Every woman experiences menopause as she matures in age. It is the indication that her reproductive stage is ending or has ended.
Many young women may want to know more about this stage so researching all about what is menopause is something natural.
It is essential to know what changes to expect and how to deal with them when facing menopause.
What is menopause?
Menopause is generally referring to the conditions a woman experiences in the days she stops menstruating and enters in the infertile period of her life. This includes a multitude of physical and emotional changes that she experiences as she approaches the ending of her reproductive age. The menopause may extend over a few years for some women.
Menopause may be natural or caused by medical conditions. Most women experience natural menopause while they are in their 40’s. If it occurs earlier, it is known as premature menopause.
Some women may experience menopause due to chemotherapy, hysterectomy, accidents etc. most women reach the stage of menopause in their fifties.
What is natural menopause?
Every woman is born with a fixed number of eggs in her ovaries. As she ages, the number of eggs is reduced and with time, her ovaries may stop releasing eggs every month. The production of hormones like progesterone and estrogen also decline. This brings out many changes in the body.
Menopause is divided into perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause.
It may come as a surprise to some women but the perimenopause stage may begin some years before the onset of menopause. The stage starts when the ovaries start producing a smaller quantity of estrogen. It continues until menopause or the time when the ovaries no longer produce eggs. In the last couple of years before menopause, the estrogen levels fall drastically.
So what is menopause and how does it change your life?
A woman is deemed to start her menopause when she has not had her menstruation during a whole 12 months interval. The ovaries hardly have any estrogen and no longer produce eggs.
Post-menopause is the years following menopause. The menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia and weight gain are not as severe, but there is an increase in health risks due to the very low estrogen levels.
Symptoms of menopause
One of the first symptoms of menopause is hot flashes and irregularity of periods. A woman may feel sudden warmth in her upper body and may experience sudden sweating too. The hot flashes may be mild to severe. Women feel a multitude of other symptoms too. These may vary from woman to woman in their occurrence, severity and regularity.
Women may experience irregular periods, mood swings, insomnia, depression, fatigue, racing heart, irritability, headaches, changes in libido, muscle and joint pains and aches, bladder control problems and or vaginal dryness.
Menopausal women may experience some or all of the symptoms in varying degrees. These symptoms explain about what is menopause.
Tests to confirm menopause
Women who are experiencing some or all of these symptoms may like to visit the doctor and confirm if they have reached the menopausal age. The doctor will request two tests to confirm, namely FSH or follicle stimulating hormone and a pap smear.
Learning what is menopause may be of great help to any woman especially if the knowledge acquired motivates her further to choose a healthy lifestyle.