Can Perimenopause Be Treated
There isnt any treatment to stop perimenopause. Perimenopause is a natural part of life. The cure for perimenopause occurs when your periods stop and you enter menopause.
But your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter or prescription perimenopause treatment to help ease symptoms. Your provider may recommend:
- Antidepressants: These medications help with mood swings or depression.
- Birth control pills. These medications stabilize your hormone levels and typically relieve symptoms.
- Estrogen therapy: This treatment stabilizes estrogen levels. You may take estrogen therapy as a cream, gel, patch or swallowable pill.
- Gabapentin : This medicine is a seizure medication that also relieves hot flashes for some women.
- Vaginal creams: Your provider can tell you about prescription and over-the-counter options. Treatment can decrease pain related to sex and relieve vaginal dryness.
Your healthcare provider will discuss the risks and benefits of perimenopause treatment with you and recommend the best option based on your needs. Certain lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, light exercise and avoiding foods or activities that trigger hot flashes can also help.
Why Women Have Periods
During each period, the inner lining of your uterus is shed through the vagina, the passage that connects your inner reproductive organs to your outer sex organs or genitals. This lining is mostly blood and other tissues that have been building up since your last period.
The purpose of this blood is to provide nutrients for a fertilized egg if you were to become pregnant. While girls start having their periods early in their lives, most don’t decide to start a family until they’ve already been having their periods for many years. Most women stop having periods when they are between 45 and 55 years old. This is called menopause.
At What Age Does A First Period Generally Happen
In the United States, a child may get their first period when theyre about 12. However, anytime between 10 and 15 is within the average range. Its not entirely unusual for a first period to happen as young as 8 or as old as 16.
Factors such as family history, race, diet, environment, and weight can all determine the time a first period occurs. Children who participate in intense athletics or are underweight might get their periods later.
It can be hard to predict when a first period will occur, but there are a few ways you might be able to estimate. As a rule, a first period will occur about 2 years after breasts start to develop. Additionally, a mucus-like vaginal discharge will often start 6 months to a year before the first period.
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How Will Menopause Affect Me
Symptoms of menopause may begin suddenly and be very noticeable, or they may be very mild at first. Symptoms may happen most of the time once they begin, or they may happen only once in a while. Some women notice changes in many areas. Some menopausal symptoms, such as moodiness, are similar to symptoms of premenstrual syndrome . Others may be new to you. For example:
- Your menstrual periods may not come as regularly as before. They also might last longer or be shorter. You might skip some months. Periods might stop for a few months and then start up again.
- Your periods might be heavier or lighter than before.
- You might have hot flashes and problems sleeping.
- You might experience mood swings or be irritable.
- You might experience vaginal dryness. Sex may be uncomfortable or painful.
- You may have less interest in sex. It may take longer for you to get aroused.
Other possible changes are not as noticeable. For example, you might begin to lose bone density because you have less estrogen. This can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and break easily. Changing estrogen levels can also raise cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Talk to your doctor about possible treatment for your menopause symptoms if they bother you.
Will I Have Periods Forever
You wont have a period for the rest of your life, but youll probably have it for quite some time.
Most people will have a menstrual period until they go through menopause. Menopause occurs when the hormones that increased to trigger your first period begin to decrease.
Menopause typically begins between ages 45 to 55.
Stress and other underlying conditions can also cause your period to stop.
If you begin experiencing any unusual symptoms alongside a missed period, talk to a doctor or other healthcare provider.
If you want to stop having a period, you may consider talking to your healthcare provider about hormonal birth control.
Certain forms allow you to skip your period whenever you like or stop it entirely.
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When Should I Talk To My Kids About Periods
Talking about periods shouldn’t be one big talk at a particular age. Instead, start the conversation early and slowly build on your child’s understanding. Girls and boys need reliable information about periods. So make sure you talk to your sons too!
- For example, if your 4-year-old sees a tampon and asks what it’s for, you could say, “Women bleed a little from their vagina every month. It’s called a period. It isn’t because they’re hurt. It’s how the body gets ready for a baby. The tampon catches the blood so it doesn’t go on the underwear.”
Over the years, you can give your child more information as he or she is ready.
If your child doesn’t ask questions about periods, you can bring it up. By the time they’re 6 or 7 years old, most kids can understand the basics of periods. Look for a natural moment to talk about it, such as:
- when kids asks about puberty or changing bodies
- if your child asks where babies come from
- if you’re at the store buying pads or tampons
Ask if your child knows about periods. Then, you can share basic information, such as: As a girl develops into a woman, her body changes so she can have a baby when she grows up. Part of that is getting a place ready for the baby to grow inside the mom. The place a baby grows is called a uterus. Every month the uterus wall gets ready for a baby. If there is no baby, the uterus wall comes off and bleeds a little. The blood comes out a woman’s vagina. The body makes a new wall every month, just in case there is a baby.
Are There Any Health Risks Associated With Perimenopause
There are health risks associated with menopause, which happens right after perimenopause.
Estrogen plays an important role in preserving your bones. Osteoporosis is a condition where the insides of your bones become less dense and more fragile. This increases your risk for bone fractures. Your healthcare provider may recommend a multivitamin, calcium supplement, extra vitamin D or more weight-bearing exercises.
People in menopause are also at an increased risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular health conditions.
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Your Period Changes Throughout Your Life
Just when you start to feel like you can predict exactly when your period is going to show, everything can change. For that, you can thank the hormone shifts that happen throughout your lifetime.
