Menopause, Perimenopause and Postmenopause
- What is menopause?
- Why does menopause happen?
- What are the hormonal changes during menopause?
- How does natural menopause occur?
- How long does perimenopause (the menopause transition) last?
- What is premature menopause?
- What are the symptoms of menopause?
- What are hot flashes and how long will I have them?
- What triggers a hot flash?
- Can menopause cause facial hair growth?
- Is having a hard time concentrating and being forgetful a normal part of menopause?
- Can menopause cause depression?
- Are there any other emotional changes that can happen during menopause?
- How does menopause affect my bladder control?
- Will I start menopause if I have a hysterectomy?
- How Can I Treat the Symptoms?
- Does Menopause Ever Stop?
- How to know when menopause is over
- Read the full video transcript below
- How long does menopause?
- What are the signs that menopause is finally over?
- Why am I still getting symptoms after menopause?
- Coming off HRT
- How will I feel after the menopause?
- The menopause
Menopause, Perimenopause and Postmenopause
What is menopause?
Menopause is a stage in life when you stop having your monthly period. It’s a normal part of aging and marks the end of your reproductive years. Menopause typically occurs in your late 40s to early 50s. However, women who have their ovaries surgically removed undergo “sudden” surgical menopause.
Why does menopause happen?
Natural menopause—menopause that happens in your early 50s and is not caused by surgery or another medical condition—is a normal part of aging. Menopause is defined as a complete year without menstrual bleeding, in the absence of any surgery or medical condition that may cause bleeding to artificially stop (use of hormonal birth control, overactive thyroid, etc.) As you age, the reproductive cycle begins to slow down and prepares to stop. This cycle has been continuously functioning since puberty. As menopause nears, the ovaries make less of a hormone called estrogen. When this decrease occurs, your menstrual cycle (period) starts to change. It can become irregular and then stop. Physical changes can also happen as your body adapts to different levels of hormones. The symptoms you experience during each stage of menopause (perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause) are all part of your body’s adjustment to these changes.
What are the hormonal changes during menopause?
The traditional changes we think of as “menopause” happen when the ovaries no longer produce high levels of hormones. The ovaries are the reproductive glands that store eggs and release them into the fallopian tubes. They also produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone as well as testosterone. Together, estrogen and progesterone control menstruation. Estrogen also influences how the body uses calcium and maintains cholesterol levels in the blood.
As menopause nears, the ovaries no longer release eggs into the fallopian tubes, and you’ll have your last menstrual cycle.
How does natural menopause occur?
Natural menopause is the permanent ending of menstruation that is not brought on by any type of medical treatment. For women undergoing natural menopause, the process is gradual and is described in three stages:
- Perimenopause or “menopause transition”: Perimenopause can begin eight to 10 years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in the 30s as well. Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last one to two years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many women may experience menopause symptoms. Women are still having menstrual cycles during this time, and can get pregnant.
- Menopause: Menopause is the point when a woman no longer has menstrual periods. At this stage, the ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and producing most of their estrogen. Menopause is diagnosed when a woman has gone without a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months.
- Postmenopause: This is the name given to the period of time after a woman has not bled for an entire year (the rest of your life after going through menopause). During this stage, menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, may ease for many women. However, some women continue to experience menopausal symptoms for a decade or longer after the menopause transition. As a result of a lower level of estrogen, postmenopausal women are at increased risk for a number of health conditions, such as osteoporosis and heart disease. Medication, such as hormone therapy and/or healthy lifestyle changes, may reduce the risk of some of these conditions. Since every woman’s risk is different, talk to your doctor to learn what steps you can take to reduce your individual risk.
How long does perimenopause (the menopause transition) last?
The length of each stage of the menopause transition can vary for each individual. The average length of perimenopause is about four years. Some women may only be in this stage for a few months, while others will be in this transition phase for more than four years. If you have gone more than 12 months without having a period, you are no longer perimenopausal. However, if there are medications or medical conditions that may affect periods, it can be more difficult to know the specific stage of the menopause transition.
What is premature menopause?
