Menopause is the term given to the last menstrual period, and is said to have occurred when a woman has not had a period for 12 months.
If you do stop bleeding for 12 months and then start again it is advisable to see a doctor.
Menopause happens because women run out of eggs and their ovaries stop producing the hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. It generally occurs around 50-51 years of age but can happen anywhere from 40 - 65 years of age.
Like our fertility and menstrual cycles in general menopause is a very individual experience. For example research has shown that
- 20% of women report distressing symptoms at menopause.
- 15% have no problems
- and the other 65% have a variation of symptoms.
Women who have a nurturing supportive network suffer less at menopause than those who are emotionally isolated.
How do I know it's Menopause?
It's important to remember that not everything that happens around the time of menopause is menopause.
For example: Fatigue may be due to emotional stress and no support, menopause, low iron, or low thyroid hormone.Or palpitations may be due to anxiety, menopause or heart problems (including falling in love).
If you are really concerned about symptoms that you are experiencing see you health professional.