Did you know, around 25 million women worldwide will be entering the menopause this year, and even more will be experiencing menopausal symptoms as their hormones begin to fluctuate ahead of the change? And the number of menopausal women will reach 1.2 billion by the year 2030, making up a huge demographic of the world’s population.
With so many women being classed as menopausal, it is right we clarify what menopause is, how it can be helped, and answer the question: what are the stages of the menopause?
What is the menopause?
The menopause is the point in a woman’s life at which she has not had a menstrual cycle for over 12 months. This is because her ovaries no longer produce hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which prevents the creation and release of any more eggs for reproduction.
It doesn’t just happen overnight however; many people experience symptoms linked to the menopause many years before their cycle has completely halted. These symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Loss of hair
- Low libido
- Brain fog
- Memory loss
Symptoms like the above can be completely life changing, with many women leaving the workplace, experiencing depression, and generally experience a reduced quality of life. While exercise and natural remedies can help for some, others need to target the root cause: a lack of hormones. This is done through Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) available through Bodyline Clinic.
So why do these symptoms occur long before a woman has reached the menopause? That’s because the first stages of the menopause begin well before a woman’s final period.
The Stages of the Menopause
The stages of the menopause can be explained by hormone levels across a woman’s life. Her hormones will gradually decrease once she has finally developed to sexual maturity in her mid-20’s.
The perimenopause is the stage between a woman’s last regular period to her final period, where her hormones begin declining at a faster rate, but levels fluctuate throughout. These hormones include estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone, all available at Bodyline Clinic in our bespoke HRT treatment plans.
Perimenopause varies in length of time depending on the woman, it can last anywhere from a few months to 10 years. On average, it lasts 4 years, but you can generally predict your menopausal experience by looking at your mother’s.
It is during the perimenopause a woman will see the emergence of symptoms, varying in intensity and impact throughout. However, though periods are irregular in this time, a woman still has the potential to get pregnant.
The menopause is the point at which a woman no longer menstruates and cannot fall pregnant. Her hormone levels are much lower than previously in her life, and each continue to decrease (though at slower rates than in perimenopause). You would be diagnosed with the menopause once you have not had a period for 12 months.
This is the stage after a woman has gone through the menopause, where symptoms persist but will gradually improve over time. The ovaries are no longer ovulating, and a woman is unable to reproduce and become pregnant. Post-menopause is the final stage of menopause and lasts for the rest of a woman’s life. Some women continue to experience symptoms for many years after her final period, but they can choose to reduce these life-altering symptoms through HRT treatments that can stabilise their hormone levels.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bodyline’s bespoke HRT treatments come in the form of our M-Plan. We are menopause specialists, offering a holistic and supportive journey through every stage of the menopause; from perimenopause, during the menopause through to post menopause.
Our menopause nurses provide choice on how clients can manage their menopause, offering treatment and support options. The M Plan is tailored to you and developed taking into consideration blood test results, individual menopause symptoms, health needs and risk factors ensuring optimised health and wellbeing.
We prescribe bespoke hormone replacement therapy treatments (HRT), provide personalised menopause support, recommend wellness enhancing vitamins and supplements and give lifestyle recommendations. Your individual prescription could include oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) that can be easily modified and fine-tuned according to your changing symptoms and your future blood screening results.