What is Menopause: In Short

There are three stages of menopause:

1. Perimenopause

Symptoms can begin as early as the late 30’s early 40’s when not medically induced, and can last six or more years, ending one year after the final menstrual period.

Symptoms: For those entering perimenopause, symptoms generally consist of irregular menstrual periods that eventually stop when menopause is reached. The severity and frequency of each symptom is unique for each individual woman.

Common Symptoms:

  • Hot flashes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Night sweats
  • Moodiness
  • Foggy thinking
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain

There may be other causes for these types of symptoms so it is very important to consult your health care practitioner.

(Refer to http://menopausemission.com/women-and-hormones-101 link to solutions with Dr. Lara’s blog on menopause)

 

2. Menopause

Symptoms generally begin at the average age of 52.

Full menopause is when a woman’s period (mensus) stops consecutively for 12 months. As women age, our ovaries do not function as often, resulting in lower levels of estrogen and other hormones, leading to menopausal symptoms.

Symptoms: Not all women will experience the same symptoms or frequency. Some women have few or no symptoms; others have symptoms that can be debilitating or disruptive in their daily living.

Menopausal Symptoms:

Vasomotor:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats

Sleep:

  • Difficulty getting to sleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep or waking frequently
  • Restless legs

Mood:

  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety or panic
  • Mood swings
  • Crying spells
  • Loss of confidence

Memory:

  • Memory is poor
  • Difficulty concentrating

Urogenital:

  • Vaginal dryness or itching
  • Change in vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal infections
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Leaky urine (when sneezing, coughing, exercising)
  • Strong need to urinate (hard to reach toilet in time)
  • Bladder infections

Sexual:

  • Lack of desire or interest in sexual activity
  • Difficulty achieving orgasm
  • Pain during intercourse

Other:

  • Headaches or migraines
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating
  • Skin feels like it is crawling or itching
  • Hair loss
  • Uncontrollable looseness of stool or gas
  • New facial hair
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Weight gain

 

3. Post Menopause

Average age: 55 +

Post menopause is when a woman no longer experiences severe symptoms related to a flux in hormones. The body has acclimatized to the change in the drop of hormones, and once again feels harmonious.

Symptoms: The body feels more balanced and no longer feels extreme changes in body temperature and body function. Unfortunately post menopausal women are at more risk of getting heart disease and suffering from osteoporosis and need to make sure they keep track of their heart and bone health with their doctor on a regular basis. Maintaining a balanced diet and exercising are two things post menopausal women can do to reduce such risks.