Menopause is a normal part of aging, usually affecting women in their 50s, that marks the end of menstruation. But the transition to menopause can start years before your period stops during a phase known as perimenopause. This phase usually begins in the 40s when menstrual periods generally become either more closely or more widely spaced and the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen.

The perimenopausal stage can also include heart pounding or racing, hot flashes, night sweats, skin flushing, loss of sex drive and insomnia. About 70% of woman experience such symptoms. Lifestyle changes, diet, exercise and medications can help through both perimenopausal and menopausal stages.

Learn the basics about menopause—when it begins, how long it lasts and more.

Life After Menopause

Is there life after menopause? You bet!

Goodbye cramps, bloating and PMS. Menopause is cause for celebration. Yet, it can create conflicting emotions. We've got tips on how to survive and thrive during this time.

Now is a good time to focus on other aspects of your health as menopause increases your risk for certain conditions, including osteoporosis and heart disease.

Tips for Post-Menopause Living

Menopause is unavoidable. To decrease symptoms and lower risk of high-blood pressure and heart disease, take the following steps:

  • Stop smoking. This can cause early menopause.
  • Eat a low-fat diet.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Take calcium and Vitamin D.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods.
  • Eat soy-based foods.
  • Perform Kegel exercises to strengthen muscles of vagina and pelvis.
  • Practice slow, deep breathing whenever hot flashes occur.
  • Remain sexually active.
  • Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, tai chi or meditation.
  • Use water based lubricants during sexual intercourse.