The Menopause is still rather a taboo subject, many of us don't like to mention it. But - if you are better informed you can avoid or have better control over the symptoms that can be challenging - so read on, there is hope!
There are 3 phases – peri-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
Peri-menopause - begins several years before your last period but the small changes may happen without you really noticing. You may find your periods become more irregular, heavy or lighter, or you miss one from time to time. Then you may notice the hot flushes, or night sweats or any number of other symptoms listed below. It varies from woman to woman but it is likely you will be affected by at least one symptom, the most common being the hot flushes, day or night.
Menopause- is the time when your periods stop for a full 12 months. You are then considered to have gone through the Menopause
All the wonderful women of the world are unique and individual and the symptoms, age and time scale of the phases of the menopause is like asking “how long is a piece of string?"
The more informed you are about what to expect the better.
Post-menopause -is anything after menopause.
What happens during the Menopause?
The Menopause is when there is a lowering in the levels of oestrogen and progesterone. A blood test is not normally needed but this is something you can discuss with your Doctor. There is such diversity between what each woman will experience so the best way to diagnose if you fall between approximately 45 -55 yers of age, is that you become aware of feeling "not yourself" or you may experience clear signs for example hot flushes. The smallest changes in hormone levels can create a significant change in symptoms and unless you take blood samples many times through the day a test only gives you a result for the specific window of time when the sample was taken. The most important thing to achieve is to lessen the impact of symptoms and so create a more successful experience of the menopause as a result of reducing the intensity and disruption symptoms cause.
Every woman is born with a finite number of eggs stored in follicles in the ovaries.
During menopause, the number of ovarian follicles decreases and become less responsive to two other hormones involved in reproduction. Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH). As the ovaries age and release fewer hormones, FSH and LH cannot perform their usual functions in regulating oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. These natural changes in hormone levels and the decline of oestrogen throughout menopause can affect your health in significant ways for many years.
Before you read the list of symptoms please note that although it is likely you will get more than one of them there is much you can do to alleviate or even eradicate them. Now is the time to put yourself first and with a positive mind-set combined with a few lifestyle and diet changes, it is just as likely that you can feel better than you have in years!
What are the symptoms of the Menopause?
Please see the list below, don’t panic ! I will be letting you know some of the ways in which you can help yourself and also pointing you in the direction of a GP or health expert to help you bring more balance into your topsy turvy hormones. There is much you can do to vastly improve or even stop your symptoms.
Oestrogen depletion can lead to changes in your body in many ways and can cause
· problems focusing
· hot flashes
· night sweats
· bladder problems
· cardiovascular issues
· heart attacks
· unexplained weight gain
· hair loss
· discomfort during sex
· loss of desire for intimacy
Now first of all don't panic! Us women are phenomenal beings and millions of women are still functioning fairly normally, at least some of the time....and survive this phase in their life, and there are advantages......
Seriously though, this list looks rather daunting when you see it written down like this, but you are not going to get all the symptoms all the time - so - what will really help you is to decide to make some small changes. The first thing is your mindset! Start getting into the habit of putting yourself at the top of your list and choose now to get more organised. I think THE best and simplest way to do that is to have a special notebook or diary that you write in each day. Record how you feel, the symptoms, what healthy or unhealthy food you eat. How did you sleep? Did you have any hot flushes/night sweets? Mood levels?
How much water, coffee, alcohol you drink. do this for t lest a week and you will be amazed at how much information you have about yourself, your daily patterns and it heightens your awareness.Being aware of how you feel and how you treat your body puts you in a very empowering position enabling you to really take control of your life rather than being the target of whatever the Menopause throws at you!
Please go to my blog on Menopause - solutions to reduce symptoms and feel better!