Did you know: the average age for menopause to start is 51. But, for some women, it can begin as early as age 45. When learning more about perimenopause and menopause, you’ll quickly discover that there’s no “one size fits all” experience that all women go through.
Yet, there are certain trends and commonalities that apply to most women. It’s completely normal to be wary of becoming menopausal, so we’re here to answer some common questions you might have about the causes and treatments of menopause.
Keep reading to find answers to all those questions you were too afraid to ask!
Why Does Menopause Happen?
The menopause is the time of a woman’s life when she no longer has periods. It is a totally natural phenomenon that affects all women.
It is the body’s reaction to the fact that we are past the age of giving birth to children. Changes to hormone levels occur as our bodies stop the reproductive cycle that gives us periods. Women are said to be menopausal once they have had 12 months without a period.
What Is the Difference Between Perimenopause and Menopause?
When asking “what is menopause?”, you might come across the terms perimenopause and postmenopause too. To put it simply, perimenopause is the time before menopause, and postmenopause comes after it.
The symptoms of perimenopause differ greatly from woman to woman. Perimenopause can begin as much as 10 years before menopause. During this stage, women still have periods and can still get pregnant. Symptoms can include breast tenderness and lighter or irregular periods.
Menopause is the time when periods have stopped entirely.
Can Menopause Be Treated?
Some women will not feel the need for any menopause treatments. Others however might be interested in hormone replacement therapy which can relieve vaginal dryness, mood swings, and hot flashes.
One example of hormone replacement therapy is synthetic estrogen which can come in the form of a cream, gel, or spray.
It’s also possible to lessen symptoms of menopause by making changes to your diet, such as limiting caffeine. Many women also find it helpful to avoid potential triggers of hot flashes such as stopping smoking or exercising more.
How Long Does Menopause Last?
Finally, let’s take a look at how long menopause lasts. As we’ve already mentioned, perimenopause can begin as many as 10 years before menopause, but the symptoms tend to be mild.
The signs of menopause can continue for a decade or even longer after you experience 12 months without periods. The term postmenopause is used to describe women for the rest of their lives after their periods stop.
Menopause Doesn’t Have to Be Negative
We’ve now seen that perimenopause and menopause are nothing to be afraid of. When armed with the facts and your potential treatment options, menopause becomes something you can embrace.
It’s a sign that you’ve lived life and you’re now ready to start a new chapter.
If you have any more lifestyle and health questions, check out the rest of our blog posts!