What Is Menopause?

Growing up you heard about Aunt Betty's hot flashes or that she was going through "the change". Of course you had no idea what they were talking about. Now, as you yourself begin to notice changes in your body you want to know what they were talking about.

Menopause is the end of the menstruation cycle. Your body will no longer produce eggs and be fertile. This can occur naturally or as the result of surgery or medical treatment such as chemotherapy.

According to the Mayo Clinic for Women's Health, many women mistakenly believe that menopause is the signal that life is nearing the end. Actually, there is still as much as half of your life to go.

Many people mistakenly call perimenopause menopause. Menopause is technically the middle stage of a three-stage process -perimenopause, menopause and post menopause.

Perimenopause begins when your ovaries start producing less eggs and hormones. This means less chances of becoming pregnant but it also mea ns less consistency in menstrual cycles. They become irregular due to the fluctuation of hormones.

Perimenopause typically starts anywhere from one to five years before the onset of menopause. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average age for the symptoms of perimenopause is the late thirties with the last period being around age 51. The first signs that you are starting into this "change of life" are:

  • Irregular periods.
  • Decreased fertility.
  • Hot flashes.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Mood swings.
  • Increased stomach fat.
  • Thinning hair.

These symptoms may continue for up to five years before the final menstrual cycle occurs. Once the last cycle has occurred you have entered the menopausal stage.

During perimenopause your menstrual cycles may fluctuate. It is possible to have a regular cycle right up until the last one, though that is rare. Tapering off is more often the case.

Once you have a full year without any menstrual cycles, you are, by definition, in the menopausal stage. The years following are considered postmenopausal.

Menopause is a natural occurrence for all women. Some will experience more severe symptoms than others. Some women report not having any symptoms other than the lack of a menstrual cycle.

There are many organizations, doctors and women's groups available to help during the stages of menopause. The many hormonal changes that are occurring may cause frustration and anxiety. Online informative websites can help as well.

There are natural and prescription medications that can help to ease the discomforting symptoms. Whether you choose a natural treatment like black potash and other herbal treatments. Your family doctor can provide more information.

Menopause is a natural part of a woman's life. It can occur at various ages and can be medically induced due to surgeries or other medical treatments or can occur as a natural aging process. You don't have to let it become a life focus. With support and medications if necessary you can easily adjust to this next period of your life.

How can menopause change your health and your life? Find out what you can do to prevent menopause symptoms and live a healthy and active lifestyle today!