What is the Menopause?

What is Menopause?

There is a lot of talk about the menopause but what actually is it? The menopause is where the ovaries cease to release an egg every month and then periods stop permanently. Once a woman has not had a period for 12 consecutive months without any other logical reason such as surgery, medical intervention etc, she is said to have reached the menopause.

What age does menopause occur?

The average age for women to reach menopause in the UK is 51 years old but the transition towards menopause or perimenopause may start from 45-55 years.

If a woman reaches menopause before she is 45 this is considered to be early menopause. If she reaches menopause before she is 40 this is known as premature menopause.

Perimenopause or the transition period before the menopause

Before periods stop completely there is usually a period of transition where the body starts to make the necessary changes to the body. This transition can last anywhere from a few months to ten years but in many cases lasts around 4 years.

 menopause

Symptoms of the perimenopause and the menopause

These can vary in severity with some people finding them more difficult to deal with than others

Symptoms of the menopause can include

  • Periods may become lighter or heavier with a change in cycle length during the perimenopausal phase
  • Hot Flushes/Hot Flashes
  • Headaches
  • Palpitations
  • Night sweats
  • Lapses in concentration and memory (brain fog)
  • Nausea
  • Weight Gain
  • Changes in mood including irritability, depression or low mood and mood swings
  • Dryness of the vagina, eyes, mouth and skin
  • Worsening symptoms of PMT
  • Vaginal pain
  • Painful intercourse
  • Loss of libido
  • Breast tenderness
  • Anxiety
  • Joint stiffness,
  • Aches and Pains
  • Urine leakage when sneezing

Ways of easing the symptoms of Perimenopause/ Menopause

Lifestyle changes can be key to coping with the symptoms of perimenopause/ menopause

  •  Take regular exercise and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains 
  • Wearing light bedclothes can be helpful for night sweats
  • Cooling facial sprays can help hot flushes
  • Wear a supportive bra to help ease breast tenderness 
  • Keep well hydrated
  • For skin dryness use a good quality moisturiser or serum and sweep it in upwards movements towards your forehead
  • Pilates is good for strengthening the core muscles and helpful for your pelvic floor and urine leakage issues
  • For smokers going on a smoking cessation programme can help. Most GP practices have a smoking cessation programme available and those who don’t should be able to signpost you in the right direction
  • Get a good bedtime routine in place. It can be useful to have a little notebook by the bed for any ideas and thoughts you might have buzzing round your head just as you’re trying to get to sleep. 
  • Put out everything you need for tomorrow before you go to bed to help ease your stress levels in the morning
  • Try to have a warm bath before bed. Keep the bedroom temperature cool and try having the window open slightly to help keep the room cool
  • If you are suffering from anxiety try cutting back on sugar and caffeine
  • Surround yourself with supportive people who you can be your authentic self with and who you can have a laugh with. Meet regularly if you can
  • Have a regular aromatherapy massage, reiki or reflexology treatment to support you and to help lower your stress levels. Book it into the diary in advance so that you know that your ‘me time’ is coming up
  • Cut back on unnecessary stress, say no to anything that you don’t need to do and that you’d rather not do
  • Be gentle on yourself whenever you can
menopause rosemary essential oil clear head image of woman in grey jumper looking clear headed after using rosemary essential oil

Can I still get pregnant during the perimenopause?

Yes it is possible to get pregnant whilst your body is still ovulating, although fertility does start to decline as you get older.

Unless you are trying to conceive it is important to use contraception until you have been period free for 12 consecutive months if over 50 or for 2 years if under 50 years old, to be on the safe side.

Your GP or Family Planning clinic will be able to help advise you on the best choice of contraception for your needs.

Over to you

How are you finding perimenopause or menopause? What do you find helps your symptoms? Do you have any advice for anyone starting their menopause journey? Please let me know in the comments below.

Please share this article

If you think that this article will be of interest to any of your friends please share it on social media by clicking the social media share buttons on your left on a desktop or below if you’re using a mobile device or tablet.
#worldmenopausemonth
#worldperimenopauseday
#worldmenopauseday

Sarah Cooper
Sarah Cooper

I am a Reflexologist, Reiki Master Practitioner and Writer from Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. I love writing about Health and Wellbeing, Mind Body Spirit and Reflexology. When I’m not at work, you can find me in the kitchen cooking up a storm!

If you’d like to book a treatment please go to https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/book

Sarah Cooper

Thank you for reading my articles. If you can think of a topic that you'd like me to cover, please let me know.

If you like what you read please share with your friends and/or leave me a comment in the comments box at the bottom of the post.

"

"

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Read More Articles

Indian Head Massage Aftercare Advice

Indian Head Massage Aftercare Advice

Indian Head Massage Aftercare advice After your Indian Head Massage it is important that you are fully alert before driving home. It can have a deeply relaxing effect on you, so it is important that you're fully present when you leave the treatment room. Keep hydrated...

read more
What is Indian Head Massage?

What is Indian Head Massage?

Indian Head Massage as its name suggests is a massage originally from India which focuses attention on the head. Traditionally in India women would use oils and massage as a way of keeping their hair strong and in good condition whereas men would have some form of...

read more
An invitation to slow down this December

An invitation to slow down this December

Here's an invitation to slow down, take your foot off the gas and have a gentle December. Have you found that you spend the whole of December chasing around between parties, present buying, nativity plays, carol concerts, catch ups with friends and so on and so forth....

read more
Time to press pause.

Time to press pause.

Time to press pause? The slight lull between the summer rush and the craziness of the Christmas season can be a good time to press pause for a little while. To rest, take stock, reassess and plan. To deeply exhale. To let anything you no longer need float out of your...

read more
Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential Oil   Botanical Name: Origanum Marjorana Plant Family: Labiatae Note: Middle Uses: Flowering Heads/ Leaves Extraction Method: Steam Distillation Country of Origin: Libya, Egypt, Mediterranean, France Significant Chemical Constituents: Borneol,...

read more
Let’s talk about stress!

Let’s talk about stress!

Let’s talk about stress. It’s widely thought that having some stress is a good thing, what happens when we have too much stress? When we are constantly stressed and overwhelmed What then?

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This