There’s a simple way to understand the menopause…
…It’s like puberty in reverse.
Both are a result of significant hormonal changes, affecting physical, emotional and social aspects of your life.
A confused you, and confused family and friends… who don’t know what’s going on.
Hormones affect just about everything that goes on in a woman's body, from reproductive function and sexual libido to weight gain and overall mood. This means mood swings. Irritability. Bodily changes. New behaviours, and new sexual issues.
Menopause is your transition from the reproductive to non-reproductive phase of life.
And there are three phases –
· Pre-menopause where you still have periods (whether they’re regular or irregular) and are considered to be in your reproductive years. Some hormonal changes may be occurring, but there are no noticeable changes in your body
· Peri-menopause is the actual time of transition, when hormone levels begin to fluctuate and occurs well before you officially hit menopause. In fact, women enter this stage some 8 to 10 years ahead of menopause. Most women will notice peri-menopause symptoms in their 40’s. During this time oestrogen and progesterone levels start to fluctuate and this can result in many troublesome symptoms, particularly flushes and sweats. Most hormone blood tests done at this stage will report as ‘normal’ and they are unhelpful with diagnosis. The sex hormone levels can also go up and down more sporadically than a normal 28-day cycle, which can cause irregular periods and other symptoms. During the final stages of peri-menopause, your body will produce less and less oestrogen. Despite the sharp drop in oestrogen, it’s still possible to get pregnant.
· Post-menopause, officially kicks in when the ovaries produce so little oestrogen that eggs are no longer released. This also causes your period to stop.