The Menopause Journey
The menopause. Something that all women will go through at some point in their lives. Whilst there has been a huge push recently in the media for women to open up about their menopause journeys and experiences, the historic taboo around the subject means many women may still feel too shy to ask what actually is the menopause?
The Menopause is caused by the changing levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone in a woman’s body. A loss of these hormones impacts both the body AND the brain and affects each person differently, meaning your Menopause journey is as unique as you are.
The Menopause consists of various stages:
The train to The Menopause has left the station....
This is the stage before the menopause when symptoms begin to appear. It can start a few months to years before your periods stop and can persist for quite some time. Women, on average, begin experiencing perimenopausal symptoms at 45 years old. However, it can start as early as your 20s or be as late as your 60s.
There are 34 recognised perimenopausal symptoms with the most common being:
- Itchy skin
- Hot flushes
- Anxiety, depression, mood swings
- Aching joints
- Weight gain and digestive issues
- Vaginal dryness, loss of libido
- Fatigue and/or sleepless nights
- Head aches
- Brain fog
There is no way of knowing how long symptoms will last as everybody is different, though the average timescale is 4 years. However, women may not recognise the underlying cause of these symptoms instead confusing life factors (such as stress, fitness levels or diet) with internal physiological changes.
This is when your final period occurs, usually between the ages of 40 to 45 years old. It can happen naturally or be quite sudden due to surgery and/or illness.
The menopause is the actual day that marks 12 consecutive months (to the day) you have not had your period. Mark it in the diary, celebrate! Have a Menopause party! You’ve arrived!
Post – Menopause
The post –menopause is a new chapter in your life and starts the very next day after the menopause and lasts for the rest of your life!
Post-menopausal women have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. The best way to reduce this risk is to stay fit and active in order to lead a healthy post-menopausal life!
Remember, the menopause is a journey NOT an illness! It will impact each woman differently, some may sail through it, whilst others may always have symptoms.
If you have any questions about how the menopause is impacting your fitness levels, or would like a Menopause MOT, why not book in with Róisín today.
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