What is menopause?
Ladies, there’s no denying it – we are all going to experience Menopause at some point in our lives. Whether you call it “menopause’ or “the change” – we want to put all of that to the side. We want to help you understand the terms of menopause and what it might mean to you.
While all women experience menopause, you may go through it at a different time, have a different symptom or a difference in severity from your friends – There are many different ones – read about them here (LINK)
It’s important to remember all of these signs are completely normal. It’s more than likely your friends are experiencing a something similar, so why not talk with them? It always makes life easier when you can talk to someone who is going through the same as you, find out their tips and tricks and help each other through it.
So what does it mean?
Some of this terminology can get a bit confusing, so grab a cuppa and get comfortable while we try and explain some of these terms in the simplest way. There are 3 different stages of menopause, as below –
- Perimenopause: This is the time leading up to Menopause. Perimenopause is where you will experience some (or all) of the different signs, including hot flushes/flashes and mood swings. It is quite common for us ladies to confuse this for menopause. However, menopause is the following stage.
- Menopause: Menopause is your last menstrual period. Your last period can be confirmed if you haven’t had your period for 12 months.
- Postmenopause: This is the time after your last menstrual period, including both the first 12 months and beyond. It is possible to keep experiencing perimenopause signs in this stage, including hot flushes/flashes and night sweats.
In simple terms, “menopause” is your last period. Anything before this is perimenopause. Anything after this is postmenopause.
You can read more about perimenopause and postmenopause here
The average age to experience your last menstrual period is around 51 years old. However, it is very possible that menopause could occur much earlier than this, or ever later. If you go through menopause before the age of 45, this is known as early menopause. To go through it before the age of 40 is known as premature menopause. Read more about this in our “Early and Premature Menopause” blog.
Natural menopause takes places when the ovaries are unable to produce the hormones Estrogen (Oestrogen) and Progesterone.
Early or premature menopause can be prompted due to factors including radiotherapy or chemotherapy. It can also occur when the ovaries have been removed during a hysterectomy, for example. We have compiled a little information about early and premature menopause, and you can click here to read more about it.
Signs of Menopause
As we already touched upon, looking online, there are many different signs of menopause . Some of you may only experience a handful of them, while sadly some of you might experience pretty much the whole lot. 70% of us will experience at least one of the signs (REFERENCE).
Check out our blog, where we look at the different 4 signs, and outline some of the ways to help you prevent or manage them.