What Are the Stages of Menopause?

October 19, 2015

If you’re experiencing symptoms of menopause and are beginning to wonder if you’re actually going into menopause, there are a few things to look for. The best way to tell for sure is to be aware of your menstrual periods over the last year. Irregular or stopped periods are good indicators that menopause may be starting. Below is a list of the three main stages of menopause.

1. Perimenopause

You may be in perimenopause if your periods are irregular, but they haven’t stopped completely. The average age for women in this stage is around 47 or 48, but can begin sooner for some women. Other symptoms that start in this stage and continue through the second stage include hot flashes, night sweats, pounding heartbeat, sleep difficulties, vaginal dryness, lowered sexual desire, irritability, mood swings, depression, headaches, and urinary issues.

2. Menopause

Menopause signals the end of a woman’s fertility because menstrual cycles stop. Once periods have been gone for one year, a woman is considered to have gone through menopause. This is also when ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone hormones, which are necessary for fertility, and occurs often around the age of 50 or 51. The entire process from perimenopause to postmenopause can take about four years.

3. Postmenopause

Near the end of menopause, once periods have been absent for at least one year, women enter postmenopause. Symptoms will usually lessen during this time. There are things a physician will be looking for like Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. Both conditions exhibit lower bone density, but Osteopenia is less severe. Lowered estrogen levels can also lead to heart disease, making it very important for women to continue regular checkups with their OB-GYN.

Find Out If Medications Are Right For You, Contact OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch Today

At the OB-GYN Women’s Centre Of Lakewood Ranch, we can monitor your health throughout the natural life changes that come with age. Medications and helpful therapies can be prescribed or recommended to help with any troubling symptoms experienced during this time, making symptoms less disruptive to your life. Give us a call to learn more and to find help with any concerning menopausal symptoms.