Here at Couri and Smyth, we help women to improve their health. For us, that means we often counsel women to help improve their overall wellbeing and plan for their future. But there is one area of health that many women don’t think about until they have to: menopause.
We’ve found that, as a result of an ‘out of sight out of mind’ perspective, there are many misconceptions and a general lack of awareness around menopause. So today, we want to share some basic need to know information about the health subject that will impact every woman lucky enough to live a long life. Consider this your FAQs page on the subject of menopause.
The most common questions about menopause, answered:
Q. What does it mean to “go through menopause”?
A. The basic definition is to have 12 consecutive months without having a menstrual period. The process that women “go through” is a time period in which the body is changing to cease ovulation and processes needed to conceive a child. The time period is generally accepted to take about 7 years, but can take up to 14 years.
Q. What is perimenopause, and how is it different than menopause?
A. Perimenopause is the time period before the end of the 12 consecutive months without a period. Often the two terms are used interchangeably, but true menopause begins when fertility ends.
Q. When does menopause generally begin?
A. The average age range for menopause is rather broad, but is generally accepted to occur between the late forties and mid-fifties. The average age a woman in the United States experiences menopause is 51.
Q. What are the signs of menopause?
A. The symptoms are different for each woman. It is important to note that menopause is not a disease or disorder. Instead, it is a natural and healthy part of the aging process. Although some symptoms may be uncomfortable, others are welcomed by the women who experience them. Some women don’t have any noticeable symptoms! In general, women may experience: decreased periods, with lighter menstrual flow; fewer menstrual cramps, as periods begin to cease; changes in mood; changes in sleep patterns; and changes in hormone levels.
Q. Are there any treatments for menopause?
A. Because menopause is a natural part of aging, all treatments are to manage health through the transition period. Changes in hormone levels will make it necessary to review bone density and heart health, and put into place preventative measures like improving the quality of nutrition. Other symptoms, such as changes in mental health or sexual function, can be managed as needed with the advice of a trusted healthcare professional.
Q. Can you delay the onset of menopause?
A. No. You can improve your health to give yourself the best possible experience of menopause, but that process is largely dictated by your genes, just as it determined when you went through puberty. But taking care of yourself is always good advice!
And finally, we want to give you the facts about what this means for your plans to have a family.
How Menopause Impacts Fertility:
The closer a women is to the average age of menopause, the lower her natural fertility on average. Care should be taken to think through your timeline for family planning. This will be different for everyone – and of course, isn’t just dependent on your health as other life circumstances must be considered — but in general it is wise to reflect on what you want to do in the future around this subject.
If you hope to lengthen the window of conception, you must take even great care of your health as you age. This is good advice in general, but is a must for older mothers.
We hope you’ve found this information helpful! For more information about menopause — and all of your health, fertility, and infertility questions — please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We want to share information that will help women manage their health. And please be sure to check out our seminar series about the topic, and other health issues as well.
For comprehensive infertility treatment in Schofield Wisconsin, turn to the experts at Couri & Smyth Health for Life Medical Center. Visit us online at for more information, and be sure to give us a call.