By Dr Afriye Amerson
WHAT EXACTLY DEFINES MENOPAUSE?
Menopause is defined as the time in a woman’s life when ovarian functioning has permanently ended, & there has been an absence of menses for 12 months consecutively.
WHAT IS PERIMENOPAUSE?
Perimenopause is a time when ovarian hormonal production is fluctuating and fertility is ending.This can proceed menopause by four to seven years and can have anywhere from no symptoms to a myriad of symptoms.
WHAT ARE THE FIRST SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE?
Generally, a change from monthly cycles to a pattern of skipping months without a menses. Some other symptoms include hot flashes or night sweats/insomnia due to changing estrogen levels. All women do not have hot flashes or night sweats.
AT WHAT AGE DOES MENOPAUSE START?
The average age is 52 in the U.S.
IS THERE A CHANCE OF PREGNANCY DURING PERIMENOPAUSE?
Pregnancy is a state of fertility, which often will not occur when a woman experiences decreased hormonal production, such as perimenopause.
WILL HOT FLASHES EVER STOP?
All women do not have hot flashes. Smokers, obese women and women with multiple health problems have more intense & longer duration of hot flashes. There are multiple medications that can treat this symptom, which may last for decades after the onset of menopause.
DOES HAVING A HYSTERECTOMY PREVENT MENOPAUSE?
Removal of the uterus without the ovaries will not affect menopause as the ovarian hormonal production determines the onset of menopause.
ONCE A WOMAN REACHES MENOPAUSE, ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC VITAMINS OR SUPPLEMENTS SHE SHOULD TAKE?
In addition to a well-balanced diet, women can supplement with a multivitamin including at least 1500mg of Calcium and 600IU’s of Vitamin D.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF HORMONE THERAPY?
Women with history of gynecologic cancer, blood clots, smokers & certain other medical conditions cannot take hormone therapy. Healthy women entering menopause can reduce their bone loss, risk for osteoporosis, heart disease and colorectal cancer with hormone therapy for several years after the onset of menopause.
AFTER MENOPAUSE, DOES A WOMAN’S RISK FOR CERTAIN MEDICAL CONDITIONS INCREASE?
Estrogen, prior to menopause, is protective of cardiovascular conditions. This risk increases after menopause. Bone loss at menopause increases the risk of developing osteoporosis.
ARE THERE NATURAL TREATMENTS AVAILABLE FOR MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS?
Natural remedies include phytoestrogens, black cohosh, melatonin, wild yam and panax ginseng. Bioidentical hormones, however, have short & long-term health effects and are prescribed.
CAN MENOPAUSE CAUSE CHANGES WITH INTIMACY?
Genitourinary syndrome can evolve from lack of estrogen and cause vaginal dryness,discomfort, and painful intercourse.
WHERE CAN LISTENERS FIND YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?
I will be answering “Text Tom” questions on blackamericaweb.com. Information about me is on www.afriye.com
DR. AFRIYE ((PRONOUNCED AF-FREE-YAY)) AMERSON IS A BOARD-CERTIFIED OB/GYN. SHE IS LICENSED IN BOTH NEW JERSEY AND ILLINOIS, AND CURRENTLY PRACTICES IN ILLINOIS. DURING HER TRAINING AT GEORGE WASHINGTON MEDICAL SCHOOL, DR. AMERSON ALSO STUDIED EASTERN AND AFRICAN HEALING ARTS. SHE BECAME A REIKI MASTER, AND PRACTICES HOLISTIC HEALING AS WELL AS TRADITIONAL WESTERN MEDICINE.