How long does menopause last? It's the question women ask as soon as they start to reach menopausal age. Millions of women are regularly wondering when they will get relief after a notoriously difficult transitional time.
When you start experiencing the symptoms that lead to menopause, you are in perimenopause. During perimenopause, your periods will become irregular and might occur more or less frequently than before. In addition, your flow heaviness might change. In other words, your menstrual cycle becomes unpredictable.
You may also experience difficulty sleeping, in part due to hot flashes or night sweats. Your vagina might become dry and you may experience changes in your sex drive. You could become more moody or experience feelings of depression; weight gain is another common symptom of perimenopause as your metabolism changes.
Some of the symptoms of perimenopause are more subtle. For example, you will be less fertile than when you had regular periods and ovulations. In addition, as your estrogen levels start to drop, you may start loosing more bone mass and you may produce more of the "bad" cholesterol, LDL, and less of the "good" cholesterol, HDL.
Perimenopause can last between two to eight years.
Menopause occurs when you haven't experienced a period for 12 months. At this point in time, your body has stopped producing progesterone. In addition, the levels of estrogen will continue to decrease in your body. How long does menopause last? For most women, the answer is two to 10 years.
As you enter post menopause, the discomforts of hot flashes should diminish and should decrease in frequency. Other symptoms of menopause, such as mood swings should be more on stable.
It is extremely important that you start to exercise and eat a healthy diet as you move through perimenopause, if you aren't already doing so. Be prepared to examine what foods that you are eating to reduce the number of calories that you are consuming, as your metabolism will slow down over time. In addition, you may need to kick up your exercise program, within reason.
Talk with your doctor about how you can minimize the impact of the symptoms of menopause in your life. Your physician may recommend simply using a fan when you are sleeping to keep you cooler during the night to prescribing hormone treatments. In addition, there are natural therapies that you might want to try, with the approval of your doctor.
Did you know women in other countries experience very little menopausal symptoms? Why is that? Women in other countries tend to be more physically active than women in industrialized countries. Daily exercise can diminish hot flashes while improving bone density.
A nutritious diet and a diligent fitness regime are all it takes to get through the discomfort of menopause.
Two basic approaches can be used to address hormonal imbalance, reduce total estrogen levels or encourage the body to increase progesterone levels.