Menopause Remedy

menopause helpIt`s strange¬† that so many women enter ‚Äúmenopause remedy‚ÄĚ into the search engine, looking for answers. I mean, it`s not as though there is a ‚Äúcure‚ÄĚ for menopause, there can`t be because it isn`t an illness. From personal experience, I believe that a large part of the issue is not simply the problematic symptoms of menopause, but what it means psychologically to a woman.

Menopause Highs and Lows

Menopause signifies the end of a womans fertility and the undeniable fact that she is now officially ‚Äúmiddle aged‚ÄĚ. Now to some (men and under 30`s), this may seem trivial, but believe me, it isn`t. It can be a stressful, depressing and highly traumatic experience for any woman. If you`re finding your menopause is a wonderfully pleasant and fragrant experience, then this article isn`t for you, if not, then please read on.

For any woman who has always taken pride in her appearance, paid attention to her beauty regime and strived to maintain a healthy weight, middle age and its associated ‚Äúsymptoms‚ÄĚ, such as menopause sweats,¬† is not a welcome arrival.

So anything that offers a menopause remedy seems irrestistable.

Are We Past Our Prime?

Wrinkles, sagging skin, weight gain, loss of elasticity…and bladder control, all go some considerable way to battering ones ego. In fact, I became quite depressed about the mere thought of reaching 50. I mean, read any newspaper or magazine article and a 50 year old woman is seen as motherly, dependable, mature…which is fine, but not when you also consider yourself vibrant, sexy and desirable.

How is it that those words are rarely used when talking about a 50 year old woman? And how come most of the television and film actresses are under 35?  It`s almost as if you reach your middle years and wham…you become instantly invisible.

Perhaps this is just my interpretation on the menopausal years, but offer me a menopause remedy and I`d be there like a shot.

Can Menopause Be Remedied?

It`s hardly surprising that many of the women I spoke with were either dreading their menopause, or going through it and wishing it over as soon as possible. Many felt that they had lost their identity and just didn`t feel like themselves anymore. The stigma of menopause seems to affect womens confidence far more than the actual symptoms.

And so, despite all opinion to the contrary, it is up to each and every menopausal women out there, to prove that we can give those 20 somethings dolly birds a run for their money. Remember, we have style, sophistication and experience.

 Always Look Your Best

When I was younger, my beauty routine was hit and miss to say the least, but now I pay special attention to my face and body and have regular beauty treatments. I don’t feel guilty about spending money on myself and always make sure that I`m looking my best‚Ķwell you never know when opportunity may come knocking!

Nowadays, instead of getting up in the morning and avoiding the mirror at all costs, I put on my best lipstick and trot out of the house with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. I have goals that I want to carry out for the day, week, month and even the year ahead and I make sure that I complete each and every one of them. And I`m not talking about doing the shopping or that pile of ironing that`s been in the basket all week. I`m talking about things that I want to do.

Take dancing lessons, learn to scuba dive, re-train as a beauty therapist, it doesn`t matter what it is, so long as it makes you feel good and gets you excited about the future. Keep pushing those boundaries and surprise yourself, you never know what latent talent has been lurking within.

And yes, if there was a menopause remedy, I would be first in line.

Menopause Hot Flash

hot flushIt can strike anytime, anywhere! One minute you`re happily going about your business and the next, a clamminess appears Рusually around the chest area Рwhich quickly spreads up over the neck and face, leaving you hot, bothered and usually the color of a ripe tomato.  It`s the curse of the menopause hot flash and sweats, the most common symptoms of menopause.  Possibly you will then perspire profusely and this may be followed by a bout of shivering, as the body readjusts its temperature.

Earliest Indicators Of `The Change`

Hot flashes often begin several years before any other signs of menopause, with three out of every four women experiencing them. The older you become, the less you will experience hot flashes. Most women – around 80% – have them for under two years, with only a small percentage still having them after five years. They can be quite severe as described above or no more than a light flush of the cheeks.

What Causes Them?

Menopause hot flashes and  sweats are triggered by decreasing estrogen levels and an increased amount of other hormones that affect the brains thermostat that triggers blood vessels to expand rapidly. This causes an increase in skin temperature which results in sweating and a noticeable reddening of the chest and neck area.

