As a woman your life has been marked with nothing but change, but no one says that these evolutions must be shrouded in secrecy or negativity. Each metamorphosis should actually be viewed as the beginning of an exciting, new chapter in your life. Yet when you arrive at this latest phase of your life, you cannot help but wonder, precisely what is menopause?
To truly understand menopause, you must also understand the two stages that exist on either side of the transition. Perimenopause begins in most women around the age of 40 and is most evidenced by a less regular pattern of your cycle. Your periods might be shorter, longer, heavier, lighter, or at differing intervals. All of these markers signal that the next stage is right around the corner.
The word menopause stems from Greek: the root ”men” from ”mensis” which means month and pausis which means cessation. Ancient Greek or modern English, it simply recognizes the end of your monthly cycle; consequently, menopause technically begins 12 months after a woman’s last menstrual period. Prior to ovulation during the childbearing years, a woman’s ovaries produce heightened levels of estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen controls the timing of an egg’s release into the fallopian tube. Progesterone, on the other hand, controls menstruation and prepares the uterus’ lining to accept the fertilized egg. In menopausal women, however, the levels of estrogen and progesterone are significantly lower. While menopause is frequently mistaken as being caused by changes in the uterus, it is changes in the ovaries that are really at the root of the transition.
According to the Mayo Clinic, even though menopause is a universal experience for all women, it doesn’t prevent there from being “…physical and emotional symptoms of menopause [which]can disrupt your sleep, sap your energy and — at least indirectly — trigger feelings of sadness and loss.” The most important defense you have against these challenges is an open line of communication with your doctor and with other women your age. Your physician possesses the medical expertise necessary to alleviate some of your symptoms and to empower you with an understanding of your body. Friends who are your age can offer you the mutual support of someone who is likely experiencing very similar emotional and physical taxes. A combination of both resources will make this transition a smooth one for you.
Finally, after successfully traversing the transitional waters of menopause, you will exit on the other side as a post-menopausal woman. You will find yourself permanently alleviated from many of the irksome menopausal conditions such as hot flashes, weight gain, hormonal emotional swings, and irregular bleeding. Another upswing is that you will also find yourself freed from the regular cycle that has dominated certain aspects of your life for years.
Don’t be fearful or ashamed of the changes you are experiencing. They are natural changes that have and will happen to all women everywhere. Please contact us today to arm yourself with the knowledge you need to gracefully address the stages of menopause.
Wishing you Health and Wellness!
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