September marks National Menopause Awareness Month, which is a perfect time to clear up any misunderstandings about menopause.  Menopause encompasses much more than missed periods and hot flashes. This “change” includes complex, individualized, multi-stage phases of a woman’s life.  For anyone new to this subject, here are a few facts about the initial symptoms and stages of menopause.

Initial Stages and Phases of Menopause

1.) Premenopause:  Prior to entering perimenopause, you may begin experiencing subtle hints of changes in your body or menstrual cycle.  During this time, you may be fertile and have regular or semi-regular periods with premenstrual syndrome, but certain changes in mood swings, breast tenderness, depression, anxiety, or nausea may develop or worsen due to hormonal fluctuations.  Premenopause develops typically after the age of 40; however, some women do experience premature menopause and symptoms at earlier ages. 

2.) Perimenopause:  Perimenopause includes decreased estrogen levels along with specific changes in the length of time between your periods.  This official stage before reaching menopause is a time of many physicals changes and hormonal fluctuations for women. Perimenopause indicators may include vaginal dryness, ovary pain, breast tenderness, plus those notorious hot flashes along with a range of other menopausal symptoms, such as irritability, fatigue, insomnia, or weight gain. Each woman is different, but this phase averages around 4 to 8 years for most women.  

3.) Menopause:  While many people use this term loosely to cover all phases, full “menopause” technically refers to women who have NOT had a period in the last 12 months.  Menopause indicates your ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and making estrogen. While ages vary for women in the U.S., 51 is the average age for reaching full menopause.  Menopause may be an end to the childbearing years, but many women have come to celebrate their post-menopausal years as the best and most liberating stage of their lives. 

Women’s Health and Hormone Balance

Achieving a healthy balance in life is important for all women, and quitting smoking can be one of the best ways to improve your overall health. In addition to not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce several menopausal symptoms.

Additionally, qualified physicians can provide helpful solutions for hot flashes, weight control, and other menopausal symptoms due to hormonal imbalances.  For example, Weight Success Centers, LLC in Tampa is a certified provider of BioTE, a subcutaneous pellet type of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy.  As with any supplement or medical treatment, results and benefits will vary depending on each individual woman.  If you are ready to create more balance in your life, contact Weight Success Centers for a consultation.

Do you have any helpful tips or facts for Menopause Awareness Month?  Share your story and join the conversation on Weight Success Centers’ social media sites. 


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