Menopause, when it occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, is considered “natural” and is a normal part of aging. But, some women can experience menopause early, either as a result of a surgical intervention (such as removal of the ovaries) or damage to the ovaries (such as from chemotherapy). Menopause that occurs before the age of 45, regardless of the cause, is called early menopause. Menopause that occurs at 40 or younger is considered premature menopause.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
You may be transitioning into menopause if you begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:
- Hot flashes (a sudden feeling of warmth that spreads over the body).
- Night sweats and/or cold flashes.
- Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex.
- Urinary urgency (a pressing need to urinate more frequently).
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
- Emotional changes (irritability, mood swings, mild depression).
- Dry skin, dry eyes or dry mouth.
Women who are still in the menopause transition (perimenopause) may also experience:
- Breast tenderness.
- Worsening of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Irregular periods or skipping periods.
- Periods that are heavier or lighter than usual.
Some women might also experience:
- Racing heart.
- Joint and muscle aches and pains.
- Changes in libido (sex drive).
- Difficulty concentrating, memory lapses (often temporary).
- Weight gain.
- Hair loss or thinning.
These symptoms can be a sign that the ovaries are producing less estrogen, or a sign of increased fluctuation (ups and downs) in hormone levels. Not all women get all of these symptoms. However, women affected with new symptoms of racing heart, urinary changes, headaches, or other new medical problems should see a doctor to make sure there is no other cause for these symptoms.
What are hot flashes and how long will I have them?
Hot flashes are one of the most frequent symptoms of menopause. It is a brief sensation of heat. Hot flashes aren’t the same for everyone and there’s no definitive reason that they happen. Aside from the heat, hot flashes can also come with:
- A red, flushed face.
- A chilled feeling after the heat.
Hot flashes not only feel different for each person—they also can last for various amounts of time. Some women only have hot flashes for a short period of time during menopause. Others can have some kind of hot flash for the rest of their life. Typically, hot flashes are less severe as time goes on.
What triggers a hot flash?
There are quite a few normal things in your daily life that could set off a hot flash. Some things to look out for include:
- Spicy foods.
- Tight clothing.
- Stress and anxiety.
Heat, including hot weather, can also trigger a hot flash. Be careful when working out in hot weather—this could cause a hot flash.
Can menopause cause facial hair growth?
Yes, increased facial hair growth can be a change related to menopause. The hormonal change your body goes through during menopause can result in several physical changes to your body, including more facial hair than you may have had in the past. If facial hair becomes a problem for you, waxing or using other hair removers may be options. Talk to your healthcare provider about your options to make sure you don’t pick a product that could harm your skin.
Is having a hard time concentrating and being forgetful a normal part of menopause?
Unfortunately, concentration and minor memory problems can be a normal part of menopause. Though this doesn’t happen to everyone, it can happen. Doctors aren’t sure why this happens. If you’re having memory problems during menopause, call your healthcare provider. There are several activities that have been shown to stimulate the brain and help rejuvenate your memory. These activities can include:
- Doing crossword puzzles and other mentally stimulating activities like reading and doing math problems.
- Cutting back on passive activities like watching TV.
- Getting plenty of exercise.
Keep in mind that depression and anxiety can also impact your memory. These conditions can be linked to menopause.
Can menopause cause depression?
Your body goes through a lot of changes during menopause. There are extreme shifts in your hormone levels, you may not be sleeping well because of hot flashes and you may be experiencing mood swings. Anxiety and fear could also be at play during this time. All of these factors can lead to depression.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of depression, talk to your healthcare provider. During your conversation, your provider will tell you about different types of treatment and check to make sure there isn’t another medical condition causing your depression. Thyroid problems can sometimes be the cause of depression.
Are there any other emotional changes that can happen during menopause?
Menopause can cause a variety of emotional changes, including:
- A loss of energy and insomnia.
- A lack of motivation and difficulty concentrating.
- Anxiety, depression, mood changes and tension.
- Aggressiveness and irritability.
All of these emotional changes can happen outside of menopause. You have probably experienced some of them throughout your life. Managing emotional changes during menopause can be difficult, but it is possible. Your healthcare provider may be able to prescribe a medication to help you (hormone therapy or an antidepressant). It may also help to just know that there is a name to the feeling you are experiencing. Support groups and counseling are useful tools when dealing with these emotional changes during menopause.
How does menopause affect my bladder control?
