What is menopause?
Technically, menopause is the moment when a woman has had no menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. Perimenopause is the time period leading up to this milestone.
Symptoms may occur earlier, but most women experience the physical and emotional changes of perimenopause in their late 40s or early 50s when:
- their monthly cycle begins to change;
- estrogen and progesterone production becomes unpredictable; and
- the number of stored eggs in the ovaries decreases.
No two women experience menopause in the same way. Some may have difficulties, while others may be symptom-free. Generally, however, fluctuating hormone levels may lead to:
- irregular periods
- night sweats
- hot flashes
- aches and pains
- a change in sexual desire
- changes to skin texture and appearance
- bladder control difficulty
- vaginal fluid changes (dryness)
- disruption of sleep patterns (difficulty sleeping)
- mood swings
- memory loss
Hot flashes can be linked to other conditions. Read about potential other causes.
A healthy transition
Whatever your situation, there are strategies to help you manage the transition. Gather information from this website. Visit the Resources page for more. Refocus on you: make sure you’re eating well, improve your fitness level, seek support from family, friends and health professionals. And learn more about treatment options such as hormone and non-hormonal therapies.
Find out more about healthy lifestyle choices.
Learn more about treatment options.