Once you get your very first period, your cycles may be longer, meaning more time may pass between when one period starts to the next. A typical cycle for a teenage girl may be 21 to 45 days. Over time, they get shorter and more predictable, averaging about 21 to 35 days.
Hormone changes that happen during perimenopause — the years before menopause when your body starts to make less estrogen — can throw you for a loop. The time from one period to the next may get shorter or longer, and you may have heavier or lighter bleeding during your period. This phase can last up to 10 years before you start menopause and stop getting your period for good.
Gradual life changes are normal, but sudden, unusual issues like very heavy bleeding or missed periods are not. Talk with your doctor if you notice that something seems off.
How Is Perimenopause Diagnosed
You dont always need to see a healthcare provider for a perimenopause diagnosis. Many people notice and tolerate the changes in their bodies without a formal diagnosis. If you have symptoms that interfere with your daily activities, see a healthcare provider.
You should reach out to your healthcare provider right away if you have:
- Blood clots in menstrual discharge.
- Spotting between periods.
- Emotional symptoms interfering with your ability to function on a daily basis.
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What Should I Do When My Child Starts Their Period
It is best to be prepared for your childs first period by having menstrual hygiene supplies in the home, and discussing what they should expect to experience before their period begins, so that it is not a complete surprise. Make sure they understand what causes a period, what kinds of symptoms they might experience, and most importantly that they know that periods are a normal and healthy part of having a female body. You might wish to put together a period preparation kit that they can keep in their locker or backpack, with a couple of menstrual pads, wet wipes and a clean pair of underwear, in case their first period arrives while they are in school.
The key is to help your child view this transition toward adulthood as a positive and natural event, not something that is shameful or embarrassing.
It can be helpful to celebrate or mark the first period in some significant way, such as with a card, a favorite sweet treat, or an at-home spa night. If your child is interested, you might also consider a larger celebration, such as a party or sleepover with your childs friends. The key is to help your child view this transition toward adulthood as a positive and natural event, not something that is shameful or embarrassing.
An Early Period Often Means More Dating And Behavior Problems
Let’s finish on something that will be easily evident to anybody who ever went to junior high. The earlier you get your period and start developing breasts and pubic hair, the earlier you’re likely to start dating and having sex, according to researchers. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out. And unsurprisingly, the information came from a survey of 15-to-19-year-old girls at American high schools. It makes perfect sense: “Blossoming” means both more attention from potential mates and more interest in them yourself.
Unfortunately â but also obviously, alas â girls who’d experienced radically early puberty also reported higher levels of bullying, ostracism, depression, and socially aggressive behavior, according to the University of Michigan. They’re also more likely to develop substance abuse problems later in life. Part of that is easily explained: They’re badly treated because they’re different. Breasts that will become status symbols later are targets when you’re 13.
The study that initially tracked the behavior problems speculated that the reason for this was a combination of factors. Societal pressure plus a cocktail of sexuality steroids creates more hyperactivity and aggression. Altogether, not fun.
Either way, it looks like the later you got your menarche, the better off you are health-wise â but that early birds got a societal advantage by learning the ropes of dating and sexuality sooner. So perhaps it’s a trade-off after all.
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Period Problem: Menstrual Migraine
About four in 10 women will get a migraine in their lifetime. About half of those women report that their migraine happens around their periods.17
Researchers are not sure what causes migraine. Many factors can trigger migraine, including stress, anxiety, and bright or flashing lights. Also, hormones that control the menstrual cycle may affect headache-related chemicals in the brain.18
Pms Is Still A Mystery
Itâs 1 or 2 weeks before your period starts, and here come the breakouts, sluggishness, cravings, bloating, and mood swings. Sound familiar? Every woman is different, but for many, PMS is a fact of life.
But doctors donât know exactly why that is. It seems to be a mix of hormone changes during your menstrual cycle, chemical changes in the brain, and other emotional issues you might have, such as depression, that can make PMS worse.
Whatâs more, once you get your period, the rollercoaster may continue. One study found that period-related pains such as cramps, bloating, backaches, and headaches can cloud your thinking, because the pain may make it harder for you to focus on the tasks at hand. Not that you canât still do them — you can. It may just feel like it takes more work.
Lifestyle changes are usually the best way to take control of PMS. Aim to get about 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week, get 8 hours of shut-eye per night, and donât smoke. Your diet makes a difference, too, so fill up on fruits, veggies, and whole grains while you limit salt as well as sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
Let your doctor know if PMS keeps you from doing what you normally do, or if you have symptoms of depression or anxiety. You may have a more serious condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder that needs medical attention.
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General Overview Of The Menstrual Cycle:
The menstrual cycle includes several phases. The exact timing of the phases of the cycle is a little bit different for every woman and can change over time.
The first day of menstrual bleeding is considered Day 1 of the cycle.
Your period can last anywhere from 3 to 8 days, but 5 days is average.
Bleeding is usually heaviest on the first 2 days.
Once the bleeding stops, the uterine lining begins to prepare for the possibility of a pregnancy.
The uterine lining becomes thicker and enriched in blood and nutrients.
Somewhere around day 14, an egg is released from one of the ovaries and begins its journey down the fallopian tubes to the uterus.
If sperm are present in the fallopian tube at this time, fertilization can occur.
In this case the fertilized egg will travel to the uterus and attempt to implant in the uterine wall.
If the egg was not fertilized or implantation does not occur, hormonal changes signal the uterus to prepare to shed its lining, and the egg breaks down and is shed along with lining.
The cycle begins again on Day 1 menstrual bleeding.