Unfortunately, bladder control issues (also called urinary incontinence) are common for women going through menopause. There are several reasons why this happens, including:
- Estrogen. This hormone plays several roles in your body. It not only controls your period and promotes changes in your body during pregnancy, estrogen also keeps the lining of your bladder and urethra healthy.
- Pelvic floor muscles. Supporting the organs in your pelvis—your bladder and uterus—are called the pelvic floor muscles. Throughout your life, these muscles can weaken. This can happen during pregnancy, childbirth and from weight gain. When the muscles weaken, you can experience urinary incontinence (leakage).
Specific bladder control problems that you might have can include:
- Stress incontinence (leakage when you cough, sneeze or lift something heavy).
- Urge incontinence (leakage because your bladder squeezes at the wrong time).
- Painful urination (discomfort each time you urinate).
- Nocturia (feeling the need to get up in the night to urinate).
Will I start menopause if I have a hysterectomy?
During a hysterectomy, your uterus is removed. You won’t have a period after this procedure. However, if you kept your ovaries—removal of your ovaries is called an oophorectomy—you may not have symptoms of menopause right away. If your ovaries are also removed, you will have symptoms of menopause immediately.
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How Can I Treat the Symptoms?
There are a bunch of ways.
Lifestyle changes. A healthy diet and regular exercise program will help manage your symptoms and boost your health. This is a great time to finally kick any old, unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking too much alcohol. To help with hot flashes, dress lightly and in layers. Avoid triggers like caffeine and spicy foods. And if you stay sexually active, that may help preserve your vaginal lining.
Prescription medication for hot flashes. If you still have your uterus, your doctor might prescribe treatment with estrogen and progesterone. This is called combination hormone therapy (HT) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It helps with hot flashes and night sweats, and it may help prevent osteoporosis. If you don’t have a uterus, you might get estrogen alone.
Hormone therapy isn’t for everyone. Don’t take it if you’ve ever had breast cancer, uterine or “endometrial” cancer, blood clots, liver disease, or a stroke. Also don’t take it if you might be pregnant or you have undiagnosed vaginal bleeding.
If you can’t or don’t want to take hormones, other medications can ease symptoms. They include antidepressants, antiseizure drugs, or blood pressure medications to help with hot flashes and mood swings.
Prescription and OTC medication for vaginal dryness and sleep problems. You can try topical estrogen, lubricants, and non-estrogen prescriptions for dryness and painful sex. OTC or prescription sleep aids can help if you have trouble falling asleep.
Nontraditional options. There are many unproven methods for treating menopause symptoms. Some work better than others. Acupuncture, meditation, and relaxation techniques are harmless ways to ease the stress of menopause, and some people believe they help. Many women also try herbal or natural remedies. Talk to a doctor before trying any of these.
Does Menopause Ever Stop?
Q1. When does menopause stop? Is it a forever thing? I am in it now, and I recently read that someone was done with it. If it does stop, how do you know it’s over? Are there signs? Please clear this up for me.
It sounds as though you may be confusing menopause and menopausal symptoms. Menopause is the cessation of menstrual periods, when you no longer ovulate and the ovaries stop producing estrogen. It is a forever thing. Once your periods stop, you shouldn’t have any more. If you do have bleeding after one year without periods, you should be evaluated by your doctor, because such bleeding may be linked to another health problem.
The result of menopause can be menopausal symptoms. These symptoms, unlike menopause itself, don’t usually last forever, and they can vary in duration and severity from woman to woman. Hot flashes and night sweats tend to get better in the two to three years following menopause, but 10 percent of women have these symptoms for ten years or more. Other symptoms, such as vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse, don’t necessarily improve. Also, the risk of heart disease begins to increase after menopause for most women, and the deficiency in estrogen can contribute to osteoporosis.
Not all women need treatment for these menopausal symptoms, but there are different treatment options available if the symptoms interfere with your quality of life.
Q2. I am 47 and about 100 pounds overweight. I’m trying hard to get in better shape, but in the meantime, I’m wondering if my weight will have any effect on when menopause starts for me.
Your mother’s age at menopause is the most reliable predictor of when it will happen for you, but there is limited data supporting the association between being overweight and later menopause. Smoking can make menopause come earlier.
You deserve a lot of credit for trying to get in shape. It is more and more important as you age. Even losing 10 percent of your body weight will improve your health and especially reduce your chances of getting diabetes.
