With all the terminology regarding our health flying around as we age, it’s no wonder it all gets a little confusing. We’re here to clear a few things up when it comes to the different stages of menopause and explain exactly what you can expect throughout the process. Feeling prepared can often take some of that worry and stress off our shoulders.
As a woman you know all too well the ups and downs that our reproductive hormones can take us on. Starting at puberty and playing a part in our lives ever since, it’s time again for another change. Pre-menopause is the very first step and is not to be confused with perimenopause. Pre-menopause is actually the time leading up to perimenopause. Typically it’s around your late thirties or early forties (yes THAT early!) Your periods are usually perfectly normal during this time and you shouldn’t notice anything different at all. You shouldn’t be experiencing any symptoms, even though your body is preparing to change. If you are experiencing symptoms you could already have reached perimenopause. However, it’s really important to take note that we are all different, our bodies all work slightly differently.
Some people class pre-menopause and early menopause within ‘perimenopause’ but really, perimenopause is that time when your estrogen and progesterone levels have already started to reduce. This can last for months, or years, but generally begins during the mid to late forties. Some women, again, do not notice anything different during the start of perimenopause. However, most women will experience irregular periods, ranging from heavier or lighter than usual. They can often appear quite sporadic with no real pattern. The symptoms that accompany this process are similar to common menopause symptoms. Hot flushes, weight gain, night sweats, mood swings and vaginal dryness are amongst the most regularly reported.
In some cases, perimenopause symptoms can be just as uncomfortable as those during menopause itself.
You are officially classed as menopausal when you have gone a full 12 months without any period at all. Once this has happened, your body has stopped producing estrogen and progesterone altogether. Your reproductive system has now shut down. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean the end of those symptoms. Menopause can bring with it a range of symptoms that will differ for each woman.
Many women who haven’t done much research and/or haven’t had the opportunity to speak with friends and family about the process, often underestimate how difficult it can be. Hot flushes might occur multiple times throughout the day, night sweats and vaginal dryness can kill your sex life. Weight gain and anxiety can leave you feeling depressed with low self-esteem. Add mood swings on top of this and family life can become almost unbearable.
We highly recommend the LaBalance device not only for menopause, but perimenopause too. LaBalance helps to restore balance to the ANS (autonomic nervous system) which has been knocked off due to hormonal changes. It is this unbalance that causes such severe symptoms. Many women have said that LaBalance ‘changed their life’ and they often wonder what they would have done without it. Learn more about how LaBalance works here.