Any Treatments Available?

Treatment is not usually necessary as hot flashes are a by product of the natural menopausal process and will ease with time. However, if you are finding them particularly uncomfortable, there are some options you may wish to consider.

Although not suitable for everyone, hormone therapy relieves the discomfort of  the  hot flash in many cases.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~menopause hot flush

The hot flash is the most common symptom of menopause and affects around 70% of women – night and day

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Possible Triggers

Caffeine, alcohol, hot drinks, spicy foods, and stressful events have been highlighted as triggers for hot flashes. Although avoiding these triggers will not necessarily prevent all episodes, it is certainly worth experimenting to find out which, if any, work for you.

Holistic treatments such as bioidentical hormones, progesterone cream, phytoestrogen herbal supplements and natural food sources have shown good results for some women. Prior to just buying the first product you encounter, it would be wise to do a little research on which ingredients or products contain ingredients that actually work at relieving hot flashes.

Time To Watch Your Health

Smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity can increase your risk or cause you to have a greater number of hot flashes. By stopping smoking, getting to a healthy weight and including an exercise routine into your life, you should see a lessening of the severity and occurrence of your hot flashes.

menopause hot flushIf you are looking for a product that relieves menopause hot flashes, you have many choices and a confusing array of choices. Menopausal symptom relief products are found in pharmacies, health stores and on the internet. You’ll often find yourself confused and unsure of which product to buy from the hundreds of different options available. It can work out time consuming and expensive if. Ask your friends and find out what they have tried and recommend. Look through magazine articles as they often contain real life stories that you can glean information from. Build up a list of possibilities and when you are through with your research, visit the suppliers and find out what they have to say about their products.

If one method fails to yield results, try another.  After all, who wants to look like an over ripe tomato when life is offering so many new opportunities?

 

Menopause Hair Loss

menopause hair loss

Most women take a lot of pride in their hair and losing it has a devastating impact on their confidence and feelings of femininity.

You may be surprised to know, but around two-thirds of women have to deal with hair loss at some point in life.   If there is a connection between menopause and hair loss, it is possible a reaction to low thyroid function, which is common amongst menopausal women.

 

Symptoms Of  Menopause Hair Loss And Hair Thinning:

  • Hair falls out in large clumps when washing it.
  • Large snarls of hair appear in brush or comb.
  • Scalp is red, oily, or itchy.
  • Overall thinning rather than specific areas of baldness.

How Much Hair Loss Is Normal?

Hair is made of keratin, which is a protein and the average person has around 100.000 hairs on their head.¬† This protein is the same that makes up our nails. ¬†The hair that you can see is actually dead tissue and we can lose up to 100 strands each day.¬† The living follicles, which are bulb shaped, are underneath the scalp’s surface.

Hair normally grows around half an inch per month, slowing down with age.   Sometimes the hair may not grow and just rest, it then usually falls out and the follicle replaces it.  If something happens that disrupts this cycle, the hair falls out but isn`t replaced.  This is what happens with menopause hair loss and general thinning.

The average head has about 100,000 hairs. Your hair grows and is shed regularly. You usually lose 50 to 100 strands each day. If you have a normal head of hair, you probably don’t notice this small loss.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hair loss affects around 2/3 of women

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Hair usually grows about half an inch per month, although this slows as you age. Each hair remains on your head for two to six years, and during most of this time it is continually growing.

As a hair gets older, it may enter a `resting` stage in which it remains on your head but doesn’t actually grow. At the end of this stage, the hair usually falls out. Usually, the follicle replaces it in about six months. But unfortunately many factors can disrupt this cycle. The result can be that your hair falls out early or isn’t replaced.

Pinpointing The Trigger

If sudden hair loss occurs, consider if anything `out of the ordinary` happened up to three months before.  Factors triggering hair loss can take up to three months before their effects are noticeable.

Possible Causes

Things such as a hormone levels, stress and anxiety, trauma, stating a new medication or a medical diagnosis, can all be the cause.  Of course menopause hair loss is merely another sign of menopause.

Hair loss in women is a potentially depressing symptom, as a woman¬īs hair is associated with her femininity and sexuality.¬† As soon as you notice a problem, visit your doctor and discuss the options.