Sadly, perimenopause is a time when many women gain weight, so even just keeping your weight stable is an accomplishment. There is no magic formula. To lose weight, input must be less than output. So the key factors are exercise and portion control at meals. Some women do well with meal replacements such as Slim-Fast. Others find the support of Weight Watchers a help.
Q3. I’m 57 and menopausal. I do aerobics three times a week and take hour-long walks on the other days. Yet I still find it so difficult to lose weight. What can I do?
Weight gain is a challenging problem for midlife women. The facts are not pretty.
If you eat an extra Lifesaver a day, you will gain two pounds a year. If you gain two pounds a year for 10 years, it adds up to 20 pounds. And that’s just a Lifesaver! Just imagine what happens when you treat yourself to a 700-calorie cinnamon sticky bun from Au Bon Pain.
On the other hand, one hour of low-impact aerobic exercise burns 365 calories, and your walk burns 277 (that’s assuming you weigh 160 pounds; if you weigh less, it burns fewer calories). But as women age, their metabolism slows down. You do the math!
Just not gaining weight is an accomplishment for a midlife woman. And what’s required is continuing to exercise while being vigilant about controlling what you eat. Eat small portions, avoid empty calories (such as alcohol and juices), and understand that if you have a big meal one day, then having a low-calorie day soon after is necessary. This is a lifelong effort.
Q4. I am now in menopause after having my left ovary removed. I have lost two-thirds of my hair, have trouble sleeping at night, and can’t seem to lose weight. What can I do? I am already walking one hour a day, yet I’m still gaining weight instead of losing it!
The key to losing weight is burning more calories than you consume; this means cutting calories and doing regular physical activity and strength training, which can increase your muscle mass and thereby boost your metabolic rate. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day (ideally you should do 45 to 60 minutes), such as brisk walking. Try to also do strength training for 20 minutes, three times a week. Since you’re already walking everyday, you can step up the intensity of your activity. For example, do a walk combined with a run, try an aerobics class, do dance videos at home, or join a health club and use the machines. Keeping up with this exercise routine should help with the sleep issues too.
You can also do things on the diet side of the equation. Watch your portion size, eat higher volume, more filling foods (such as fiber, fruits and vegetables), and decrease your overall calorie intake. If that doesn’t work you can try specific diets, though keep in mind that they usually don’t work long term.
Hormone therapy won’t help to prevent weight gain, unfortunately, and weight gain alone isn’t a reason to start this treatment. But usually you can avoid age-related weight gain by increasing your activity and increasing its intensity, doing strength training, and moderately restricting calories.
Learn more in the Everyday Health Menopause Center.
How to know when menopause is over
Read the full video transcript below
Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog. And today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I’m going to be talking about “How do you know when the menopause is over?” This is such a common question that I get asked and quite rightly so. When you’re in the middle of the menopause and feeling really awful, or you’re just having a tough time, the thought of knowing when it’s all going to end could be really helpful.
How long does menopause?
The problem is that this is another one of those really difficult questions to answer. And what I get asked a lot about in this situation is “How long does the menopause last?” Because if you know how long it’s going to last, that will give you a rough idea when it’s coming to an end for you. But the problem here is that every single woman will have a different menopause.
Every single one of you sitting out there tonight will have a unique menopause that’s just yours and yours alone. There is no one size fits all. Now, we could have 10 women all squashed up on the settee sitting here, all the same age, all going through the menopause, and they would each have a completely different experience, and this is why it’s so difficult to answer these types of questions.
So roughly, I mean, all I can say here is this is a very rough guide, and normally, the average length of time for the perimenopause is about three years. So from the moment that you notice your hormones are changing, that you’re getting some kind of menopausal symptom or symptoms, until your periods stop for good, the average length of time is about three years.
Now, for some women, it’s going to be very quick. They might not even really notice much going on until they suddenly realise they haven’t had a period for a few months. For other women, this perimenopausal phase could last up to seven or eight years. So again, this is going to be unique for you.
Once your periods have stopped, when they’ve been stopped for two years, then you’re considered to be postmenopause. Now, I know I spoke about this, I think last week, about some sources say when you’ve finished your periods for a year, then you’re considered through the menopause. We like to say two just to be totally on the safe side. So roughly, for the average woman, you’re talking about five years in total.
