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Frequently Asked Questions

By definition, menopause has occurred when your menstrual period has stopped for 12 months (no more periods!), which means your ovaries are no longer functioning. When women say they are “menopausal”, most often they are experiencing symptoms of the transition to menopause, called the perimenopause,

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Here are the symptoms you might experience that indicate you are experiencing perimenopause. Each woman is unique in her experience with the menopause transition. Some women sail through this time with hardly a notice of changes occurring. Other women ride a rougher sea of change, experiencing changes that dramatically affect their quality of life.

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• Talk to your health care provider about the physical, and emotional changes you are experiencing, including anxiety or depression
• Keep a diary of your menstruation dates, flow, clots, pain, etc
• Keep track in your diary of any other symptoms you may be experiencing, when they occur and the circumstances i.e. hotflashes every evening after you have had red wine, more night sweats following an evening in the hot tub

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Hormone Therapy and Breast Cancer risk was addressed in the Menopause and Osteoporosis Update, 2009, Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. They recognized an increased risk of breast cancer detection after 5 years of estrogen/progesterone therapy.

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The question of HT safety is complex and has a complex answer. *An informed decision about how to relieve symptoms of menopause includes understanding the risks and benefits of all the potential treatments:

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Bioidentical hormones (HT) are hormones that are chemically identical to the hormones produced by women (primarily in the ova- ries) during the reproductive years.

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Hot flashes and night sweats affect 60%-80% of women during the years leading up to menopause. After menopause, about 60% of postmenopausal women will continue to experience hot flashes

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Menopause can occur at any point as women age, but most commonly transition into menopause between age 45 and 55. Many factors can influence when menopause begins, such as family history of menopause and smoking.

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These are all the years following the 12 months of being without a period.
The life style choices we make in our forties and fifties will have a direct impact on our older age.

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• Heart disease is the number one killer of women in North America
• Osteoporosis - bone loss is rapid in the first 5 years post menopause
• Cancerofthebreast,lung,colorectal,uterus,ovarian

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Unfortunately, weight gain during menopause is very common. As we age, the body tends to promote the replacement of muscle with fat and slows down our metabolism.

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Many women suffer from sleep problems during the peri/post menopause for a variety of reasons. If you are not getting the sleep you need, talk with your doctor. To be able to function well, we need to feel well rested when we awake in the morning. If “well rested” isn’t how you would describe how you feel, ask for help.

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I have no interest in sex what so ever.  However, my partner does and this is becoming a problem.  Any suggestions?

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The current recommendation of the North American Menopause Society is that HT be used for as short a time as necessary to control hot flashes (vasomotor symptoms), sleep disturbance, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and vaginal aging.

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This should be done in consultation with your doctor. The recommended way to stop taking your estrogen is by gradually tapering over several months.

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There is a LOT of health information available online, but not all of it is trustworthy. How can you tell?  When searching for health information online, use the CRAP test to evaluate the information you find. This easy to remember acronym looks at the Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose of online information.

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Calcium is an essential nutrient for our body and plays a vital role in keeping our teeth and bones strong, but also is important for muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve function to name a few. Unfortunately, calcium is absorbed less effectively as we age, making many individuals at risk for osteoporosis if they aren’t getting enough calcium through diet or supplements.

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Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a low-risk, psychological treatment approach that was initially used to treat the emotional symptoms of depression and anxiety. CBT aims to challenge and change destructive thoughts, negative beliefs, and problematic behaviours into positive thought patterns that will help you respond to your symptoms in a productive way.

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Marijuana may seem like a good way to relax after a long, stressful day; however, it is important to be educated about how this drug affects your body. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in North America with nearly 7% of Canadians aged 45-64 using the drug - and this number is on the rise!

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Improving Women's Lives Through Better Health in Mid-Life and Beyond



About Women's Mid-Life Health Program

Improving women’s lives through better health during mid-life and beyond.

Women's Mid-Life Health Program has been a member of The North American Menopause Society since 2003.

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