4 Important Questions To Ask Your OB/GYN Before Menopause

Menopause is a natural part of the aging process, but it can affect women in different ways. Knowing what to expect and how to prepare before menopause begins can help you manage the symptoms and make informed decisions about your health. Here are four questions to ask your OB/GYN before menopause.

What Is the Average Age for Women Who Go Through Menopause?

Your OB/GYN will tell you that the average age for women in the U.S. who experience menopause is 51. However, it can happen earlier or later depending on family history and lifestyle habits. Knowing the average age when menopause typically occurs can help you plan ahead and be aware of any changes in your body before they begin.

What Is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the transition phase leading up to menopause. During this time, you may experience some of the symptoms of menopause, such as irregular periods. However, menopause does not officially begin until you have missed 12 consecutive cycles.

What Are Some Common Symptoms of Menopause?

There are many different signs and symptoms that could indicate that you're approaching menopause, including:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irregular periods
  • Decreased libido
  • Weight gain or loss

It's important to be aware of these potential symptoms so that you can address any changes with your OB/GYN as needed.

How Do You Manage Hot Flashes?

Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause and can range from mild to severe in intensity. There are a few things you can do to help manage hot flashes, including:

  • Avoid triggers like caffeine and alcohol
  • Exercise regularly
  • Wear layers
  • Take cool showers
  • Use fans
  • Avoid spicy food

Talk to your OB/GYN about other strategies that may work for you based on your specific situation.

Should You Use Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment option available for some women during menopause that uses hormones—estrogen and progesterone—to reduce symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. While it has been found effective for many women, there are potential risks associated with HRT, so it's important to discuss all of your options with your doctor before deciding which type of treatment is best for you.

Preparing yourself mentally and physically before entering into menopause is important. No matter what stage you're at in life, understanding what's happening to your body will enable you to make informed decisions about how best to manage symptoms and changes. In addition, keeping an open dialogue with your OB/GYN throughout this transition will ensure you have access to the information needed to survive and thrive through this major milestone.

Contact a local gynecologist to learn more.