So, what is the Menopause? First, and most importantly, menopause is a normal, natural event – not a disease. Another important point is all women experience it but each in a unique way. It signals the end of fertility and the beginning of a new and potentially rewarding time in your life.
This all sounds great – but why do I feel like I do?
I understand, the mood swings, headaches, cravings, unexplained weight gain, hot flashes and tiredness, oh sooo tired! And many more …
Here at the Menopause Club we will help you tackle these symptoms and many more that we may face. Here we want to help you understand what is meant by the menopause and all the other terminology you’ll hear talked about.
Is the permanent ending of menstruation that is not caused by medical intervention. It is the result of the natural decline in the hormones oestrogen and progesterone produced in the ovaries. However, during the years before, your cycle may be irregular and you can have several months between periods. This means it can be hard to know if your last period was the final one. In general, you are considered to have reached menopause after you haven’t had a period for 12 months. This was my understanding, periods stop with a few symptoms like hot flashes and that was it. What I didn’t understand is the part leading up to this point. I can be so different it can be for every woman. I expected issues with my periods to be the first sign. How wrong could I be!
Perimenopause refers to the years leading up to the menopause. As your hormones start to fluctuate you can experience many symptoms. It can feel like an emotional rollercoaster! One day you feel fine and another you feel awful. Many of these symptoms may feel unrelated to the menopause. As you understand what your hormones do and what symptoms this can lead to this will give you better understanding of your body and what is happening to you. This period of your transition to menopause can last several years which is why it’s so important to take action to improve your health and happiness. This will help support you through this journey.
Other types of Menopause
Induced menopause can occur any time from your first period and is when periods stop due to medical intervention. In particular from surgery or cancer treatments that remove or seriously damage ovaries.
Premature/Early menopause is when your final period occurs before the age of 40/45.
The treatment recommendations may be different for women reaching this stage sooner as this may present differing risks for future health. Your GP or health practitioner will support and advise you on key things you should be considering.
When does menopause usually happen?
Around 95% of women reach the menopause between the ages of 44-55 but the average age of menopause is 51. Maybe it’s because I’m in my early 40s but I genuinely thought menopause was something that happened a lot later. I certainly didn’t expect to experience my first symptoms at 41. From talking to clients and friends, I’m not alone.
Other articles that may be of interest – Hormones – understand what our hormones do and what happens when they become out of balance.
Other resources that may be of interest www.menopausematters.co.uk