The menopause stage of life for women can be overwhelming, extremely daunting and isolating. These days people are living longer, meaning women are spending more of their years within the menopause phase of their life than any other part, yet still, women are suffering with the menopause change and symptoms it presents, struggling to get the help and education they are looking for.
It helps to break down what happens internally during the menopause to have a better understanding. It’s all caused by a change in the body’s sex hormones, which occurs when you get older. During your fertile years, you have the ability to produce an egg each month thanks to your reproductive hormones – oestradiol, oestrone and oestroil, which are all collectively known as oestrogen.
Oestrogen is the queen of your reproductive cycle, controlling ovulation (egg release), implantation and the thickening of the womb lining to host a fertilized egg. Periods occur when no fertilised egg implants, therefore the womb lining is shed.
As you get older, your storing of eggs ability declines and less oestrogen is produced which causes the body to change differently to what you’re used to. These changes happen over time which is the term ‘peri-menopause’. Some women experience this phase for a short period, others can experience this over 1 year, sometimes between 5 – 10 years. This is when women can experience issues such as hot flushes, sleeplessness, brain fog, irritated skin and weight gain which can make life pretty miserable and stressful. This is all thanks to your body lowering your production of oestrogen. You don’t have to suffer with these symptoms, if you are feeling any of these then please go to your Doctor and discuss your options with them. There are ways of managing this phase, such as Hormonal Replacement Therapy or more alternative, holistic therapies.
For further info on HRT, please listen to my chat with Dr Naomi Potter who breaks Body Identical Hormones down on our podcast here and my conversation with Cat, the Hormone Fairy about alternative therapies for menopause here.
Once you have no more periods, then you are in the menopause phase, due to the lack of oestrogen, there are further health issues to be aware of such as Osteoporosis and vulnerability to heart disease/strokes. Please discuss your menopause journey with your GP or health practitioner for guidance on how to protect your health.
Yes we do have the short straw as women, but there are ways out there that can help make this transition more bearable, you don’t have to suffer!