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Menopause fsh

test for menopauseFSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone, to give it its full title, is always present in the body, not just at the time of menopause.  Its job is to stimulate ovulation and the ripening of the ova and it is the main hormone involved in producing mature eggs in the ovaries.

How Does It Work?

When a woman`s ovaries start failing to release eggs, which may be for a number of reasons, but reaching menopause is certainly one of them.  The pituitary gland, at the base of the brain, gets a signal to make more of the FSH in an attempt to get the ovaries to respond and cause the remaining eggs to mature.  FSH is the same hormone that is contained in the injectable gonadotropins which are used to produce multiple eggs for infertility treatment. A woman can be 42 and still have some good quality eggs and still be fertile, or she can be 25 with poor quality eggs and be infertile.

This hormone and this process are a vital part of fertility and if a woman is not ovulating, she will obviously not be able to conceive.  A test to check her FSH levels, will identify whether or not a woman is ovulating.  It will let you know, with reasonable certainty, whether a woman’s ovaries are beginning to fail.


Why Take A Test?

Usually, when a woman reaches her forties and experiences symptoms associated with menopause she will not bother to find out of she has in fact reached ‚Äúthe change‚ÄĚ.¬† She will simply assume that she has and cope with the symptoms as and when they arise.¬† As there are certain medical conditions that can result in the ceasing of periods, a few women prefer to be certain that they are experiencing menopause and will therefore take a FSH test. ¬†As some symptoms of menopause can be quite distressing, such as mood swings, memory lapses, forgetfulness, some women take a test to put to rest their fears of some more serious condition.

When To Do The Test

The test is carried out by taking a blood or a urine sample and is so simple that there are home kits available, therefore no doctor`s visit is necessary.  Although if preferred,  the test can certainly be carried out at the surgery.  If the woman is having a monthly periods and as the FSH level fluctuates throughout a woman`s monthly cycle, it is recommended that the test be carried out between the third to the fifth day of the period.  Levels of FSH over 40 mIU/ml are considered high and would suggest ovarian failure.

It is important that the woman is not taking estrogen based contraception.  Allow 6 weeks before taking the test and terminating therapy, otherwise a true reading will not be achieved.

If she is not having regular periods such as after a hysterectomy, it is advisable to obtain two samples 2 weeks apart.  These may give information about residual cycle activity.

Those women who have had a hysterectomy menopause and still have their ovaries, may wish to take the test to discover whether they are menopausal.  Hormone replacement therapy could then be prescribed at this stage rather than waiting for the symptoms to begin.

Menopause and Acne

menopause acneQuestion: How many menopausal women suffer from acne?

a) 5%

b) 10%

c) 15%

More menopausal women than teenagers – around 10% – suffer from acne.

Acne during menopause Рor hormonal acne as it is known and consists of   blackheads, whiteheads and small pustules,  is yet another of the many symptoms of menopause that is once again due to our potty hormones.

Blame The Hormones

Our hormone levels fluctuate in much the same way as a teenager’s hormones fluctuate at puberty, but while one woman will suffer with no menopause acne whatsoever, another will be covered with blemishes on her face, back and chest.¬† Actually, acne menopause and breakouts amongst middle aged women is quite common.¬† And you thought the days of trying to disguise your spots with make up had long gone!

What Causes Acne During Menopause?

Apart from disruptive hormones, Hormone Therapy has been known to trigger breakouts.  HRT works by trying to rebalance the body`s hormones and by doing so, it sometimes causes acne to surface.  On the other side, some women find that HRT actually cures their menopausal acne. Trial and error will determine which applies to you.hormones & menopause

Our skin has its own bacteria that lives off oil. When this gets caught underneath the skin, both the bacteria and oil create the awful whitehead, which is an inflamed area on the face that collects white puss.  With a blackhead, bacteria and oil are also trapped below the skin’s surface but in this case, they open partially causing the mass to turn black because of the presence of melanin.

Does Stress Make Acne Worse?

menopause and anxietyWith acne during menopause, estrogen levels are increased during the early stages of menopause, which then converts into testosterone.  This enables the glands to produce even more oil that consequently results in even more breakouts.  Thus creating a stressful cycle ….but wait….stress can make acne worse!  It stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol and an androgen called DHEAS, which also stimulate the glands of the skin to produce more oil.  Another good reason not to become anxious!

