If you are approaching menopause or you are currently in the middle of this transitional phase, you may have some questions regarding those changes. Whether it's regarding your symptoms or the frequency and duration of symptoms, there is a lot of information out there that can help you better understand this stage. Find out some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding menopause.
What Is the Difference Between Perimenopause and Menopause?
Perimenopause is the phase before menopause, although many people mistake the two. Menopause is when you have been period-free for a whole year. Perimenopause is the period before menopause, which can last anywhere from one to ten years prior to menopause. While most symptoms occur during the perimenopause stage, some of these can continue into menopause and postmenopause. The ovaries are preparing for the cessation of their main role, which causes a hormonal imbalance. It is this hormonal change that causes menopausal symptoms.
What Is the Average Age of Menopause?
On average women begin perimenopause in their early 40s, and this can continue for up to ten years. However, some women will begin earlier and others later. No age is set in stone. Neither is the length of time it takes to reach menopause.
What Symptoms Should I Expect to Have in Menopause?
Typically, about 70% of women will experience menopause symptoms, but every woman will have varied experiences regarding their symptoms. While virtually every woman will experience irregular periods at some point, other common symptoms can occur, including hot flashes, night sweats, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. There are thirty-four total symptoms menopausal women can suffer from. The list can be found in the link at the bottom of the page.
How Long Does Menopause Last For?
Perimenopause can last anywhere from one to ten years. The severity, frequency, duration, and symptoms will vary for each woman during this transition. Menopause lasts for one year and consists of the year following your final menstrual cycle.
Can I Delay Menopause?
Menopause is a natural aging process, so you can't stop it from happening or delay it. You can only take steps to reduce the frequency and severity of potential symptoms. These include having a healthy and balanced diet, getting daily exercise, using de-stress techniques, staying hydrated, getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, avoiding excess consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and increasing your intake of vitamins B, C, D, and E.
More Information about Menopause
While menopause can be a difficult transition, being prepared and informed will make things easier to manage. To find out more about the thirty-four menopause symptoms and to learn how you can treat them, follow this link.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
- Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.