Adjusting Your Attitude About

Baby boomers are handling menopause differently from earlier generations. Today, when women reach menopause they can look forward to living another 30 or more years.

That means a third of a woman’s life may be lived after menopause. More women are talking about menopause, and more is being written about it than ever before.

In the past, premenopausal women held different notions about menopause and aging. Some believed it was a natural transition that should be managed by natural means; others considered menopause a medical condition requiring treatment. It’s important for women today, however, to know that menopause is a normal event.

Variety of Symptoms

Studies have consistently shown that two symptoms–hot flashes or vasomotor symptoms and vaginal dryness–are definitely related to menopause. Sleep disturbances, irritability, fatigue, depression, and other symptoms may be a result of menopausal changes, however, they may also be due to other physical changes. Health care providers need to listen carefully to their patients’ concerns so proper treatments can be explored.

When Bleeding Becomes Abnormal

In the perimenopausal years, menstrual periods typically become lighter and farther apart. Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause. You shouldn’t assume that all changes are related to menopause, however. Other conditions may be the cause.

Talk to your health care provider if the following conditions appear:

  • Periods are very heavy, gushing, or accompanied by clots.
  • Periods last more than seven days.
  • Intervals are shorter than 21 days from the start of the last period.
  • Spotting or bleeding happens between menstrual periods.
  • Bleeding occurs after intercourse.