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Menopause

New Jersey Women’s Health Services

Menopause is the stage of life where a women’s hormone levels change and she permanently stops having menstrual periods. This can be a physically and mentally challenging time, and fully adjusting to all of the changes that come with menopause can take time.

Learning more about menopause, including what to expect and what it means for the future, can help you prepare for both the immediate and long-term changes. This overview details the early symptoms of menopause and some treatments that can make this life event easier.

Perimenopause

Perimenopause, sometimes called pre-menopause, is the transition stage as the body prepares for menopause. During this time, the body’s production of eggs, estrogen, and progesterone decreases. This period can last anywhere from two to ten years and affects everyone differently. When it begins, you may experience hot flashes, mood changes, night sweats and PMS-like symptoms.

This is a natural process and does not require any sort of treatment, but interventions are available to help with the symptoms, including antidepressants, hormone therapy, and dietary changes.

When Does Menopause Occur & What Are the Symptoms?

The average age women begin menopause is 51, but it can happen anytime starting at age 30. Most women begin menopause around the same time their mother did. There is also a condition caused premature menopause where women experience ovarian failure before age 40. Possible causes of this include smoking, radiation exposure, and chemotherapy. Menopause can also be induced surgically in a procedure where one or both ovaries are removed.

The signs and symptoms of menopause may include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal atrophy, wherein the vagina and urethra begin to dry out and thin
  • Relaxation of the pelvic muscle
  • Intermediate dizziness and abnormal heart rhythms
  • Thinning of hair on the scalp

Menopause Treatments

Menopause is not a disease and does not require treatments, but there are things that can be done to help mitigate the symptoms.

One of the most common issues women face during menopause is hot flashes. A hot flash is a sudden increase in body temperature caused by a decrease of estrogen levels. This is not a permeant side effect of menopause, but some women do experience them for up to two years. Hormone therapy is a possible treatment in severe cases, but physicians agree that this should only be used as a last resort for severe hot flashes. Some less invasive means of coping with hot flashes include dressing in layers so you can remove clothing, keeping a cold glass of water or juice on hand, reducing stress levels, and keeping a diary to try and find out what triggers your hot flashes.

The following are some treatments that can help curb women suffering severe menopause symptoms:

  • Hormone therapy – Hormone therapy can help your body adjust to hormone changes from menopause, but it is not without its risks. You should not receive hormone therapy until discussing the risk and benefits with your doctor.
  • Medication – There are several medications designed to help women through menopause. You should only take medications that have been approved by a physician you trust.
  • Alternative therapy – Homeopathy and herbal treatments have resulted in symptoms relief for some women. However, there are concerns about potency, safety, purity, and effectiveness.

Menopause can be difficult to endure, but by working with a trusted medical professional during each step you can receive assistance in curbing the side effects and preparing for what comes next.

Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900
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Saint Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
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Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
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Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
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Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
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Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
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RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
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RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
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RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
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RWJ University Hospital New Brunswick
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7700
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Howell
4013 Route 9
Suite 2S
Howell, NJ 07731
(732) 923-7700
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Lakewood
600 River Ave
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 923-7700
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Colts Neck
310 Route 34 South
Second Floor
Colts Neck, NJ 07722
(732) 923-7700
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Cristie Kerr Women's Health Center
377 Jersey Avenue
Ground Floor, Medical Office Building
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(877) 393-5374
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Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Westfield
560 Springfield Ave
Westfield, NJ 07090
(973) 322-7020
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Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group at Monroe
800 Bunn Drive
Suite 303
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 655-5178
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The Family Health Center (FHC) at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
166 Lyons Avenue
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7300
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Community Medical Center Women's Imaging Center - Toms River
368 Lakehurst Rd
1st Floor
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8146
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