Frequently Asked Questions:
My mother entered menopause much earlier than my own age. I still have a regular menstrual cycle and have therefore not started menopause. Is there something wrong?
- Menopause occurs at different times for every woman, family or not. While there may sometimes be similarities about the age women start menopause, it is not exact and cannot apply to everyone. The average age for the onset of menopause is 51 however various factors can affect that statistic. Some women start menopause in their 40s while others don’t experience it until their late 50s. If you or your mother are smokers, it may help to explain the difference as smoking can cause menopause at an earlier stage in life. Additionally, if one of you have had surgery to remove your ovaries and/or uterus, that could affect the production of estrogen and either helped to jumpstart menopause or delay it.
My feelings and inclinations about sex are changing as I’m experiencing menopause. Is this normal?
- Yes, completely normal. Menopause and the altering levels of female hormones present in the body changes how women feel about sex, you may be more interested in it or less so. Both are normal reactions. After one full year without a period, it is no longer physically possible to become pregnant. But the risk of STDs and HIV are still possible so it is still important to use protection even without the risk of pregnancy.
Heart disease runs in my family and I’m worried about my risk as I enter menopause. What can I do to stay healthy?
- Your risk for both osteoporosis and heart disease rises greatly during menopause. Those who have a family history of either are at greater risk. Check your blood pressure regularly as well as your levels of triglycerides, fasting blood glucose, LDL, HDL and total cholesterol. Consult your doctor about additional measures you can take to protect your heart. On your own, exercise at least 3 times a week and incorporate fiber and low fat foods into your regular diet. Stop smoking and take calcium and vitamin D supplements to increase your health.