Facts About Menopause

The facts about menopause can be gleaned from many women's health care clinics, gynecologist's offices or from online health web sites. How long does menopause last, what are the signs and how to alleviate symptoms are some of the major questions that most women want answers to who are entering their 40's. The onset of menopause generally occurs in most healthy women around 40 years of age and makes its complete appearance at around 51. Health specialists agree that when a woman has gone for a complete year without a menstrual cycle, she is considered menopausal. "The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore." (Psalm 121:8)

Although 51 is the median age for most healthy women to reach a cessation in their menstrual cycle, many women begin having subtle symptoms in the early 40's. The facts are that hormones begin to drop at this time in a woman's life which accounts for irregular cycles throughout the 40+ years. Some women are aware of these changes and others hardly notice a thing until menopause is fully upon them at 51. Symptoms can vary dramatically from person to person as well as the unpredictable variable of how long does menopause last for any one woman.

Hormone levels continue to drop throughout the 40's in most women with estrogen and progesterone slowly but continually ebbing away as ovaries begin to slow production. There is no way for doctors to predict how long does menopause last for anyone, but if the onset is statistically typical, then it will slowly develop throughout a 10 year period. However, the symptoms may not be perceptible and what is considered full blown menopause may not occur until the 50 year mark when the body's production of estrogen and progesterone is almost completely winding down.

Many women experience mild to severe symptoms as their bodies go through the normal process of hormonal changes. Something as powerful as normal hormones that have the capabilities to produce children, develop gender specifics for children and generate a normal sex drive can not be considered lightly when its production begins to wane in a female body. The facts about menopause continue to establish the often traumatic process that this natural occurrence can be on a woman's body and emotional well being. In fact, many times hormone related emotional problems can occur simply because estrogen and progesterone are scientifically linked to having effects on the central nervous system and normal brain functions.

Women who suffer with unusually difficult symptoms struggle with a sense of emotional well being not from 'something wrong with her mind' but simply because her physical world has been turned upside down. The same phenomenon is common among young mothers who experience severe depression after giving birth. This is commonly called 'the blues', but is really symptomatic of a significant readjustment of hormone levels that occur when the body no longer must support the growth of a pre born infant. How long does menopause last in severe presentations of symptoms is always hard for doctors to determine but there are some things that can be done to alleviate the worst of the problems while it does occur.

The changes in a women's body is pretty drastic by all scientific accounts and includes a change in normal periods, insomnia, serious mood changes, lack of sex drive, hot flashes and vaginal or bladder problems. Facts about menopause also point to further complications of these symptoms by the stress and emotional trauma of such a drastic change in body functions for many women. Health care professionals can provide hormone therapies, diet and exercise assignments, and medicine to reduce bone loss. Bone loss is another common occurrence during menopause as well as putting more women at risk for heart attacks. Hormone therapies and medicine can help replace estrogen and progesterone in order to alleviate many distressing symptoms.

There are other regimens that many women prefer that do not include hormone replacement therapy. How long does menopause last affects the length of time that many women will have to take synthetic hormone replacement therapy. Many prefer to take natural supplements instead. There are side affects that can affect women who take HRT which has encouraged many women to use phytoestrogens that occur from natural sources. Many facts about menopause point to the benefits of naturally occurring estrogen from plant and herbal sources on the body. Foods like soy, cereals, and wild yams contain phytoestrogens that can alleviate menopausal symptoms. Herbs like black cohash and dong quai are also popular sources of this natural estrogen.

Progesterone cream has been found to alleviate symptoms of menopause as well as promote bone density before and during menopausal years. Health enthusiasts can use progesterone throughout their lives which can prove to be a balance for estrogen levels already occurring in a younger female. The contraindications for all ages, of course, are different but the natural health market has seen a major escalation of sales in progesterone cream for a wide variety of health concerns. It is always helpful to receive plenty of facts about menopause before the onset of the menopausal years so that woman can be well informed as to the symptoms, problems and options for relief.

Pregnancy After Menopause

Pregnancy after menopause is a concern for some women who are going through the change of life, but are not ready to give up their child-bearing years. Because some women wait until later in life to start a family, the reality of menopause is threatening to their future family plans. Others go through the change of life much earlier than normal and have concerns about being able to become pregnant. There is a medical procedure that is a available for women who have gone through the change of life, but want to become pregnant. Having a pregnancy during menopause or after is also a concern for women who do not want to become pregnant. There have been old wives tales and false information circulated about the facts surrounding child bearing in the later years of a woman's life, and it will be good to get to the truth and understand what is possible and what is not possible. With the Internet being the world's largest library, there is now plenty of information about the subject and women who are going through the change of life and either want a baby or do not wish to have any more children, if any, can gather more medical information from online.

Knowing what happens during menopause will help a woman understand how her body may or may not become pregnant. Because there are situations when a pregnancy during or a pregnancy after menopause can occur, there is a need to know either how to protect against pregnancy or how to safely care for a baby in the womb when bodily changes are taking place. Menopause occurs when a woman's menstrual cycle stops for twelve consecutive months. While this is generally an indicator that the body has slowed or stopped production of estrogen and progesterone, some women will continue to produce enough hormone to have an egg implanted in the lining of the uterus. The change of life is more of a process than a single event and some women can have fluctuating hormone levels for up to five years. At any point within this time frame, it is possible for a woman to have a pregnancy during menopause, because hormone levels can be unpredictable. Women who do not want to become pregnant should speak with their doctors about birth control during this time.

The post menopausal era is after a woman's ovaries are no longer producing the hormones needed to keep the menstrual cycle performing. There are cases where women believed that they had become pregnant after the change of life. But, this was much more likely a pregnancy during menopause because it requires estrogen and progesterone to become pregnant. Women who want to have a child during post menopausal times can investigate a procedure that uses egg donors. An egg donation procedure is a two-phase process that first prepares the woman to receive an egg donated by either a chosen donor or an anonymous donor. The recipient is given medication that prepares her uterine lining to receive a fertilized egg. The entire process is highly synchronized, and has proven to have a high success rate. Because it is not possible for a woman to have a pregnancy after menopause, the maternal clock ticking away with age is no longer a threat to a female's ability to bear children with a donor egg program.

When an older woman becomes pregnant, there are risks involved. Women from the ages of thirty-five to thirty-nine who have a pregnancy during menopause are at a higher risk for developing an infection, hypertensive disorders, hemorrhaging, or embolisms. Eclampsia, strokes, and seizures risks also increase with older women in this age range. Research is proving that women over forty years of age have even higher risks factors, as the percentage seems to increase with every year of age from that point. Gestational diabetes is also a concern for women over thirty-five who are pregnant and this puts a baby at risk, as well. There is also a greater chance of miscarriage.

God created the female body to take part in the miracle of life. It's understandable that once the biological clock indicates that child bearing years are through, it will be a difficult time for women to face. This is especially true for women who may have waited to start a family or who may have experienced an early menopause. God is also the author of all medical and scientific advancements and when mankind uses these advancements to God's glory and does not abuse the privileges that the Lord has bestowed upon us, there can be great blessings. Turn to the Word of God to learn more about His character and His sovereignty in all matters of life. He truly knows what's best for each of His children and in the situations of reproducing life, God is very interested, especially in women who have pregnancy after menopause.

Take time to research further online through the Internet. There is more information available about the change of life, risks for older pregnant women, or having a pregnancy after menopause. Women will want to fully understand what is happening in their bodies during the change of life and what to expect if a pregnancy should occur. And if a pregnancy does result, we can thank God, who is the author of all life.

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