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Understanding & Managing Menopause

Let’s get one thing straight, whatever you’re feeling and however much or little menopause research you’ve done to date, you are most certainly not alone.

Whatever your menopause story, rest assured we’re here to give you plenty of advice and support to help make your own menopause experience manageable.

What actually is menopause?

As surprising or unwelcome as it might be, menopause is a natural part of a woman’s ageing process, with its effects predominantly impacting those aged 45 to 55. Though sometimes it can be earlier, sometimes later. Menopause marks the end of the menstrual cycle, when your ovaries gradually stop producing eggs and as a result, release less oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

The resulting effects and symptoms of menopause depend, to a certain extent, on a few factors; namely genetics, whether you have a healthy lifestyle, underlying medical conditions, surgery or treatments. There are 3 phases involved in the whole process:

  • Perimenopause
  • Menopause
  • Post-Menopause

What to expect from menopause?

As we’ve mentioned, the menopause process occurs in phases. The preamble to menopause is referred to as ‘peri-menopausal’ or ‘menopause transition’ and generally happens gradually. Periods become less frequent, with longer intervals between, until they stop altogether. For some women, their periods stop suddenly.

But it’s the resulting drop in the hormones; oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone that can play havoc with you emotionally and physically, sometimes up to 10 years before you reach menopause.

Once you’ve been 12 months period free, you’ve reached menopause and would now be classed as ‘post-menopausal’. So, when people refer to ‘being menopausal’ they’re more often than not referring to the symptoms experienced in the ‘peri-menopause’ phase, but ‘being peri-menopausal' doesn’t quite run off the tongue as nicely!

Menopause happens in stages

Put simply, menopause is when ovulation stops and your oestrogen production reduces. Menopause actually happens gradually — you’ll notice that your periods become less frequent over time, with longer intervals between each one, until your periods stop altogether. For many, it's perimenopause or menopause transition, that causes the most concern. Perimenopause symptoms can include physical and emotional symptoms and can start up to 10 years before menopause.

Menopause can also affect your memory

Brain fog, anyone? Emotionally and cognitively, menopause can affect your memory and concentration, making you feel tired, depressed, irritable, and moody. It can also cause you to feel less interested in sex. You might also notice a change in the amount of blood you lose when menstruating — you can experience heavy periods in menopause, too. So you may want to review your choice of sanitary protection to find the best pads and tampons more suited to heavy flow.

Menopause could put you at risk of health conditions like osteoporosis

Regular health checks are important for coping with menopause! If you suspect that you might be suffering from any of the conditions below, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor or healthcare professional.

Osteoporosis: your body’s decrease in oestrogen can lead to thinning bones which are more susceptible to breaking.
Heart disease: fatty deposits of cholesterol in blood vessels increase, which can cause heart attacks and strokes.
Uterine prolapse: when the uterus falls into or completely out of the vagina.

Why do I feel so different during menopause?

As your ovaries stop releasing hormones, your oestrogen and progesterone levels drop, in turn causing you all sorts of emotional and physical turbulence. If we put it into perspective, because there are oestrogen and progesterone receptors in nearly every organ and tissue in your body, it’s only natural that many parts of your body will be affected. While the changes are completely normal, the effects of the menopause are no less impactful.

Loss of oestrogen affects the brain, and can cause memory fog, anxiety, sleeplessness, social phobia, a loss in motivation and emotional upheaval as well as physical affects like lethargy, hot flushes, vaginal dryness and a resulting reduced sex drive. So, it’s safe to expect you may feel a little out of sorts while going through the motions.

Hot Flushes

When does menopause start?

The average age for periods to stop is your mid-fifties. You have officially reached ‘menopause’ 12 months after your final period, which usually happens in your mid-fifties. This can happen earlier, but this is often caused by medical conditions or surgical procedures, such as a hysterectomy.

Symptoms of menopause

There are a number of signs of perimenopause due to a reduction in hormone levels that will affect you physically. You can expect to experience a range of symptoms when you’re menopausal and it’s completely natural to experience some of the following:

Emotional symptoms of menopause

  • Lack of memory and concentration
  • Feeling tired, depressed and irritable
  • Experiencing mood swings
  • Less interested in sex

Physical symptoms of menopause

  • Hot flushes, sweats and chills
  • Headaches, weight gain, palpitations
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Thinning hair
  • Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex as the walls of the urethra and vagina become thin
  • A change in the appearance of your inner and outer labia
  • An increased chance of vaginal and urinary infection
  • A more urgent and frequent need to pass urine or urinary incontinence
  • A tendency to leak when sneezing or coughing

Remember, if you’re finding your symptoms hard to manage, do contact your doctor straight away, even if it just puts your mind at ease.

Change in period patterns due to menopause

As your period pattern changes, you might also notice a change to the amount of blood loss when menstruating and have either a heavier or lighter flow. Many women report experiencing an extremely heavy flow while going through the menopause so it’s good to familiarise yourself with products available to you.

So, even though you might already have a preferred Lil-Lets product, now is a good time to review your choice of sanitary protection. You may want to take a look at our Super Plus tampons or our Maxi Night Pad as they have the highest absorbency within our range, which could be a lifesaver!

After menopause comes post-menopause

Since you won’t have the same level of hormones, it’s vital that you look after your overall health at this stage in your life. If you have any discomfort, pain, swelling or bleeding after the menopause, make sure you go and see your doctor or healthcare professional straight away.

There is an upside to periods ending — True liberation. Finally, you can throw away the contraception and sanitary products, and wave goodbye to periods for good! Although you may be feeling a little low, you are now free from all those period symptoms, peri-menopausal symptoms and you get to enjoy life without any contraception or menstruation-related issues.


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