Stages of Menopause
Menopause is the common term for what’s actually two different stages: perimenopause and postmenopause. Women who know when to expect each stage and what symptoms to look for are well equipped to handle menopause. Avoid surprises and prepare for menopause with help from Relizen.
How Symptoms Evolve During Menopause Stages
As menopause progresses, symptoms may seem to occur in waves, with some symptoms carrying over from one stage to the next. Menopause can be broken out into two phases: first, perimenopause, and second, postmenopause. Since all women are unique, they should expect different symptoms from those of their friends or family members who are about the same age. Additionally, frequency and severity of menopause symptoms can change over time. This depends on many factors, some out of our control and others not.
Perimenopause begins three to five years before menopause. Irregular periods are a good sign you’re entering perimenopause. You may notice an unpredictable or heavy flow, spotting or completely missed cycles. You may
also experience menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, fatigue and more. Women will continue to have PMS symptoms such as cramps during perimenopause. As your body produces less reproductive hormones and you near menopause, the symptoms associated with menopause will last longer and become more severe, while the PMS symptoms are likely to begin fading out.
Postmenopause begins once you’ve stopped having regular periods for at least one full year. Symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats become more intense and last longer during menopause. Expect to see the most severe symptoms during this stage, including breast tenderness, decreased libido, insomnia, mood swings and vaginal dryness. While these symptoms may seem alarming, knowing what to expect will reduce the surprise and anxiety these symptoms may induce if you’re not informed. Remember that your body is doing what it’s designed to do and this process is healthy and natural.
Women should talk to their doctors about this stage of menopause and monitor their health closely. Due to the significant decrease in reproductive hormones when they’re postmenopausal, women are much more at risk of certain health conditions such as osteoporosis and heart disease. Smoking, drinking, and eating a diet high in salt, sugar and fat puts women more at risk of these health complications. Even if postmenopausal women lead a healthy lifestyle, they still may experience bleeding, which is rare and usually nothing to be concerned about. However, if you do experience postmenopausal bleeding, speak with your doctor.
Managing Menopause Symptoms
Many women successfully manage menopause symptoms through every stage by eating a nutritious diet, getting plenty of sleep and exercise, and taking time to relax. Even so, it’s always a great idea to establish a support network of other women your age to talk about your symptoms, tell stories and share advice. It’s a helpful reminder, when hot flashes or other symptoms keep you awake, that you’re not alone.
If your menopause symptoms are hindering your day-to-day activities, Relizen can help. Relizen is a safe, effective non-hormonal treatment that has been shown to reduce hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. Learn more about women’s health and how you can manage menopause symptoms on the Relizen blog.