What you may not know about menopause

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There have been many unintended pregnancies in women in their 40s and even 50s because they believed they could no longer get pregnant and, therefore, stopped using contraception.

Perimenopause refers to the time period during which a woman's body makes its natural transition toward permanent infertility (menopause).

While many women begin experiencing menopausal symptoms, such as irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes and moodiness, during perimenopause, it does not; however, mean a woman is no longer fertile.

Women who are sexually active and not trying to become pregnant should continue using contraception until they have had their follicle stimulating hormone levels checked by their gynecologist.

If the hormone levels are high, then it is safe for a woman to stop using contraception. However, if the hormone levels are considered borderline, it is recommended to continue using contraception.

Because of certain comorbidities that become more common as we age, such as hypertension, diabetes and migraines, it is important for women to stay in close follow-up with their gynecologist to see if their method of contraception needs to be adjusted based on other health conditions and/or medications.

Women in our community are fortunate, as Cone Health has an exceptional network of OB/GYN specialists, menopause practitioners and other related providers that are dedicated to women’s health and making sure their patients maintain a high quality of life as they go through menopause.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Tracy Lathrop is an obstetrics and gynecology specialist at Greensboro Women's Health Care and a member of the Cone Health Medical Group.

Dr. Lathrop received her Doctor of Medicine from State University of New York in Buffalo in 1993.

She completed a residency in internal medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at George Washington University.

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