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Understanding Menopause: Symptoms, Treatments and Management


                      Menopause: Stages and Onset

Menopause occurs after a woman has gone without a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. It is a natural part of aging. Most women experience menopause in their 40s and 50s. The average age is 52.

Menopause symptoms can disrupt a woman’s sleep, and affect their energy levels, impacting their physical and mental health. Usually, symptoms last 1-2 years, but some women can continue to experience them for 10 years or more.

If your symptoms have worsened over time or interfere with your everyday life, consult a GYN specializing the treatment of menopause. Treatments of menopausal symptoms may include use hormone therapy or administering estrogen directly to the vagina using a vaginal cream to reduce vaginal dryness and hot flashes. Non-invasive laser therapy treatments such as MonaLisa Touch are a highly effective procedure performed in the office and to restore vaginal tissue.   Low-dose antidepressants, Gabapentin, Clonidine, or Fezolinetant can also help manage hot flashes.

Stages of Menopause

There are three stages of menopause-perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.


The stage begins 8-10 years before menopause (usually between ages 40 and 44). It is usually marked by a change in menstrual flow and length of menstrual cycles. In this stage, estrogen levels start to decline. Some common perimenopause symptoms include hot flashes, mood changes, night sweats, and headaches. A balanced diet can help manage perimenopause symptoms. Vitamin B6 and ginseng supplements may also reduce the severity of perimenopause symptoms.


Menopause occurs after you have gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period. In this stage, the ovaries stop releasing eggs and estrogen production is almost non-existent. Perimenopause symptoms such as mood changes, hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness can worsen in menopause.


Is the stage after a woman’s menstrual cycle stops completely. Once a woman enters post menopause, she remains in it for the rest of their life. In post menopause, menopause symptoms may ease, however, postmenopausal women are at high risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and many other health conditions due to lower estrogen levels.

If you are in postmenopausal, your gynecologist may recommend weight-bearing exercises and moderate weight training. Physical activity helps preserve bone mass and also stimulates the body to release endorphins and other feel-good hormones that improve mood. 

Menopause Onset

Here are some signs of menopause onset.

Women’s Healthcare of Princeton is committed to helping menopausal women live healthy, fulfilling lives. Our gynecologists help menopausal women make healthy lifestyle changes to improve their overall physical and emotional health and well-being. To talk to a Menopause Specialist, call 609-430-1900.

Dr. Shyama Mathews

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