Menopause is a natural process women go through, and it includes several stages. Some of us tend to read on the subject only when we get closer to a certain age.
However, this is a subject that should be much more accessible and talked about because it has a substantial impact on our bodies and lives as women. Although we might think that this could begin after we turn 40 or 50, the first stage of menopause can begin in our 30s.
What are the stages of menopause?
Health experts explain what happens during menopause and some of its most common symptoms during each stage. Menopause is the time span when a woman stops bleeding for twelve consecutive months. However, there are several stages before and after menopause. The first stage is a transitory process, which can begin even during our 30s. During this perimenopause, stage women can still get pregnant, but the body is slowly preparing to produce lower levels of hormones. Most women experience irregular periods, and PMS symptoms can become extreme.
After the woman reaches menopause, the ovaries stop releasing eggs and experience several symptoms such as hot or cold flashes, insomnia, and other sleeping disorders, dryness of the skin, mouth, and intimate parts, and the need to urinate frequently. Although most women expect all these natural changes to occur in their bodies, not all of us think about postmenopause.
What is postmenopause, and what should we expect?
After a woman stops having her menstrual cycles for over a year, the postmenopause stage sets in. Many would expect the most unpleasant symptoms to go away and the body to adjust to its new ways. However, for some women, some menopause-related symptoms continue to appear frequently.
A study has estimated that some symptoms typical during the transition between menopause and postmenopause can continue for 4.5 years. During postmenopause, some of the most common unpleasant symptoms are difficulty losing weight, vaginal atrophy, vaginal discharges, hot flashes, anxiety, and more.
Experts further explain that because bone density decreases, women are at risk of developing osteoporosis. Others might be at risk of developing heart diseases due to the lack of estrogen. Although postmenopause is the period after women stop bleeding for over a year, the first years might be the most complicated, as each body is different. Seeking the help of doctors is always a great idea, as well as regular check-ups.