Menopause is a time of change; some of these changes are temporary, some are permanent, but all can be problematic. If you find yourself concerned by your symptoms, talk to a doctor to rule out a more serious underlying cause.
What Are the Stages of Menopause?
Most symptoms are experienced in perimenopause. Menopause is the day when a woman has been period-free for a whole year; the time leading up to this point is perimenopause. Once a woman has reached menopause, she becomes postmenopausal and many of the temporary symptoms she has experienced begin to fade by this point.
What Are the Physical Changes of Menopause?
Menopause is the cessation of menstruation and the transition from being fertile to infertile. The reason a woman begins this change is because she stops producing the amount of estrogen that she once did. Estrogen plays a major role in the control system of the body and when there is less of it, some of its jobs get neglected.
That is why there are many physical changes, and some of these may be permanent rather than temporary. They include:
- Weight gain, particularly around the midsection
- Increased risk of osteoporosis
- Sleep disorders
- Loss of libido and other issues with sexuality
- Hot flashes
What Are the Emotional Changes of Menopause?
Most of the emotional changes that are associated with menopause are temporary. Mood swings, problems with concentration, depression, and anxiety that accompany menopause are a result of the estrogen fluctuations, and often fade when estrogen levels even out in postmenopause, albeit at a reduced level. However, chronic sufferers of anxiety and depression should seek for professional help.
More Information about Menopause
The unpleasant stage of menopause is different for everyone. It is important to maintain good health habits not only once perimenopause has begun, but in early years to ensure a smooth transition. To learn more about the menopause treatments, click on the following 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.