But remember, in some women, it’s going to be a lot shorter and easier, and for some women, it’s going to be a lot longer and possibly harder.
What are the signs that menopause is finally over?
I’m also asked, “What are the signs that the menopause is finally over?” Usually, it’s just a case of you start to feel better.
Your symptoms have eased off or stopped. You’re more like you, or you feel better. You’re sleeping better. Your health is better. And normally, that’s the point when you can say to yourself, “Thank goodness. That’s it. Finally, all over and done with.”
Why am I still getting symptoms after menopause?
But we also get a large number of women wanting to know why they’re still getting symptoms well through the menopause. Now, remember, once your periods have stopped for two years, that’s you postmenopausal, but your hormones just don’t suddenly stop changing after the two years. Your hormonal balance can continue to change and fluctuate for a good number of years after that.
And for some women, this continual hormonal change will continue to trigger menopause symptoms. But what we do tend to say is if you are still getting menopausal symptoms after about four or five years or longer after your periods have finally stopped, then we advise you just to get things checked out by your doctor.
Other health issues can creep in. The poor menopause can get the blame. And, you know, a lot of women will try menopausal remedies and find that they don’t really work because other health issues have taken over the role, if you like, and are continuing to trigger menopause-like symptoms. So it’s really important, in this situation, just ask for a health check from your doctor because if it is anything else, very often, it can be sorted, and that will make you feel better in the long run.
Coming off HRT
Now, the one other thing that I want to mention here is if you are coming off HRT, what happens here is you are getting a very quick hormonal fall from the level of hormones that the HRT is giving you to your own natural hormone levels, which will be quite low, especially if you’ve been on HRT a long time.
And this sudden stopping of HRT can trigger menopausal symptoms. And what can happen here… If you’re 65, and you went through the menopause in your mid-50s and you come off HRT, you may start to get menopause symptoms again. Unlike a natural menopause, your body may take quite a while to rebalance itself after coming off HRT, but again, this doesn’t happen to everybody.
Some women can come off HRT and be absolutely fine, but unfortunately, you won’t know what’s going to happen until you come off the HRT.
How will I feel after the menopause?
And the last question, and probably a really, really important one is “How will you feel when it’s all over?” Now, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t feel as good, if not better than you did before the menopause because the monthly cycle takes quite a lot of energy out of you.
So once your hormones have stopped this cycle completely and you’re through the menopause, you can very often have a lot more energy. You can become much more focused. You can be more energetic. So there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t have a great life after the menopause.
But, and this is a real big but, it can take a lot of hard work. If you think about it, if you’ve gone through the average five years, for five whole years, your body has been under a huge amount of stress from all the hormonal changes that have been going on.
Your body has had to work really hard. It’s maybe had to really struggle. And once your hormone levels have balanced off, your body still has to recuperate and, you know, as women today, we tend to really push our bodies. So you need to realise that especially, once your periods stop, that this is the point when you have to take care of yourself really well.
You have to have a good diet. You have to have good nutrition. You have to have that rest and relaxation because the better that you look after yourself now, the better that your postmenopausal years are going to be, and that is a really great incentive.
So I hope this has given you a little bit of more information and a bit of hope just to realise that, you know, it’s not all doom and gloom. And although when you’re in it, you sometimes can’t even imagine where the end will be, there is one.
So until next week, I’ll look forward to seeing you for another A.Vogel Talks Menopause.
‘The change’, ‘the climacteric’, ‘the time of life’ – call it what you will, it is an unavoidable fact that all women go through the menopause. However, for many women this natural process is a time of anxiety and distress due to the various symptoms that can accompany it. Some menopausal changes can also be brought about by treatments for cancer, including chemotherapy, ovarian ablation and hormone therapy. Whatever their cause, this fact sheet aims to explain just what these changes are, and what you can do to make things easier.
What is the menopause?
The menopause refers to that time in every woman’s life when her periods stop and her ovaries lose their reproductive function. Usually, this occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. In the UK the average age is 51. In a few exceptional cases women may become menopausal in their 30s, or even younger. This is then known as a premature menopause, or premature ovarian insufficiency.
