❗️Menopause refers to the time in a person’s life where menstruation stops for good. This usually occurs between the ages of 45-55 years old, however this may differ from person to person. Symptoms may occur up to four years prior to menopause taking place, and last for up to four years after as well. The key indicator that a person may be going through menopause is not having a period for 12 consecutive months. A menopausal person is no longer capable of becoming pregnant.
👉🏼Perimenopause is the process that takes place prior to menopause, and is a time in which hormonal changes take place to prepare the body for menopause. These changes occur naturally as a result of the ovaries producing fewer hormones as they age. The body undergoes several changes in response to lower levels of oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, FSH, and LH. During this time, periods become irregular.
🙍🏽♀️The most common symptoms of perimenopause include menstruating less frequently, having either a heavier or lighter/longer or shorter flow, hot flashes, and night sweats. Apart from these changes to the flow, perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause symptoms are generally the same. These symptoms include but are not limited to insomnia, weight gain, problems with memory and concentration, worsened mental health, body aches, hair loss, and reduced libido.
💊Menopause is a natural occurrence that does not typically require medication, but treatments do exist to help with symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy consists of taking medication to replace the hormones your body isn’t making anymore. This can aid symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, but may put you at risk of other serious health complications. Topical hormone therapy can also aid vaginal dryness, and certain nonhormone medications have been approved by the FDA to treat hot flashes.
🏃🏽♀️Certain lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, keeping yourself cool, avoiding tobacco, reducing alcohol intake, eating well, keeping your mind engaged, and practicing mindfulness have also all been proven to help in coping with the difficult symptoms of menopause.