Menopause is the transition that women make from the reproductive to non-reproductive phases of their lives. The transition takes place usually in the woman's late 40s to early 50s and takes a few years sometimes to complete. The first signs that menopause may be happening is that the woman's period becomes more irregular. This is because there is a decrease in the hormones secreted by the ovaries which causes the menstrual cycle to be prolonged. During this time, women sometimes experience side effects of the decrease estrogen in their body. These effects include hot flashes and vaginal dryness. If you stopped getting your periods between the ages of 45 and 55, and you had no concerning symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes, or insomnia, then it is probably fine for you to continue having routine visits with your primary care physician. If you are having any of the before mentioned symptoms, of if you have any other concerns about menopause, then it may be a good idea for you to have a menopause consultation with your OBGYN.
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