Menopause is the transition period in a woman’s life when her ovaries stop producing eggs, her body produces less estrogen and progesterone, and menstruation becomes less frequent, eventually stopping altogether. There are three phases of the transition, which include…
Perimenopause…In this phase, your body will start providing helpful physical clues that the menopause process is starting, symptoms can start in your late 30s and it can still be years before your last menstrual period.
Some common, normal symptoms include irregular periods, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbances, and mood swings—all results of unevenly changing levels of ovarian hormones (estrogen) in your body.
Menopause…In this phase, natural menopause, the spontaneous, permanent ending of menstruation that is not caused by any medical treatment. Menopause is a normal, natural event. It’s defined as the final menstrual period and is confirmed when a woman has not had her period for 12 consecutive months.
Women will likely experience natural menopause between ages 40 and 58, averaging around age 51. Some women, however, reach this phase in their 30s, others in their 60s. Typically, women reach menopause around the same age as their mothers and sisters.
Postmenopause…This phase includes all the time after menopause, and still manages to muster up a surprise or two. Due to the continued decrease in estrogen levels during this time, symptoms like vaginal dryness and hot flashes may linger.
The good news is you’re not crazy! These three phases are all a normal part of midlife transitioning, some less severe than others. Talk to your healthcare provider if you feel you need help with these symptoms, there is help out their, never feel as if you are alone!