Menopause is when your period stops permanently and is a normal part of a woman’s life. As your body transitions to menopause over several years, you may have menopause symptoms and irregular periods. The average age for menopause in the United States is 52, however, you may enter menopause earlier than you normally would if you have had chemotherapy or surgery to remove both ovaries. You have reached menopause only after it has been a full year since your last period. This means you have not had any bleeding, including spotting, for 12 months in a row. After menopause your ovaries make very low levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These low hormone levels can raise your risk for certain health problems including osteoporosis (bone loss), heart disease, and stroke.

What are the symptoms of menopause?

Menopause is characterized by physical symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disturbance, and vaginal changes. Most women also experience emotional symptoms such as mood instability, increased anxiety, depression and even cognitive (memory) symptoms. Sexual dysfunction such as low libido and painful intercourse are also very common.

Take the Menopause IQ Test for some indication of which hormones might be deficient.

How is menopause treated?

Treatment includes lifestyle modification, education, support, medications and supplements. Hormone replacement therapy may also be an option. Balance providers believe in a conservative approach, starting with local low dose applications before moving to systemic hormone therapy and only after a thorough review of your health history, lab evaluations, concerns, symptoms, goals and risk factors.

Please remember this information is intended for educational purposes only and should not substitute medical advice from a healthcare provider.