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What Is Menopause

What Is Menopause?

Over the next twenty years, at least a million women will pass through menopause. This is a big business for the pharmaceutical companies as they compete for new forms of estrogen and hormone therapies. Estrogen is involved in no less than 300 bodily functions, which is why so many women find that making the choice for hormone replacement therapy has become so confusing. We hope that writing this newsletter will help you to be more informed about the choices you have.

Menopause can be explained in many different ways, and is different for all women. But the technical term for menopause is the cessation of one's menstrual cycle for at least 6 months. This usually occurs between the agest of 44 to 53 years of age, although your family history, smoking, and other problems can bring on menopause earlier. Also, many women who have had a simple hysterectomy are surprised when, in their late forties and fifties, they start experiencing hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. But because they still have ovaries and function, eventually they may experience many of the same symptoms of those women who undergo natural menopause. Again, we are speaking of natural menopause and not surgically-induced menopause, which is quite a different thing. But this varies from woman to woman.

Women should remember that it is normal at this time of their life to have lower estrogen levels. The majority of women do well without hormone therapy as long as they enter menopause in optimal health and are in good health throughout their post-menopausal years. The question is, then, who should be treated and how?

If you are a woman with symptoms of hot flashes, estrogen-related psychological symptoms, depression,irritability confusion, mood swings, insomnia, early morning awakenings, vaginal dryness, urinary tract symptoms not cause by bactial infections ... women who have early menopause or surgical or natural menopause before the age of 40 years ... women who are at risk of developing osteoporosis ... and women who are at risk of cardiovascular disease.

Should you take estrogen? Only you can make that choice. Be informed! Talk to your doctor. Go to the library and read as many books as you can. This way you can make an informed choice that will be best for you and you alone. Remember that it may take time to find the right dose for your body, and you may have to try 1 to 5 different medications or doses before your body is in balance and harmony. Our Creator created us all so different, and what works for one person may very well not work for you or your friends. It is also important to have friends that you can talk to at this time of change. Look for a support group in your area that you may want to join (check with your local hospital).

Choices of Hormones Avaible to You

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