Menopause is simply the end of a woman's menstrual cycle and fertility. At this stage, the woman's ovaries no longer make estrogen and progesterone which are the hormones responsible for fertility.
Keep in mind that your periods need to have stopped for at least a year for you to be sure it's menopause.
How does it happen?
In most cases, menopause occurs naturally as a woman gets older. However, it can also be as a result of surgery or treatment. The latter is usually referred to as induced or surgical menopause.
Natural menopause begins at what age?
Experts put the average age for menopause at 51 years old. There are, however, some cases of premature menopause where the person shows symptom before the age of 40.
What symptoms should you look out for?
One of the first things menopausal women notice is an irregularity with the menstrual cycle. Other symptoms include:
- Mood swings;
- Sweating / hot flashes;
- A racing heart;
- Vaginal dryness and painful sex;
- Difficulty sleeping;
- Low sex drive;
The perimenopause stage
This is when your body starts to show physical signs that menopause is starting. Some women may notice such symptoms as irregular periods, vaginal dryness, and difficulty getting a good night's sleep. Keep in mind that it can still be years before you experience your last menstrual period.
The menopause stage
It is at this point that you experience your final period. The only way to know for sure is if you have gone a year without getting one.
The postmenopause stage
When you hit that year-mark from your last menstrual period, you're officially post-menopausal.
There are a few things you can do to manage the symptoms and discomfort that come with being menopausal.
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
- Quit smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
- Wear light layers to help with hot flashes.
- Avoid caffeine and spicy foods as much as possible.
- You can also try some prescription medication for vaginal dryness.
Menopause symptoms can be unique to each woman but at the end of the day, all that matters is that you stay healthy and positive through the journey.
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.