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MENOPAUSE is defined as the permanent cessation of regular menstrual cycles (officially one year menstruation-free).
The PERI-MENOPAUSAL period describes the transition phase between having normal cycles to having no menstrual cycle, this phase usually lasts anywhere from 3-5 years.
With the decline in hormone levels, many will experience some undesirable symptoms.
These may include:
- Headaches, night sweats, hot flushes, palpitations,(collectively known as vasomotor symptoms),
- Lack of concentration, ‘foggy’ thought patterns
- Irritability, depression, anxiety, loss of libido
- Lethargy, insomnia (difficulty falling and/or staying asleep),
- Dyspareunia (painful intercourse), vaginal atrophy (shrinkage) and dryness, urinary problems, raised cholesterol, increased risk of bone fractures.
PRE-MENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS)
This is a common phenomenon amongst women of all ages to varying degrees. It is more common in the Western world which may be attributed to an combination of genes and lifestyle.
It is due to an imbalance in Oestrogen and Progesterone most commonly in the second half of the cycle after ovulation (day 10-14) or close to menstruation when progesterone levels take a rapid decline. Some women experience symptoms of low progesterone throughout the month.
The symptoms experienced are those of Oestrogen dominance (progesterone/oestrogen imbalance):
- Lack of concentration
- Poor sleep
- Abdominal bloating, fluid retention
- Irritability, loss of libido.
- Depression, low mood
Supplementation with progesterone in the latter half of the cycle is usually a very effective way of bringing the hormones back into balance and improving quality of life during this time of the month! (obviously you would need to see a Doctor to discuss this further).
It is the term used to describe the decline in hormone levels experienced in men, often expressed by a lack of energy, muscle tone decline, reduced libido, flat mood and other medical ailments/conditions.