What is Menopause? Perimenopause?

Oct 5, 2013 by

Just some basics . . . can’t have a MenopEase blog without them!

A woman is considered in menopause when she has stopped menstruating/having periods . . . at least for a year.  Her ovaries are no longer releasing eggs and is marked by a significant reduction in the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.  Not that you really know or care about hormones, but their fluctuation impacts the way you feel.

Menopause typically occurs around 50 or 51, but can vary.  [Woo hoo, I’m right on schedule!]

In addition to no more periods (YEAH!), other common symptoms are hot flashes, night sweats, trouble sleeping, headaches, mood swings, heart palpitations, vaginal dryness (Yuck!)/lack of sex drive, etc.  Symptoms can vary.

What’s not commonly known is that working up to menopause, it’s very common to have irregular periods . . . long gaps between due to the fluctuation in your hormones.  This is very normal . . . logically, you may begin to experience some menopausal symptoms.  They’ve given this the fancy name of ‘perimenopause’.

Postmenopause is considered those years after menopause, when your symptoms are beginning to ease (like hot flashes).  At least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel . . . beats the alternative!

If you have concerns, see your doctor . . . you should be anyway :-).

References:

WebMD & Healthwise:  Menopause and Perimenopause – Overview

WebMD & Healthwise:  Normal Testosterone and Estrogen Levels in Women