Oh, the menopause. The real reasone as to why out mums get weridly into portable fans – this is basically as much as we know, as beyond that we are completely in the dark, blissfully ignorant about what the menopause -actually entails of those of us with ovaries.
Knowledge is super important and extremely powerful – in this case, slightly sobering realisation that our dewy, hydrated and self-lubricating youth inner working, won’t always be that way. But like always, we will grow through what we go through – if all else fails, i for sure think that tiktok will probably have discovered some sort of hack by then. Come on, we have totally got this.
What is the menpause??
The menopause is when a women’s life typically between the ages of 45-55, when the menstrual cycle completely stops – when a women hasn’t menstrual in 12 consective months.
At this stage, the ovaries will stop releasing eggs and producing high levels of oestrogen- meaning that a women will no longer be fertile and won’t be able to pregnant nautally. Depending on medical history and symptoms, blood-test my be needing to rule out any underlying conditions and also confirming a menopause dignosis.
Premenopause, or menopause transition as it’s sometimes referred to, happens well before you offically hit menopause, this usually between 4-8 years. Due to the hormones levels change, you may experience a few symptoms that are commonly associated with menopause like; irregular periods, breast tenderness, trouble sleeping, headaches, as well as other physical and emotional symptons.
During the perimenopause stage, you may still be ovulating so you can still get pregnant, even if you’ve missed a period for a month or more.
Symptoms of menopause?
Every women’s menopause experience is unique to them, but some of the most common symptons can included; heavier, lighter or less frequent/irregular periods, night sweats and hot flushes (extreme heat in the upper part of the body) – these are very similar to some of the symptoms that will be experienced during the perimenopause stage and vary in severity. This is because if the hormone changes that women will experience, many women might suffer with physical, emotional and psychological changes too.
What are the treatmenrs for the symptoms?
If you are experiencing severe symptoms or symptoms that are impacting your quality of life, then hormone therapy might be an effective treatment. HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is a common treatment that helps to relieve the symptoms of menopause – night sweats, vaginal atrophy (thinning of the wall of the vagina caused by decreased oestrogen) and hot flushes.
There’s two types of HRT: Oestrogen-only HRT which is for women who have had an hysterectomy; this is were a women has had their womb removed. Combined HRT Replaces, oestrogen and progestogen are two main hormones that ovaries will no longer produces. This is only offered to women who still have their womb, as the progestogen protects against the risk of womb cancer which is associated with oestrogen-only HRT.
HRT treatment will either be cyclical (often known as sequential HRT), which is recommended for women taking combined HRT; who still have menopause symptoms but still have their periods. Continous involves taking oestrogen and progestogen everyday without a break. Women also tend to be prescribed it after they have received sequential HRT for a least one year or one year since their last menstural.
On the NHS websites, it states that you can start HRT as soon as your experiencing activities. HRT can be delieved in different forms including tablets, topical hormone therapy, skin patches, gels to help with dyness and pessearies. After about a few years, your menopausal symptoms should subsided and this is when you can gradually decreased you dose and tapper off the hormones. Lifestyle changes is another way that can help to mange mild to moderate symptoms. These include practising relaxation techniques, supplementing your diet with calcium, vitamin D and magnesium and keeping active can all help.
Women who enter early menopause tends to be under 45. This normally induced by sugery, gentics, certain health conditions such as autoimmume diseases and cancer treatment, but the cause can’t alway be determined.
POI (Premature Ovarian Insufficieny) occurs when a women’s ovaries stops functioning before she reached he 40’s, which means they don’t produce normal levels of oestrogen or releases eggs regularly.
Eventhough it’s ver similar to early menopause, some women who suffer from POI can still hve a period and may, in some cases can still become pregnant.
It can be a strange time for a women to go through the menopause transition, but it’s not all downhill from here. If you really think about it, it’s actually a milestone, just as much as any other life experience. Your worth shouldn’t be disminished by the passing of years. Ageing is a privilege.
As we discovered anoth layer of out selfhood throught our adolescence, the menopause isn’t all negative and vaginal droughts, you should think that you’ll be shedding old skin and reinventing yourself; like a butterfly!
You’ll be able to have sex without giving a single thought about birth contorl? Come on, menopause reveal yourself. No more nice pair of pants with bloody period leaks? Get out those pretty lace pants. There are many good exhilarating moments ahead, it’s just not many people share them quite as much.