What is menopause?
How do I know if I’m starting Menopause?
So, what are the symptoms of menopause? Menopause happens when you haven’t had a period for 12 straight months and you aren’t pregnant or sick. It’s a normal part of aging. Many women question if they are starting menopause and turn to the internet to look for signs and menopause symptoms.
It happens because female sex hormone levels naturally go down with age. Your ovaries stop releasing eggs, so your periods stop and you won’t be able to get pregnant. Most women go through menopause in their 40s or 50s. But that can vary widely. Some women may go through “the change” earlier if they’ve had surgery to remove their uterus or ovaries or are having certain treatments for cancer.
Are you heading towards the menopause?
You could start to notice changes months or years before you are fully in the menopause, experiencing hot flashes or irregular periods – this is PERIMENOPAUSE. Every woman has varying symptoms during the menopausal transition, our bodies are all different, just like all pregnancies are different too.
A lot of people confuse the start of menopause with perimenopause, it is just the stage when you start to transition. When you are in perimenopause your periods may become harder to predict, skipping periods during perimenopause is common and expected. Some women find that hormone fluctuations in perimenopause create a feeling of being out of control.
Common Symptoms of Menopause
- Your periods become irregular and less frequent – the classic sign that you are on your way to menopause. They may start to come more often or less often, be heavier or lighter, or last shorter or longer than before.
- If you are perimenopausal it can be difficult to predict if or when your periods may come. It may become difficult to gauge how long your period will last or how heavy it will be. It is more difficult to get pregnant during this stage but it is possible as long as you do still have periods.
- Some chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer can make your periods irregular. If you have already gone through the menopause and are bleeding this isn’t normal and you must seek medical advice.
- With menopause you may start to experience symptoms such as hot flushes or night sweats – we know this isn’t nice! – Hot flashes can make you feel suddenly warm for no reason, your skin may flush and heart beat faster, then you feel suddenly cold.
- Mood Changes – Lots of factors can affect your moods which includes changes in your hormone levels that happen around the time of menopause. If you have had anxiety or depression before, this may get worse during the menopause unfortunately, and be one of your menopausal symptoms. Others may notice mood changes too.
- Forgetfulness – We can all experience this at middle age – why did I come into the garage? Losing your keys etc
- Sex Drive – Some women are less interested in sex around menopause, some enjoy sex more as they don’t have to worry about becoming pregnant. Some women experience vaginal dryness which can cause discomfort during sex and decrease your sex drive. You can get various treatment to help with vaginal dryness.
- Physical changes – You hair and skin may become thinner, some women gain weight, with menopause you may experience your body changing shape.
- Urinary Incontinence – a very unwelcome part of the menopause! But there are ways to help!
If you have severe menopausal symptoms you can make small lifestyle changes to help which can have a significant impact on your health over time.
Night Sweats & Hot Flashes
Another menopausal symptoms women have is night sweats, they are just hot flashes that occur whilst you are asleep, they can sometimes wake you up. They do vary from person to person and can last up to 5 minutes! They can vary in intensity and frequency from a few an hour to one a week, or if you are very lucky you won’t experience them at all. But the hot flashes can be uncomfortable at times.
Some women experience menopause symptoms for years after they have stopped their menstrual cycle, this is POSTMENOPAUSE.
How long does Menopause last?
Most women experience menopause symptoms about 4 years before their last period and continues up to 4 years after. The average age for menopause is 51.
So – Why do we go through Menopause?
Menopause is a natural process our bodies go through. As the ovaries age they produce less reproductive hormones. Our bodies go through many changes when we have lower levels of oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone.
One of the changes is loss of active ovarian follicles. These are structures that produce and release eggs from the ovary wall, allowing periods and fertility.
What is Premature Menopause?
When menopause occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 it is considered to be “natural menopause” and a normal part of the aging process. Some women experience menopause and have menopausal symptoms early this can be a result of other factors such as an operation, damage to organs etc. If menopause occurs before the age of 45 it is considered early menopause, before 40 it is considered premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency. But natural menopause is between the ages of 45 and 55 and you can get symptoms up to 4 years before your last period.
Help for Menopause Symptoms
Many women struggle with the menopausal symptoms and need help managing them.
MenoEnergy® our integrated menopause programme helps women aged from 40 years and over, to balance their hormones and manage the menopausal symptoms, like hot flushes, that lots of women experience during this stage of their lives.
IS THIS MENOPAUSE SUPPORT PROGRAMME FOR YOU?
- Have you noticed things starting to change, such as your body and mood, and possibly feel that your current strategies for diet, exercise and lifestyle don’t seem to work anymore/are starting to have a negative effect?
- Are you experiencing hot flashes or night sweats like many women do as symptoms?
- Have you been trying to go it alone in managing common difficult symptoms such as low mood, need extra support, breast tenderness, weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, brain fog, pelvic floor dysfunction, low libido and chronic fatigue? These are the most common side effects from menopausal women.
- Are you approaching your 40s and want to be educated and prepared for the next life phase and have a clear strategy rather than just guess what to do.
- Do you simply need some extra support or help as you experience an early menopause symptoms?
All of the items listed above may be one or more of what you experience menopausal symptoms.
SO, HOW DOES IT WORK AND WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU START THE PROGRAMME?
- The programme is delivered online through a learning portal of videos, downloads and links to additional useful resources and information. There is a weekly live streamed interactive group session, online support group and you have 2 individual coaching sessions for that extra support.