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Menopause: The 7 Things You Need to Know

It’s more than just hot flushes. 

1. Menopause happens in stages

Put simply, menopause is when ovulation stops and your oestrogen production reduces. The 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 the forerunner to menopause, known as 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.

2. You might notice these physical signs

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 yes, these include the dreaded hot flushes! You might also be susceptible to sweats, chills, headaches, weight gain, palpitations, muscle pain, joint pain, disturbed sleep, and thinning hair. There are other signs to look out for:

  • You might notice your vagina becoming drier as the walls of the urethra and vagina may become thin.
  • The outward appearance of your inner and outer labia change.
  • There is an increase and tendency for vaginal and urine infections.
  • You might experience an urgency to pass urine or you might sometimes leak when sneezing or coughing.

3. Menopause can also affect your memory

Brain fog, anyone? Emotionally and cognitively, menopause can affect your memory and concentration, make 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.

Woman With Doctor

4. The average age for periods to stop is your mid-fifties

You have officially reached the ‘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.

5. After menopause comes post-menopause

And 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.

6. You’re also at risk of conditions like osteoporosis

Regular health checks are important! 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.

7. There is an upside to periods ending

Welcome to 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.

 

Frequently Asked Question: Menopause

What should I use for really heavy periods?

Everyone is unique so here at Lil-Lets we have 6 absorbencies to cover every flow, even if you're really heavy. We'd recommend trying our Super Plus Extra or Ultra Non-Applicator tampons - lots of menopausal women say they're a life saver!

When will I start the menopause?

Just like starting your period, there's no definitive way of knowing when you'll start the menopause. Women are usually in their late 40's or early 50's when the transition starts but this could depend on genetics etc.

How do I prevent hot flushes?

Although there’s no magic formula for hot flushes, we do know that stress can be a trigger. It may also be an idea to cut down on your consumption of caffeine and alcohol, since they can make hot flushes worse.

Have more questions on menopause?

Got a question you’ve been too embarrassed to ask? Wondering if what you are experiencing in menopause is normal?

Join our Lil-Lets Talk community for empowering conversations for people with periods and everything inbetween.

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