The menopause is a natural part of a woman’s ageing process. We all experience it as we age, and it comes hand-in-hand with mental and physical health changes. It can be a confusing, uncomfortable, and delineating time for some women as their bodies change. It begins just before or after a woman stops menstruating, signalling the end of her reproductive period and ushering in a new hormone imbalance.
The development and process
The process is gradual and typically follows three linear stages: the perimenopause, the menopause itself, and the postmenopause. The perimenopause usually begins several years before the menopause, and this is when the ovaries gradually produce less and less oestrogen. This can last for several years, with the final 2 years of the perimenopause seeing a quickened drop in oestrogen. It’s at this point that a lot of women begin to experience symptoms. When the menopause begins, it’s typically been a year since a woman last had her last menstrual period. At this stage, the ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and making most of their oestrogen. The menopause can move quickly for some women, but for a lot of people it can last several years with varying symptoms. During the postmenopause symptoms can ease for some women, but the health risks associated with the loss of oestrogen rise.
Symptoms you are likely to encounter
Symptoms are different for every woman, since every biological body is unique and finely tuned. Some women’s experience may be easier than others, but every woman will experience a handful of these symptoms. Hormones are key ingredients in our body and its functions, so they influence a lot of our day-to-day life. Hot flushes are common, as is menstrual ‘spotting’, headaches, and muscle pain. Bladder control problems, a sporadically raised heartrate, and aching joints and muscles are commonly associated with the menopause, too, and are extremely common symptoms. Depending on the severity of these symptoms, some women find their daily life unencumbered while others find themselves in a lot of discomfort.
Mental health and the menopause
Lesser appreciated symptoms are those that affect a woman’s mental health. It’s common knowledge that the menopause brings about hot flushes and spontaneous lightheaded spells, but for a lot of women they can find that their mental health suffers. Insomnia, mood swings, and fatigue are all associated the menopause, but so is irritability, forgetfulness, depression, and anxiety. Hormones regulate so much of what happens in our body that it would be impossible to separate them from our mental functions, too.
Could the menopause affect intimate relationships?
Because little-to-no oestrogen and progesterone are being produced, the ensuing hormone imbalance disrupts a woman’s sexual health. The libido, or sex drive, will often decrease and vaginal dryness makes intimate relationships difficult, too. Differing hormone levels during the menopause could therefore have a knock-on effect on your intimate relationships.
Managing the menopause
The menopause is a confusing, sometimes uncomfortable, and always challenging time for most women. Whether symptoms begin mild and worsen, or they’re noticeably stressful right from the beginning, there are ways to manage and deal with them. At Omniya in Knightsbridge, we offer medical age management and hormone therapies designed to keep you, your mind, and your body finely tuned and working peacefully in tandem. With carefully balanced treatment therapies couples with nutritional and lifestyle and guidance, the menopause doesn’t need to be as confusing as it feels. you might enjoy another of our blog posts where we explored how to manage menopause symptoms too.
Take control of your body and mind with menopause hormonal therapy and call 020 7584 4777 or enquire online today.