What Happens in Menopause

Menopause pic

Image: drreislerobgyn.com

As the head of a private gynecological and obstetrical practice in Plano, TX, Dr. Keith Reisler draws on an in-depth knowledge of the female reproductive cycle. Keith Reisler, MD, uses this knowledge to provide thorough care and hormone replacement therapy to patients in menopause.

Menopause occurs after a woman has experienced her last menstrual period. This means that her ovaries have released their last egg and have stopped producing both estrogen and progesterone. The process typically happens around the age of 51, although the normal range is age 40 to age 55.

Menopause occurs after a period known as perimenopause, or transition. This period consists of the several years leading up to the woman’s last period. During this time, levels of estrogen and progesterone production slow down dramatically. As a result, the woman may experience such symptoms as hot flashes, trouble sleeping, and mood fluctuations.

Medical science defines the end of perimenopause, and thus the beginning of menopause, as one year after a woman’s last menstrual period. About this time, some symptoms may cease to be troublesome. However each woman is unique and some may continue to have bothersome symptoms requiring hormone replacement therapy. Through a woman’s remaining years, patient and doctor must be vigilant against heart disease, osteoporosis, and other conditions that a drop in estrogen may exacerbate.