Menopause acne can be very upsetting and cause great anxiety(see menopause anxiety for more information on this).¬† Along with the other side effects of menopause, it’s just one more thing you don’t need to deal with. Fortunately, by getting your hormones back in balance and reducing your stress levels, you can understand the causes of acne during menopause and prevent future breakouts.¬† Try practising relaxation techniques or treat yourself to a massage in order to keep your stress levels in check.

Would Extra Cleansing Help?

It is a not true to say that acne is caused because people fail to wash their faces often enough. Too much cleansing or scrubbing the skin harshly can make acne worse.. The best way to clean the face is to gently wash it twice daily using a mild cleanser. Be careful to remove make-up without harsh scrubbing.

As we mature, our epidermis does not renew itself as quickly as when we were young and so our pores can easily become blocked with dead skin cells.  While I recommend gently exfoliation a couple of times per week, don`t be tempted to overdo it as you can easily damage your skin and end up with unsightly red blotches Рas well as your blemishes!

You may need to change your moisturizer as some on the market are notorious for blocking pores.  You should be looking for one that contains as few colors and chemicals as possible, but still nourishes and moisturises older skins.

Treatments for Acne Menopausemenopause acne

  • I`m assuming that you diet is healthy and you`re drinking plenty of water.
  • Lose body fat – excess increases your hormone levels.
  • Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and is useful for dabbing over spots and pimples.
  • Mature skin, such as at the time of menopause, is able to tolerate anti blemish ingredients such as retinoids and benzoyl peroxide.¬† But when skin is also thinner and lacking in moisture, it is far better to use a product that contains retinol.¬† This will help unblock clogged pores and also stimulate collagen production.¬† Antiobiotics such as minocycline and doxycycline may also be prescribed.
  • This is the product that we recommend

Of course, it goes without saying, that no matter how tempting, don’t pick or squeeze your spots because you can cause infection and the skin will certainly become red.¬† Ensure that your diet has adequate quantities of calcium and fiber and also keep the amount of fat to a sensible level.¬† Carbohydrates convert into insulin that then produce androgens that increase the skin‚Äôs oil production, so keeping carb consumption to the recommended level is another good strategy.¬† ¬†Finally, make sure you drink a minimum of eight glasses of lovely, refreshing water every day and keep that acne menopause at bay.

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Test for Menopause

Although there are tests available that will indicate whether you are going through the menopause or not, some women do not find them to be particularly helpful.  When a woman`s monthly cycle becomes irregular and just before it stops completely, the FSH test is highly variable.

Test For Menopause – (FSH)

FSH has the job of stimulating ovulation during your period.  Every month FSH rises so that it can encourage the release of eggs that will travel through the fallopian tubes ready for fertilization. At the same time that FSH rises, levels of estrogen drop. Once the egg has been released, your body will either prepare itself for pregnancy or carry on to produce a period.

How it Works?

The  test for menopause, involves taking a blood sample and checking the level of FSH present.

For:  If the results show that you have a high level of FSH present, it could be that you body is attempting to start ovulation.  If this is the case and your body is being unsuccessful, this could be one of the first signs of menopause.  FSH levels over 50 mlU/mL could indicate this.

Against: May not very helpful in Perimenopause stage as it gives insufficient information.¬† Women can be experiencing severe menopausal symptoms and yet their FSH level may remain at the “premenopausal” stage.¬† The FSH test only tells you if you have a high FSH level. It doesn’t tell you if you are definitely in menopause (or premenopausal or perimenopausal).

Options Available

If you do decide that a FSH test for menopause is right for you, the first step I would advise would be to seek your doctor`s advice and go on from there.  If however, you wish to purchase a kit so that you can perform the test in at home, you can choose from either a urine test or a saliva test.  The urine test is simply a matter of placing a stick into your urine flow and you will see a result within minutes.  This method yields results that are approximately 90% accurate.  The saliva test requires you to send a sample to a testing laboratory and wait until you receive the results through the post.  While a saliva test can indicate whether or not it would be prudent to continue with any furthertesting, results tend not to be as accurate as the saliva test, due to influences such as smoke, some foods and HRT.

