124 Growing Older
The End of
One of the main signs of growing older is that a woman’s
monthly bleeding ends. It may end suddenly, or it may stop
gradually over 1 to 2 years. For most women this change
happens between the age of 45 and 55.
• Your monthly bleeding changes. It may just stop, or you
may bleed more often for a while. Or you may stop
bleeding for a few months and then bleed again.
• At times you may suddenly feel very hot or sweaty (this
is also called having ‘hot flashes’). This can wake you up
• Your vagina becomes smaller and less wet.
• Your feelings change easily.
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These signs happen because a woman’s ovaries stop making
eggs, and her body makes less of the hormones estrogen and
progesterone. The signs will start to go away as her body gets
used to less estrogen.
How a woman feels about the end of her monthly bleeding
sometimes depends on how she is affected by the changes in
her body. It also depends on how her community thinks about
and treats older women. She may be relieved not to have her
monthly bleeding every month. But she may also feel sad that
she cannot have any more children.
What to do during menopause
Menopause is a normal part of life.
Most women will be able to feel better
by following some of the suggestions
on the next page.
In the past, doctors used to
recommend that women take
medicines containing estrogen and
progesterone to relieve the most
severe symptoms of menopause.This is
called “Hormone Replacement Therapy”
(HRT). Unfortunately, HRT has now
been shown to increase women’s risk of
breast cancer, heart disease, blood clots,
and stroke. So it is better for a woman
to avoid using these medicines.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012