy in the wisdom she believes comes with age, might feel better about herself. She may, therefore, feel more adventurous or sexual than ever before.

When to see your GP

As with anyone in any situation, a woman's thoughts during the menopause affect how she feels. Women experiencing difficult feelings can talk to a doctor or therapist to address this. Women's periods do not normally disappear suddenly. Perimenopause means irregular periods and longer cycles. Very occasionally, women experience heavier periods. Women may also experience spotting or breakthrough bleeding. As perimenopause progresses, a woman's period becomes less frequent, and then end. Once periods have stopped for 12 months, a woman has moved from perimenopause to menopause.

Just as a woman's periods do not disappear at once, neither does her fertility.

10 Essential Facts About Menopause

The beginning of menopause marks the beginning of the end of fertility. A woman may still ovulate, and the eggs may be healthy enough to produce a pregnancy. Fertility only ends when menopause is complete. Women who do not want to get pregnant should continue using contraception until their periods have stopped for 12 months. Notably, hormonal contraceptives may alter menopause symptoms, so women should talk to a doctor first. Condoms are still a smart option to protect from sexually transmitted infections. A water-soluble lubricant can be used if vaginal dryness is noticeable.

1. Menopause only fully happens 12 months after the last menstruation

People should avoid oily lubricants, as they can break down the condom. When perimenopause symptoms are experienced, they are often short-lived and mild. An individual may want to track her symptoms and report them to a doctor. Menopause is also not a sign that the body is failing. Some women worry that they have started menopause too early, because of poor health or some other issue. Most women enter the menopause around the age of However, variability in either direction is normal, and not something to worry about.

Healthy transition into menopause is possible. Article last reviewed by Sun 4 June Visit our Menopause category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Menopause. All references are available in the References tab. Are we there yet? Navigate now with our guided menopause tour. Menopause hormone therapy and cancer. Menopausal hormone therapy and cancer risk. Menopause symptom relief and treatments.

Senescence of reproduction may explain adaptive menopause in humans: A test of the "mother" hypothesis [Abstract]. American Journal of Physical Anthropology , 2 , Menopause in nonhuman primates? Biology of Reproduction , 79 3 , MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. Privacy Terms Ad policy Careers.

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Register for a free account Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Register take the tour. This is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency. Most women will experience menopausal symptoms. Some of these can be quite severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities.

Mayo Clinic Minute: 3 Menopause Facts to Know

Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around 4 years after your last period, although some women experience them for much longer. It's worth talking to your GP if you have menopausal symptoms that are troubling you or if you're experiencing symptoms of the menopause before 45 years of age.

Your GP can usually confirm whether you are menopausal based on your symptoms, but a blood test to measure your hormone levels may be carried out if you're under Your GP may refer you to a menopause specialist if your symptoms don't improve after trying treatment or if you're unable to take HRT. It happens when your ovaries stop producing as much of the hormone oestrogen and no longer release an egg each month.