Ask Sofia: What Can I Expect as I Enter Menopause?
Menopause, the end of menstruation for women, affects every woman at some point – it can start as early as age 40, although the average age of menopause for women in the United States is 51. Menopause comes with a variety of physical and emotional symptoms and issues. You might be relieved that you don’t have to worry about periods and pregnancy. You might feel anxious about this shift. You might feel uncertain about what’s next. Common symptoms include the famous hot flashes, disruption of sleep and/or night sweats, decreased energy, vaginal dryness and irritability.
There are a variety of treatments – from exercise and meditation to hormone replacement therapy – that can treat the side effects of menopause; you can talk to your doctor about the best options for you. Since every woman experiences menopause a little differently, it is important to recognize that your feelings are normal, and to give yourself time to adjust to change. While menopause used to be a quiet secret among women, it is now featured on everything from talk shows to musicals and discussed more openly among friends and women and their doctors. Please let us know if you have further questions about reaching menopause.