Progesterone and Estradiol Test

This measures the levels or certain hormones in our body and if the test show that levels are unusually low, this could be in indication that you are about to enter menopause.  Although saliva tests are usually performed, blood samples can also be used.  Saliva testing may not be as accurate due to its limitations in detecting certain aspects of the hormones, whereas the blood test yields higher accuracy in this area.

The results of the saliva test are sent away to be tested. Estrogen levels in the body are normally somewhere between 30 and 400.  Lower levels than this could be a sign that menopause is imminent.

To find out more, watch this video on menopause test

PS  If you are in the UK, two Scottish scientists have now developed an ovary-ultrasound test which predicts when a woman will reach menopause.   The  Wallace-Kelsey test cost is about £250

 

 

Periods and Menopause

menopause bleedingIf you have ever been surprised by your monthly period arriving three days early or suffered concern the first time that is was several days late, then this article is for you.  Periods and menopause can cause a great deal of concern, unless you are adequately prepared.

Irregular periods and a change in the monthly cycle is a perfectly normal occurrence for women during around four year before and also during menopause.  Although women normally enter menopause in their early 50`s, changes in the monthly cycle can occur anywhere as early as mid 30`s onwards.

Hysterectomy Affects Menopause


If a woman undergoes surgical menopause such as a hysterectomy and her ovaries and womb have been removed, she may find that her period stops almost immediately afterwards.  Also, it may be that other menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and high emotions are more severe than they are as a result of a natural menopause.

Most women will find their periods become irregular as they approach menopause and for some, they may even occur more frequently, before stopping completely quite abruptly.  On the other hand, most women will experience a gradual tapering off and lightening of her monthly cycle before it eventually ceases completely.  In these cases, the time between each period will typically lengthen, for some it can become shorter, but for most women the time will be longer.

Why It Happens

These changes occur due to the altering levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, as they are responsible for the monthly menstrual cycle, as a woman’s uterine lining comes away if she has not become pregnant in that particular cycle.¬† They are also to blame for affecting our moods and emotions!

Keeping a menstrual diary will enable a woman to keep track of her irregular periods on the approach to menopause.   This knowledge will empower the women as she learns how to handle these changes and makes the necessary adjustment to her lifestyle.  Dealing with irregular periods is inconvenient and frustrating, especially if you are used to your monthly cycle appearing as regular as clockwork.  By keeping a diary, you will be in a better position to notice any recurring patterns that will help you to identify when your next period is due.

Check Your Symptoms

Sometimes women can confuse PMS with menopause, as some of the symptoms are the same.  Mood changes, lethargy, anxiety and, headaches are all symptoms shared by both conditions. If you are in any doubt, speak with your medical professional who will be in the best position to advise you.

While it is necessary to deal with these changes as they occur, do remember that this is all a natural process of your body preparing itself for menopause.  It is possible that some women will positively welcome menopause, especially if they suffer from menstrual problems such as cramps or heavy periods. If you are not one of these women, then the best thing that you can do is to give yourself time to adjust and surround yourself with strong circle of friends and family.  They will be invaluable in the times when you need support, cheering up or even a shoulder to cry on when those hormones start raging.

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Hysterectomy Menopause

menopause and hysterectomyWomen all know the approximate age that the menopause starts is in the early 50`s.  We also have an idea of what symptoms we can expect, but what happens if you have had a hysterectomy.  How does a hysterectomy menopause and its symptoms differ?

Just as there are different types of hysterectomy available, there are various possibilities about the outcome.  No guarantees can be given about how each woman will react mentally, physically or emotionally.

Normally, when a woman reaches menopause, the ovaries will cease egg production and the monthly cycle will become less frequent until it stops completely.  After twelve months without a period, the woman is said to be post menopausal.

Reasons A Hysterectomy May Be Recommended

A hysterectomy may be recommended for a number of reasons:  Heavy or painful periods that cannot be controlled by any other means, fibroids, endometriosis, prolapse, malignant changes of the uterus or cervix.  If you are considering a hysterectomy, take the time to discuss all options with your doctor and your family and ask as many questions as you wish.  This is an emotional procedure for a woman to go through and she must be absolutely certain that she is psychologically prepared.


