What is menopause?
Menopause (often described as a women’s second spring) is when a woman’s period ceases and she is no longer able to conceive and reproduce naturally. Most woman can identify when they are becoming menopausal based on the irregularity and inconsistency of their periods. This natural biological transition happens over many years and occurs when the levels of estrogen and progesterone produced in the ovaries gradually decline. Menopause usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age but features can start years before.
By 2025, it is estimated that there will be over 1 billion women experiencing menopause which is a normal biological process with vasomotor symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats experienced by approximately 80% of women as they transition towards menopause. For some women, the symptoms of menopause are manageable, but for most, these symptoms can negatively affect sleep, mood, and life quality.
Signs of menopause?
A decline in both sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) can lead to a host of unwelcome physical and psychological signs of the menopause. Some of the physical signs of menopause include hot flushes, fatigue, loss of libido, weight gain and incontinence, while some of the psychological signs include mood swings, depression and panic disorder. It is worth noting however that each women’s menopause story differs and some experience more severe symptoms than others.
Women don’t have to experience bad or unbearable symptoms of menopause to access help. Talk to your healthcare practitioner or ask for advice in your local pharmacy or health food store about managing the symptoms of menopause.
When does menopause start?
Menopause starts when a woman’s period stops. Typically, women experience the menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, with the average age being 51. However, some women may experience the menopause before this age due to surgery such as a hysterectomy, while other women may continue to have menstrual cycles well into their late fifties.
How long does the menopause last?
The menopause can last an average of four years however every woman’s menopause journey is unique and some women can experience the menopause for up to 10 years. Once a woman has not had a period for 12 consecutive months, she enters the post menopause stage. Post menopause, women can experience many conditions like osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
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