What are the stages of menopause?

What are the stages of menopause?

We recognise that every woman's menopause journey is unique and we're here to support you every step of the way on your individual path. Our aim is to provide you with all the information and tools you need as you experience life's natural stages. So let's look at the four stages of menopause.

Perimenopause: This is the transition period leading up to menopause and can last for up to 10 years. Typically, it usually starts in a woman's 40s but can begin as early as her mid-30s. Every woman will go through this change, although not every woman will have symptoms. Symptoms commonly experienced include hot flushes, night sweats, brain fog, low mood, changes to skin and hair, poor sleep, tiredness, and low libido. Periods will often change, becoming less predictable, heavier, and maybe not as regular. During perimenopause, levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone decline, causing menopause symptoms.

Menopause: Defined by 12 consecutive months without a period, it is the time in a woman's life when her period stops permanently, and she can no longer get pregnant. It typically occurs around age 51 but can happen sooner or later. Some women find relief from the bothersome symptoms of perimenopause, while others may experience new health problems, such as vaginal dryness, urinary difficulties, and osteoporosis. Hormonal changes during menopause may also increase the risk of heart disease and memory problems. Menopause under the age of 40 is known as early menopause.

Post-menopause: This is the stage after a woman has gone 12 months without a period. Women in post-menopause no longer have menstrual cycles and can no longer become pregnant. They may experience changes in their health due to the decline in oestrogen levels, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, and mood changes. Many women enter post-menopause feeling healthy and experience few physical changes, but some women do have lingering menopausal symptoms or develop new health problems.

Late-life or secondary menopause: This occurs when menstruation stops abruptly due to medical treatment or surgery (such as a hysterectomy) rather than natural ageing processes. This can be a difficult transition for women who are not expecting it, causing significant changes in hormone levels leading to side effects such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and more.

If there's a question lingering in your mind that we haven't addressed, don't hesitate to reach out. We're all about real talk and genuine support. Remember, every query is an opportunity to learn and grow. Drop us a line at support@paused.com, and we'll get back to you with the clarity you seek.