As a woman, your hormone levels can fluctuate wildly throughout your life. Once you start getting your period and are going through puberty all the way through menopause, it can be quite a ride. Since hormones and menopause can have such an impact on your life, I've written this article to provide you with more information.
This can all start slowly in the stage that is known as perimenopause. Perimenopause can start as early as your mid thirties, though it's more common in your early to mid forties.
Perimenopause will last anywhere from a few months to a decade. During this time you will still menstruate, but your periods will be erratic. Your flow may increase or decrease and you usually won't know form one month to the next when to expect your monthly "friend".
During this time you will also usually experience some of the hormones and menopause symptoms that you hear so much about, and are probably dreading.
Things like hot flashes, anxiety, dry hair and skin, weight gain, etc. It is important to remember that not everyone will get every one of these symptoms.
It is also important to remember that even if you do get some of these symptoms they may not be as severe as someone else has had and they may not last as long either.
You can still get pregnant during perimenopause so you must use birth control measures or you may end up with more of a surprise than you bargained for.
Once you have gone for one full year with no period you are considered to be in menopause.
There are many treatments that are available for each of the symptoms you may have to deal with. Some are safer than others, some work better than others.
To a large degree it will simply be a matter of trial and error to find what works best for you. If you don't have a doctor who you feel comfortable with and who you feel you can talk to (and who actually listens to you) you might want to change doctors.
Going through menopause will require you to have complete trust in your doctor and you want someone who has an open mind and can truly understand what you are going through.
You don't want a doctor who thinks a hot flash is really "no big deal" or is close minded about trying herbal remedies to provide you with some relief.
As I said, this can go on for a long time and you will likely have to try several things to find the right types and combinations of medicines to provide the relief of your menopausal symptoms. You need a doctor who will work with you as a partner.
And no matter what, you want to make sure you keep yourself healthy. Weight gain during menopause is not a given… far from it.
As a matter of fact there is no reason for you to gain weight. Sure, as we get older our metabolisms do slow down but there are many things we can do to counteract that.
In a lot of cases women suffer from depression during this time of life and just eat too much, or eat too much "comfort food" and that is the reason for their weight gain.
Your hormones fluctuate throughout your whole life and hormones and menopause can provide you with some challenges, but with some knowledge and a good doctor in your corner, you will be just fine.