Tracking the Timing of Natural Menopause Can be Used to Boost Overall Health
Researchers have determined that the mean age for women reaching natural menopause is now 49.9 years, an increase of 1.5 years since 1959 when the mean age was estimated at 48.4 years. Assessing the timing of natural menopause has grown increasingly important for health care providers in recent years. While researchers have linked longer reproductive life spans with reduced morbidity and mortality, there are potential health implications with both early- and late-age natural menopause. Additionally, understanding the timing of natural menopause can help doctors make important decisions relating to the use of hormonal contraception as well as appropriate treatment for perimenopausal and menopausal women.
Difference Between Natural Menopause and Early Menopause
As implied by its name, natural menopause is the normal reproductive transition that most women experience between the ages of 35 and 55. Depending upon when the transition begins, natural menopause is typically described as either “early age” or “late age.” Menopause that begins earlier than the normal transition years is referred to as “early menopause” and is typically caused by factors unrelated to aging. Early menopause can be caused by having a hysterectomy or oophorectomy (ovary removal), as well as other ovarian dysfunctions, whether caused naturally (genetics and/or disease) or medically (such as certain cancer treatments).
Health Impacts Related to Timing of Natural Menopause
In recent years researchers have been putting more resources into studying the timing of natural menopause due to its apparent link to overall health. While late-age menopause has been linked to a potential increased risk for reproductive-system-oriented cancers, early-age menopause has been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, and osteoporosis. Researchers are also investigating whether there are any links between natural menopause timing and other cancers, new-onset diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related disorders. The severity of natural menopause symptoms has also been identified as a potential risk factor in developing cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Hormone Therapy May Reduce Menopause-Related Health Impacts
Researchers are intensively studying the preventive health benefits of initiating hormone therapy during menopause and showing particular interest in both the timing of therapy and the progression of natural menopause. Initial research strongly suggests that the initiation of hormone therapy with the onset of menopause, and its longer term use thereafter, may reduce many of the health care risks associated with normal menopause.
With this in mind, researchers are also investigating novel ways of better predicting the progression of natural menopause. At least one study has determined that an examination of lifestyle habits and socioeconomic factors combined with clinical menopause indicators such as hormone and estradiol levels may be able to accurately predict timing.
Naples Internal Medicine Doctor Tracks Menopause Timing in her Patients
Naples, Florida internal medicine physician Dr. Diane Brzezinski, D.O. tracks the potential timing of menopause in her patients as part of her holistic approach for maintaining optimal overall health and to tailor the most effective treatment to address menopause-related symptoms. Along with promoting overall healthy living habits relating to diet, exercise, and stress reduction, Dr. B also helps her patients maintain optimal health and relieve menopause symptoms with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. These all-natural bioidentical hormone pellets are inserted into the skin to deliver hormones into the body as needed. Derived from natural plant sources, the pellets mimic the actions of healthy ovaries by maintaining hormone levels at a steady rate.
Consult with Dr. B to Learn More
If you would like to learn more about Dr. B’s holistic approach for maintaining optimal health and navigating the transition through menopause, you can contact Dr. B’s Naples-based internal medicine practice today through our easy online form, or by calling (239) 261-9990.