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Navigating Menopause

The menopause transition is the time period that connects a woman’s reproductive or childbearing years with menopause. Menopause can be an emotion invoking time in a woman’s life, whether there is fear, relief, uncertainty, or any variety of emotions. The road to menopause is the decade-long time frame in which the average woman’s ovaries will gradually become less and less efficient until they eventually stop responding to the hormones that are produced to invoke ovulation. A woman is said to be in menopause if she has had no menstrual periods for one year. There is often a correlation between the age a woman begins menopause and when her mother began menopause, with the average age being 51.

Understanding the stages:

  • Premenopause: The years leading up to menopause when the cycles start to change. This term can also refer to anytime before a woman goes through menopause.

  • Perimenopause: The years immediately prior to menopause all the way through the first year following menopause.

  • Menopause: The permanent cessation of menstruation.

Menopause is a uniquely individual experience. Some women go right through it without noticing nearly any changes at all while others may have a harder time, often choosing medical assistance to cope with the challenges it presents.

Some classic signs that menopause may be near:

  • Menstrual cycle irregularities