About 1.3 million women enter menopause every year, according to the National Institutes of Health, yet many women still aren’t sure what to expect. In fact, most “news” about menopause focuses on hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, and other symptoms associated with perimenopause, the months and years leading up to menopause.
Those symptoms are driven by the change in your body’s hormone levels. By the time you reach menopause, your hormones have virtually “leveled off,” and your experience can be entirely different.
At Serrano OBGyn, Christopher Serrano, MD, helps women in San Antonio, Texas, navigate menopause and enjoy the positive changes it brings. In this post, he offers five benefits of menopause that you might want to know about.
1. No more periods
This fact has to top the list simply because it’s a major change that most women are really excited about. No more periods means no more pads or tampons, no more cramps, no worries about swimming or using hot tubs, and no PMS, either.
Many women have extremely heavy periods in the months and years leading up to menopause, a condition called menorrhagia. For these women, the end of those very heavy periods can be especially anticipated, especially if heavy flow means changing pads every hour or two — even during the night.
2. No more hormonal headaches
PMS and period cramps cause painful symptoms that are unique to periods, but they’re not the only uncomfortable symptoms. Many women have “menstrual headaches” associated with their cycle.
These headaches are triggered by the estrogen fluctuations that occur during the menstrual cycle, usually during menstruation but sometimes around ovulation. When you enter menopause, those hormonal fluctuations cease, and that means the headaches they cause will stop, too.
3. No more pregnancies
An end to periods means an end to ovulation, too. Ovulation is when your ovaries release one or more eggs, which means you can get pregnant if you have sex during this time. In menstruation, there’s no more ovulation and no risk of pregnancy.
Many women find this change has a beneficial impact on their sex lives. When the risk of an unexpected pregnancy is completely eliminated, it can be a lot easier to fully enjoy sex without worry hanging over your head.
4. Uterine fibroids and endometrial implants shrink
Uterine fibroids and endometriosis are painful conditions that affect your reproductive organs. Both fibroids and endometrial implants — pieces of endometrial tissue that grow outside the uterus — form during your child-bearing years, with symptoms triggered by hormone fluctuations during your monthly cycle.
The good news: The decline in estrogen and progesterone means symptoms of both can decline dramatically during menopause. The risk of new fibroids growing also declines once your periods stop.
5. It’s a fresh start
The start of menstruation marks a major change in a girl’s life, and menopause marks a similar shift for older women. The median age of menopause is 51 years, and by that age, many women feel ready for a fresh start and a commitment to their own needs.
That may mean re-evaluating a career or shedding old habits. It can also mean exploring new activities and interests. In fact, for plenty of women, the end of periods and the start of menopause provide an excellent opportunity to take stock and create a more fulfilling life for themselves and the people they love.
Reinvest in your health, too
Menopause ushers in plenty of benefits, but it also causes changes in your health risks. Dr. Serrano and his team offer comprehensive menopause care, including important health screenings so you can play a proactive role in your wellness as you age.
To learn how we can help you navigate this “new” time of life, call 210-761-5308 or book an appointment online with Dr. Serrano and the team at Serrano OB-Gyn today.