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'Don’t assume you can’t still get pregnant'

Lemont doctor offers insights on menopause

Dr. Reshma Relwani, internal medicine doctor on staff at Silver Cross Medical Group in Lemont.
Dr. Reshma Relwani, internal medicine doctor on staff at Silver Cross Medical Group in Lemont.

No matter the season – the coldest days of winter or a blazing hot summer day – hot flashes don’t discriminate and often come without warning.

Hot flashes often cause sweating and a red face. If you lose too much body heat, you might even feel chilled afterwards.

Mood swings and irregular periods are other symptoms a woman experiences as she’s going through “the change of life” or menopause.

As your body prepares for menopause, which typically begins in a woman’s mid-to late 40s, you may notice changes, especially with your period. You may start having heavier or irregular periods during this time.

The transition into menopause is called perimenopause and may last up to four years before periods fully stop. You have reached menopause once you have been period-free, this includes spotting, for 12 months in a row.

To understand the symptoms you may feel, it’s important to know that during menopause, your hormone levels are changing within your body, causing various symptoms which include:

• Hot flashes – sudden feelings of heat; some ladies may even get red blotches on the upper body

• Vaginal dryness – which can make sex uncomfortable

• Irregular periods – less frequent, more frequent, heavier and/or lighter

• Problems sleeping

• Becoming forgetful or having trouble focusing

• Urinary problems – Inopportune leaks while sneezing or coughing

• Mood changes

• Depression and anxiety

• Osteoporosis – Having less estrogen after menopause can cause you to lose bone mass more quickly than prior to menopause. 

If you have any type of vaginal bleeding after menopause, see a doctor. For information or to schedule an appointment with Relwani, call 630-257-5400.

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