The menopause is influenced by hormones – or more correctly, by a change in hormone levels. During a woman’s fertile years, her ability to produce an egg each month is associated with the release of three reproductive hormones (oestradiol, oestrone and oestriol), that are referred to collectively as oestrogen. Oestrogen is mainly produced by the ovaries, though small amounts are also made by the adrenal glands and by the placenta of a pregnant woman.
It is oestrogen which stimulates female characteristics at puberty and controls a woman’s reproductive cycle: the development and release of an egg each month (ovulation) for implantation in the uterus (womb), and the way in which the lining of the womb thickens to accept a fertilized egg. The monthly period happens because no implantation has taken place – there is no pregnancy – and the lining of the womb is shed.
As women get older, their store of eggs in the ovary decreases and their ability to conceive diminishes. At this time, less oestrogen is produced, causing the body to behave differently. However the body does not stop producing oestrogen overnight, and the process can even take several years, during which symptoms arise gradually. This gradual change is called the ‘peri-menopause’.
At around the age of 50-55 years, the monthly cycle stops completely – so no more ovulations, no more periods and no more pregnancies. This is the menopause.
What happens and how does it feel?
For some women this loss of reproductive ability may be deeply felt, and for all women the menopause is a personal experience, not just a medical condition. However, the diminishing release of oestrogen from the ovary as women advance into their 40s is often the cause of symptoms which can be distressing and may need medical attention.
Hot flushes are the most common symptom of the menopause, occurring in three in every four menopausal women. Other common symptoms include night sweats, sleeplessness, vaginal dryness, irritated skin*, more frequent urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections, low mood and a reduced interest in sex. Symptoms vary hugely in duration, severity and what impact they have on women.
*Formication can be defined as itchy skin or a crawling feeling as though tiny insects are on the body. This usually occurs early in the menopause or soon after the last period and does eventually disappear on its own.
All the common symptoms of the menopause are associated with a decrease in the body’s production of oestrogen. Oestrogen lack can affect many parts of the body, including the brain, causing changes in emotional well-being, and the skin, influencing its elasticity and thickness.
Once the ovaries have ceased their production of oestrogen, other changes take place which may have more of an effect on long-term health. Most commonly these changes affect the strength and density of bones, increasing the risk of the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. The bones of the female skeleton depend on oestrogen to maintain their strength and resistance to fracture. However, while hot flush or vaginal dryness are obvious, there are no obvious symptoms of Osteoporosis – the first sign is usually the fracture of a bone. It’s for this reason that osteoporosis has been called “the silent epidemic”.
There is also some evidence that oestrogen deficiency is the cause of some chemical changes in the body which make women after the menopause especially vulnerable to heart disease and stroke.
Confirming that the menopause has taken place
It’s not always easy to confirm that the menopause has actually happened. Of course, irregular periods and the occasional hot flush are a sign that changes are taking place, but identifying the time of the actual menopause is not so simple, especially if you are taking the Pill or have started Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for the relief of peri-menopausal symptoms.
The question may seem irrelevant, but it is helpful to know the date of your last period, not only so that you can respond to symptoms in the most appropriate way, but also for contraceptive purposes. A truly menopausal woman will be infertile and will have no need of contraception. However, most doctors advise menopausal women under 50 to continue with their contraception for two years after their last period and for one year if they are over 50.
Most doctors will evaluate a woman’s menopausal status according to her symptoms (hot flushes, for example), pattern of periods, and medical record. It is possible to take a blood test to measure levels of a reproductive hormone known as FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). However, while elevated FSH levels may be a sign of the menopause, the test is not always accurate and results can’t be guaranteed so that measurement of FSH is not required to diagnose perimenopause or menopause in women aged over 45 years.
Some women by the age of 50 may have had a hysterectomy and, at the same time, surgical removal of the ovaries for various medical reasons. Removal of the ovaries will, of course, create an immediate menopause, whatever the patient’s age, and all the symptoms and risks associated with a natural menopause will apply to these women.
This is also the case in those rare instances of premature ovarian insufficiency, when the hormonal system fails at an early age and the ovaries lose their normal function.
What can be done?
A healthy lifestyle can minimize the effects of the menopause, helping to keep the heart and bones strong. Many women feel that this is a good time to review the way they treat their body. Here are some tips to give your body the easiest ride: