Menopause is the stage when a woman no longer has menstrual periods. At this phase, the ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and producing most of their estrogen. Menopause is detected when a woman has gone without a period for 12 repeated months. Menopause typically happens in a woman’s late 40s to early 50s.
What are the hormonal changes during menopause?
Menopause happens when the ovaries no longer produce high levels of hormones. The ovaries are the reproductive glands that store eggs and release them into the fallopian tubes. As menopause approaches, the ovaries stop release eggs into the fallopian tubes, and the woman has her last menstrual cycle.
How does menopause occur?
Natural Menopause is the permanent ending of menstruation that is natural and not by any type of medical treatment. For women experiencing natural menopause, the procedure is gradual and is defined in three stages:
Pri menopause or “menopause transition.” Pri menopause can start 8 to 10 years before menopause when the ovaries slowly produce less estrogen. It generally starts in a woman’s 40s but can start in the 30s as well. Pri menopause lasts to the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs that is menopause. In the last 1-2 years of pri menopause, the drop-in estrogen increases. At this phase, many women can experience menopause symptoms.
Post menopause. These are the years after menopause. At this stage, menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, can ease for many women. But, due to a lower level of estrogen, postmenopausal women are at bigger risk for a number of health conditions, such as osteoporosis and heart disease. Medication, such as hormone therapy and/or healthy lifestyle changes, or homeopathy may reduce the risk of some of these conditions. Since every woman’s risk is diverse, talk to your doctor to learn what steps you can take to decrease your individual risk.
How long does pri menopause last?
The normal span of pri menopause is four years, but for some women, this stage may last only a few months. Pri menopause ends when a woman has gone 12 months without having her period.
What is premature menopause?
When menopause, occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, is considered “natural” and is a usual part of aging. But, some women can experience menopause early, either as a result of a surgical intervention (such as removal of the ovaries) or damage to the ovaries (such as from chemotherapy). Menopause that ensues before the age of 45, irrespective of the reason, is called early menopause. Menopause that happens at 40 or younger is considered premature menopause.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats and/or cold flashes
- Vaginal aridity; uneasiness during sex
- a persistent need to urinate more frequently
- Mood Swings
Women in the menopause transition (pri menopause) might also experience:
- Breast soreness
- Worsening of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Period irregularities
- Joint and muscle aches and pains
- Changes in libido
- Difficulty concentrating, memory lapses (often temporary)
- Weight gain
- Hair fall
These symptoms can be a sign that the ovaries are making less estrogen. Not all women get all of these symptoms. Though, women affected with new symptoms of racing heart, urinary changes, headaches, or other new medical problems must see a doctor make sure there is no other cause for these symptoms.