Managing Menopause Symptoms
Sudden menopause is often one of the side effects of breast cancer treatment. Women in their 40s, and sometimes women who are a bit younger, often have their periods stopped by chemotherapy or hormonal treatments. This happened to me when I was 44, and it was rather shocking how quickly there was a major life change. For most of us, the most bothersome symtoms are hot flashes and vaginal dryness/other sexual concerns. I have written a number of times about the sexuality issues, but it is worth repeating that there are changes from either natural or chemically-forced menopause. Re hot flashes: everyone is different. I was fortunate to have only "warm flashes" but some women are tortured by frequent, drenching surges of heat. Some women who have already gone though a natural menopause are treated, thanks to chemotherapy or hormonal therapy, to another round of hot flashes.
This is a nice summary from the Komen Foundation about treating menopause symptoms. Here is the beginning and then a link:
Menopause begins most often in the late forties or early fifties. Medically, a woman is considered in menopause 12 months after her menstrual periods have stopped. However, hot flashes and other symptoms may occur a few years before menopause begins and may continue for five or more years.
1 The severity and duration of symptoms vary from woman to woman.
The most common menopausal symptoms are hot flashes (including night sweats) and vaginal dryness. If you are having menopausal symptoms, talk to your health care provider about what you can do to try and get relief. To help with that discussion, we offer a summary of the safest, most effective ways to relieve menopausal symptoms for women with and without a history of breast cancer.