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Mothers, daughters and menopause: The talk you should have

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ATLANTA -

Mothers and daughters might have lots of heart-to-heart talks, but menopause isn't usually high on their list of talks.   Because of that, a lot of women are surprised by the change of life.  

Ann Litrel remembers having the period talk with her mom, Elizabeth Wallace, but they had never talked about menopause—until now.  Wallace says she's not shy.  It just never came up.  Litrel was 28 when her mom hit menopause, and she says she didn't ask any questions.  

Wallace says she didn't mention it because there's a good chance her daughter knows just as much about menopause as she does, in part because Ann's husband is a gynecologist.  Dr. Michael Litrel says the mood swings and hot flashes and menstrual changes that come with menopause affect different women very differently.  He says it can start in their 30s, 40s, or 50s, and because of those different experiences, there's lots of confusion.  

Hormone replacement therapy can relieve some of the symptoms of menopause, but it can also raise your risk of certain cancers.  So, you should talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

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