What is Menopause?
Menopause is time in a woman’s life when her periods (menstruation) eventually stop and the body goes through changes that no longer allow her to get pregnant. It is a natural event that normally occurs around age 50, but every woman’s body has its own timeline.
The hormonal changes that lead to menopause occur over a period of time, called peri-menopause, usually lasting from 3 to 5 years. The hallmark of this countdown to menopause is fluctuating levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, which can cause symptoms including mood swings, hot flashes and sleep disturbances. Periods occur less often, and when estrogen and progesterone levels drop enough, they eventually stop.
During menopause, a woman’s ovaries produce significantly less estrogen and progesterone and no longer release eggs. A woman is considered to have reached menopause when she has not had a menstrual period for 1 year. It’s at this time that women enter post-menopause, a phase in life that increases the risk for heart disease, breast cancer and osteoporosis.
The first sign of menopause is typically an erratic menstrual cycle. Periods may be lighter, shorter or occur less often. Many women also complain of weight gain and difficulty losing weight.
Other common symptoms of menopause include:
- Menstrual periods that are skipped, lighter or shorter
- Hot flashes and night sweats, usually worst during the first 1-2 years
- Skin flushing
- Sleep disturbances
- Mood swings
- Heart palpitations
- Joint aches
Other contributing factors to symptoms of hormonal imbalance may include thyroid and adrenal problems. Our HormoneSync programs include a comprehensive assessment of testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, thyroid hormones, DHEA and cortisol levels.What is the HormoneSync Program?