If you are a woman over the age of 40, there's a good chance that you're experiencing menopause symptoms. Menopause is a natural part of aging, and it can be difficult to cope with the changes that come along with it. In this series, we will inform you about everything you need to know about menopause. In this first article, we will introduce you to menopause and tell you what to expect. Stay tuned for future articles where we will discuss topics such as treatments for menopause symptoms and how to cope with menopause transitions!
A survey conducted by IPSOS Mori for the British Menopause Society earlier revealed that 1 in 2 women in Great Britain, aged 45-65 years, go through menopause without consulting a medical professional.
This is likely because menopause is still seen as a taboo subject, and many women feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk about it. This needs to change! Menopause is a natural part of aging, and there's no shame in talking about it. In this series, we will break down the stigma surrounding menopause and provide you with the information you need to know about this natural transition.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is the permanent cessation of menstruation. It typically occurs around the ages between 45 and 55, but it can happen sooner or later depending on a woman's individual health history. The menopause transition usually begins in a woman's late 40s and can last for several years. During this time, a woman's ovaries slowly stop producing eggs and her hormone levels begin to fluctuate. This can cause a variety of menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and more.
What Causes Menopause?
As we age, our bodies go through many changes. One of the most significant changes is the decline in hormone production. The ovaries produce the majority of a woman's oestrogen and progesterone, two hormones that play an important role in regulating the menstrual cycle. When the ovaries stop producing these hormones, menopause occurs. This decline in hormone production is natural and happens to all women as they age.
What Are The Symptoms Of Menopause?
The most common menopause symptom is hot flashes, which are sudden bursts of heat that can cause sweating and an increased heart rate. Hot flashes typically last for a few minutes and can happen several times per day.
Other symptoms include:
Not all women experience menopause symptoms, but for those who do, they can range from mild to severe.
What Are The Stages Of Menopause?
There are three stages of menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.
Perimenopause is the transition stage between perimenopause and menopause. This is when menopause symptoms are at their worst. But what actually happens to the body during this period? The body will start to:
Decrease and fluctuate oestrogen production
Periods can occur less often
Cycle flow and duration shifts
Still possible to get pregnant
Early-stage: Period differs by 7 or more days each cycle
Late-stage: Cycles become >60 days apart
Ovarian reserve is low
Menopausal symptoms begin
Menopause is the point when a woman has not had a period for 12 consecutive months. Other changes during this time is:
The ovaries stop producing oestrogen and releasing eggs
Can no longer become pregnant
Menopausal symptoms continue
Postmenopause is the stage after menopause. During this stage, the symptoms typically lessen or go away completely. Usually in this period the body becomes more at risk of:
Increase bone loss
Increased risk of bone and heart conditions
Some symptoms may continue
How Is It Treated?
menopause symptoms; over-the-counter medications, such as vaginal lubricants and oestrogen creams; and lifestyle changes, such as exercise and stress reduction. Talk to your doctor about which treatment options are right for you. In future articles, we will discuss the different treatment options and how to choose the best one for you. Stay tuned!
What Should I Do If I Think I'm Experiencing Menopause?
If you think you might be experiencing menopause, the first step is to talk to your doctor. They can perform a physical exam and order blood tests to check your hormone levels. Once menopause is confirmed, you can discuss treatment options with your doctor.
Remember, menopause is a natural transition that all women go through. With the right treatment, you can minimize menopause symptoms and live a healthy, happy life.
We hope this article has helped to inform you about menopause and what to expect during this transition. In our next article, we will discuss menopause treatments in more detail. Stay tuned!