A Woman's Guide to Menopause and Perimenopause
WebMD Live Events Transcript
If you have questions about menopause or perimenopause, you've come to the right place. Mary Jane Minkin, MD, joined us from the Yale University School of Medicine on April 6, 2005 to answer your questions about hot flashes, HRT, depression, sexuality, healthy lifestyle choices, and more.
The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.
That study showed actually a reduction in breast cancer in the women taking estrogen. This caused people to rethink the first part of the initiative as well, and a new set of guidelines came out this past fall from the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
The web site of NAMS is menopause.org, where you can read that the guidelines have changed and indeed, the experts are now stating that if you need estrogen for relief of symptoms, it is quite reasonable to take it, under a health care provider's supervision.
The symptoms they particularly single out are:
Of course there were problems with the WHI design originally, because it was not designed as a study of younger women going through menopause. It was really seeing if estrogen given to older women helps prevent heart disease.
Indeed, in that study, it did not, but for starters, the average age of women starting the WHI was 63. And of course they also only looked at one preparation of estrogen and progestin, namely Prempro. You should, of course, speak with your health care provider if you have any symptoms of menopause.
Now, women can start getting menopausal symptoms way before they hit their last menstrual period and they can get symptoms for five or sometimes even eight years before they hit true menopause.
These symptoms can include:
All of those can happen way before you hit the final period and go that full year.
If all the symptoms resolve, I would think that these were related to perimenopause. Now of course, some of these symptoms can also be related to PMS, which can occur years before menopause. Again, sometimes birth control pills will help.