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Menopause Basics

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How Do I Know When I'm Going Through Menopause?

Either you'll suspect the approach of menopause on your own, or your doctor will, based on your reported symptoms. To help figure it out, your doctor can do a certain blood test. 

It also helps if you keep track of your periods and chart them as they become irregular. Your menstrual pattern will be an added clue to your doctor about whether you're premenopausal.

What Long-Term Health Problems Are Tied to Menopause?

The loss of estrogen linked with menopause has been tied to a number of health problems that become more common as women age.

After menopause, women are more likely to have:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart disease
  • A poorly working bladder and bowel
  • Greaster risk of Alzheimer's disease
  • Poor skin elasticity (increased wrinkling)
  • Poor muscle power and tone
  • Some weakening in vision, such as from cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye) and macular degeneration (breakdown of the tiny spot in the center of the retina that is the center of vision).

A number of treatments can help lower risks that are linked with these conditions.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD, FACOG on July 13, 2014
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