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An_249199 posted:
does anyone know how long the symptoms of menopause last.
Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
Dear An_249199,
Alas, they can last for a while. Hot flashes usually do get better over the course of time; for most women, they do get considerably better over a 2-4 year time frame. However, about 15% of women still have significant hot flashes 10 years after their last menstrual periods. But they still do seem to get better over the course of time.
Alas, vaginal dryness may get worse over the course of time; that's just related to a lack of estrogen, which can lead to more dryness. But the good news about that is that if you do develop significant dryness, over the counter moisturizers like Replens can work quite nicely at any time, and if they don't completely do the trick, vaginal estrogens are quite safe and useful in helping fix the dryness at any point, even years into menopause.
Good luck,
Mary Jane
martharich replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
Thank you, I just started taking bioidentical hormones, progesteron, estrogen and dhea. Hopefully these will work. Do you know much about them?
Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to martharich's response:
Dear Martha,
Hopefully you will start feeling better soon. Just remember that you can be prescribed bioidentical hormones, made by certified pharmaceutical companies. (and manufacturing plants that are regularly inspected, etc.) All of the transdermal patches and gels that are available by prescription are bioidentical and plant derived; and natural micronized progesterone, also made from yams, is available commercially as well (as long as you don't have a peanut allergy: it is dissolved in a peanut oil base.) They will hopefully work quite well for you. Doses can be readily adjusted too.
Good luck,
Mary Jane
BethOwen32 replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
Dear Dr. Minkin,

My husband's step-mother (71) and my mother's best friend (91) both told me they still have hot flashes. Are they just part of the 15% or do hot flashes really last the rest of your life?

Thank you.
Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to BethOwen32's response:
Dear BethOwen32,
Alas, they are among that unfortunate 15% of women who do get persistent hot flashes-however, if you ask them, I'll bet they'll tell you that the flashes are better now than they were-so I hope they'll still get better for them eventually!
Good luck to them,
Mary Jane

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For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website