What exactly is the menopause?
Updated: Mar 24, 2020
Some women in mid-life experience symptoms of the menopause such as brain fog, hot flushes, insomnia, and irritability that can make them feel like they are going mad. Perimenopausal symptoms (particularly low mood) are often misdiagnosed as anxiety and depression, whereas women can mistake a missed period as a sign of pregnancy.
The menopause is a completely natural process in a women's life, similar to puberty. Although symptoms can be severe and interfere in the day-to-day, menopause is not a disease or a medical condition, although symptoms can be lessened with a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, and complementary therapies.
At menopause the ovaries stop producing eggs and so the monthly ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ of the female hormones no longer happen in a regular pattern - your periods will likely become erratic until they stop completely (which can be a blessing for some!)
In the post-menopausal stage, you will still experience a low wave of female hormone maintaining your femininity. Find out more about your hormones during menopause here.
Here are some key points to remember about the menopause:
Menopause is not a ‘disease’ it is a natural process
It is one of the changes in our continual life cycle
Menopause symptoms should be monitored and if you are concerned about any change you should see a doctor or speak to one of our expert practitioners
Menopause symptoms happen because your female hormones are changing particularly the reduction in oestrogen levels
A hormone is a messenger produced by one part of your body and which then tells another part of your body what to do
Perimenopause is the time up to the menopause during which periods may become irregular and menopausal symptoms begin (mood swings & hot flushes) – this may last from a few weeks to many years
Menopause itself only lasts a day and has happened after 12 months of no periods
Every woman’s menopause is different and unique – there’s no set pattern to your change in periods, which menopausal symptoms you may have and for how long
You may have a menopause similar to that of your mother but this is not always the case
Average age of menopause is 51 years, before the age of 45 years is called ‘early menopause’ and before 40 years is called ‘premature menopause’.
Late menopause can occur but by 54 years 80% of women have stopped their periods
If your periods have stopped for more than a year and then bleeding restarts, go and see your doctor
The menopause can range from being symptom-free to being an extremely challenging time in women’s lives that can continue for many years
Post-menopausal women don’t loose their femininity or attractiveness – they develop a special appeal based on confidence and wisdom
Although challenging, this phase will end, and your symptoms will gradually subside allowing you to get back to being you. At alina, we're here to provide you with completely unbiased and personalised support anytime you need it. If you'd like to be notified when we launch, please register here.