Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a cis-woman’s reproductive years. It is defined as the time when you have not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months, which typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.
During the menopause transition, the ovaries gradually stop producing eggs, and hormone production, particularly estrogen and progesterone, declines. This decline in hormone production can cause a variety of physical and emotional changes, including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbances, mood changes, and changes in sexual function.
Menopause can be a gradual process that occurs over several years, known as perimenopause, or it can occur suddenly due to medical treatment or surgery that removes the ovaries. The symptoms of menopause can be managed with lifestyle changes, such as stress reduction, a healthy diet, and regular exercise, as well as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which involves taking estrogen and/or progesterone to replace the hormones that the ovaries are no longer producing.
It is important to discuss options for managing the symptoms of menopause with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.
To find a menopause specialist in your area (Canada and USA) search The North American Menopause Society database.