One of the universal milestones of the female experience – the end of menstruation and conclusion of the childbearing years – is a transition that each woman experiences in her own unique way.
The term Menopause is often used to describe the 3 distinct phases the female body naturally undergoes as it shifts into a new hormonal state. This shift can bring a diverse set of changes and challenges for both your physical and emotional wellbeing.
There’s no definitive age in which you’ll enter or move through the phases of menopause, but most women tend to go through it in their 40s or 50s – reaching the end of menstruation on average at age 51.
Women who have had their ovaries surgically removed will abruptly enter menopause. And some medical conditions can cause a woman to prematurely begin the process. But no matter how you arrive to your post-menopausal years, collaborative support can help you navigate this new chapter of your life.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Menopause
This transition affects us all differently – you may sail through with minimal challenges or experience a wide range of symptoms at varying degrees of intensity.
- Hot flashes
- Night Sweats
- Weight gain
- Mood changes
- Sleep difficulties
- Frequent urination
- Vaginal Dryness
- Decreased libido
- Changes in flow & length of periods
It’s also quite common for your periods to stop and restart as you transition into menopause. Even though you may not always have a cycle, you can still become pregnant during this time.
Stages of Menopause
- Perimenopause is a transitional time when your hormone levels begin to fluctuate and decline. For women experiencing natural menopause, these hormonal changes can begin as early as their late 30s, but most first notice changes while in their 40s – and this process can ebb and flow over a 2-10 year period.
- Menopause is a brief stage that marks the completion of the hormonal transition. Your shift into menopause is confirmed by the absence of menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months.
- Postmenopause is a stage that encompasses your post-reproductive years. Your body will no longer produce significant amounts of estrogen and your ovaries won’t release eggs. You may find that your perimenopausal symptoms lessen – but for many women, they linger.
Menopause Symptom Relief
- Hormone Replacement Therapy– The most common form of treatment for menopausal symptoms is to replace the hormones that are no longer being made in your body. There are various approaches and possible combinations – your Axia Women’s Health provider can help you determine which treatment may be right for you, or refer you to an HRT specialist.
- Laser Treatment– Sex can become painful during and after menopause. Many women find relief with , a simple and clinically proven laser treatment that eases both sexual and urinary symptoms.
- Self-Care– Eating nutritious meals, engaging in stress relieving activities, and finding ways to stay physically active will all help you to maintain a high quality of life.
Whether you’re heading down the path toward menopause, have recently arrived, or are well into living life after your reproductive years, we’re here to support you in your own unique experience.