Different Types Of Hysterectomy

With a hysterectomy operation, if the ovaries and the uterus are removed, menopausal symptoms are likely to begin almost immediately.  As well as the reduction in the estrogen level, there is also fifty per cent decrease in testosterone production.  Some women may be recommended testosterone as well as estrogen replacement.  However studies are still being carried out as to its suitability for certain women and therefore testosterone is not routinely recommended following removal of the ovaries.

If one ovary remains, early menopause may occur, but more often than not, it doesn`t.

Should both ovaries remain intact after a hysterectomy, they will still be producing hormones and so you will experience no symptoms of menopause.  You may begin menopause a little earlier, but as all cases are different, no-one can say for certain.

In this case, it is important that you visit your doctor or health professional on an annual basis for blood tests.  This is because, due to the lower levels of estrogen, the ovaries may stop functioning correctly.  You may not be aware of this, but the blood test will highlight if this is so and diagnose if an early menopause is therefore likely.

After Care Support

It is also important that a solid support system is in place and each person involved understands what the woman is going through.  A hysterectomy can have a huge emotional impact on a womans` life.  Unlike experiencing a natural menopause, where she would have had the time to adjust to her body`s changes, a hysterectomy menopause takes away that luxury.  It is therefore vital that everyone close to her is sensitive to the situation and offers her full support as and when required.  It will take her a while get used to her new situation and she will probably be quite emotional for some time afterwards.

For more information, watch this video on hysterectomy menopause

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Menopause Spotting


menopause spottingQuestion: How many women do you think experience menopausal bleeding?

a) 5-15%

b) 20-30%

c) 35-45%

If you chose C Рgo to to top of the class.  Up to 30% suffer from spotting and/or bleeding between periods.

What Is  Menopause Spotting?

Experiencing spots of blood Рof various shades of red Рbetween your monthly menstrual cycles is known as spotting.  During menopause this may be normal, asone of the first symptoms is irregular and erratic periods and is due to the body slowing down and eventually stopping its production of estrogen. As your body experiences so many changes, it is going to behave differently until it adjusts to its new situation.menopause spotting

It is only when a woman goes for one year with no bleeding Рmenopause spotting included Рthat the arrival of menopause is confirmed.  If at any time during those twelve months she exhibits any signs of spotting at all, then the count will have to begin again from that date.  It is a good idea to keep a diary of how long it is from the last signs of a bleed, so that the time of entering menopause is as accurate as possible.

What Is Normal?

Just like periods and menopause every woman varies with the timing of her monthly cycle.  Some women can pinpoint to the exact day when they will begin bleeding and others may vary several days from month to month.  In the same way, each experience of menopause varies.  For some, menopause spotting just prior to a period may be normal, while others will have no warning signs at all and their period will begin suddenly.

Perhaps you have periods regularly for a few months and then have no periods for the next few months, before starting normally again a month later.

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A change in pattern of the monthly cycle is one of the first signs of menopause

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With regards to menopause spotting, blood show and what is normal, experiencing any sign of bleeding when you are not close to your monthly cycle, is not usual and should be reported to your doctor.  It is difficult to recognize sometimes as periods become more erratic close to menopause, but in any case, spotting when your period is not due should be taken seriously.  It may be nothing to worry about, but it is always preferable to err on the side of caution.

spotting during menopauseIf your periods become so heavy that you must constantly change your tampon or sanitary towel, report this too.  On the other hand, if you find that the flow has become especially light and you always had quite a heavy flow previously, mention this to your doctor.

When Can You Expect  Spotting To Stop?

I`ve been spotting for about 18 months and I can`t wait for it to stop – I don`t know where I am anymore – I`m just waiting for somebody to invent a `cure`!

Spotting is completely normal during menopause, but it should be worth noting that it can on rare occasions be a sign of something more serious.  Such as:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Pelvic infections
  • Ovarian, uterine or cervical cancer


To summarise, if you notice anything unusual, tell your healthcare professional and get it checked out.  Chances are it is nothing to worry about, but it is always better to check out any changes sooner rather than later.

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