What Every Woman Should Know about Menopause
Menopause is a natural phase of life that is often described as puberty in reverse or as the change. During menopause a woman’s ovaries stop producing eggs, which results in falling levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Menopause is a continuum that includes three important stages that will last between one-third to one-half of an average woman’s life: perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause.
Stages of Menopause
Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause and can last anywhere from six to eight years. During perimenopause estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate – sometimes dramatically – leading to many symptoms that can have a negative impact on health and quality of life. Most women are in perimenopause between the ages of 40 and 50.
Menopause is a milestone that happens when a woman has not had a menstrual period for one year. Fifty-one is the average age of menopause in Canada, with most women reaching menopause between the ages of 45 and 55.
Every day after reaching menopause is considered postmenopause. Women are postmenopausal for the rest of their lives; many perimenopausal symptoms tend to subside in women several years after menopause, but for others they can continue for decades. With the significant postmenopausal drop in estrogen, a woman’s risk for heart disease, osteoporosis and the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) increase. Menopause is often used to describe the postmenopausal phase as people will often say “I’m in menopause”.
Learn More About the Basics of Menopause
Select Videos on Menopause
Experts on menopause and women’s health share factual information about menopause, menopause hormone therapy (HRT), non-hormonal therapies, and other treatment options, along with discussions about symptoms such as hot flashes (or hot flushes), mood changes, bone loss (osteoporosis), brain fog, trouble sleeping, and more.
More Than Hot Flashes (International Menopause Society)
How will it affect my health?
Little BIG Talk: Menopause and Hormone Therapy
Treatment of Hot Flashes and Night Sweats with HRT
What is Menopause Hormone Therapy?
Is Menopausal Hormone Therapy (HRT) Safe?
Complementary and Alternative Therapies Explained
The Menopause Blues
Testosterone and Women