The word menopause comes from the Greek word ‘menos’ meaning month and “pausis” meaning to cease. Menopause means the monthly period stops. From a medical perspective, the menopause is defined as having happened one year after the last menstrual period.
The menopause or ‘the change’ usually takes place in a woman’s life aged 45-55, but in some cases it can begin earlier.
Early menopause is when menopause begins to take place earlier in a woman’s life than expected, between the ages of 40 and 45.
In some cases, premature menopause can occur, which is before the age of 40.
What are the stages of menopause?
There are three main phases to the menopause:
- Peri-menopause is the time in a woman’s life just before, and including, the transition through the menopause. Often it is the irregularity of periods and mood swings that women start to notice first. However, these symptoms are also common with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which means they are not always associated with the menopause. Experiencing other common menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes, night sweats will help to distinguish PMS from the peri-menopause.
- Then follows the actual menopause. The menopause is defined as having occurred one year after the last menstrual period; you may be in the peri-menopause stage for some time before your periods stop.
- The years following the menopause are known as the post-menopause. At this stage, many of the previous symptoms will improve, but women need to be more aware of issues such as bone and heart health.
If you want to know more about the menopause or have concerns about symptoms you are experiencing, you can contact your GP in the first instance.
However, if you would like
- more time to discuss your concerns,
- to discuss options available to you in more detail,
- to individualise and optimise your treatment
please do get in touch with us to arrange an appointment at our Hormone Health clinic, at 92 Harley Street, London.