Menopause is a condition where a female's menstrual cycles end and do not reappear for more than 12 months. Thereby, menopause is considered to come when a woman reaches an age where she is not fertile anymore. Even though many people believe that menopause strikes and does not change, this is not true. Namely, menopause has different stages which can be differentiated.
Stages of Menopause
Before menopause actually strikes, hormonal changes affect a woman. Therefore, the first signs of menopause strike even while a woman is still fertile. Certain symptoms appear and hormonal changes take place, leading to complete cessation of menstrual cycles and the onset of menopause. This stage is also called premenopause.
Once premenopause ends, perimenopause begins, lasting for about 4 years before the menopause. Here, estrogen and progesterone levels in a female body start to drop rapidly. Once a woman has about 2 years to menopause, these hormonal changes start taking place even faster. Nevertheless, perimenopause may last for up to 10 years, usually affecting women who are older than 40, even though it can affect any woman from after her 30th birthday, up to the first years of 50s. Once this stage ends, a year long menopause hiatus happens and a woman officially enters menopause.
Menopause is a period where the female hormones have decreased significantly and permanently. Here, the ovaries of a woman do not produce eggs anymore and women in this stage cannot possibly get pregnant. The most common age for menopause to strike is between 45 and 60. Every menopause happening before the age of 35 is considered premature. Yet, these cases can happen due to surgical removal of the ovaries or certain illnesses.
Final Stage of Menopause
Postmenopause marks the end of menopause or the official beginning of the menopause without symptoms, the end of the bodily change. Women who reach this stage remain in it for the rest of their lives. Postmenopause is a time where women are susceptible to osteoporosis due to the lack of hormones since less estrogen equals less calcium absorption.
All in all, menopause is a natural process bound to affect the female body and mind. Numerous changes take place during this period and women may experience menopause as something disturbing. Yet, they need to bear in mind that menopause is something natural and normal, being a transition into a stage of experience and old age. It is something unavoidable and should be accepted and endured, taken for the best.