Menopause Information – What Happens Post-Menopause?
Menopause represents the ending of menstruation; the average age that this takes place is between 42 and 55. So, how do you know when you have reached this stage in life? When your periods have stopped for at least one year, you know that you have reached menopause and are now in post menopause.
Menopause symptoms start at three basic stages that make up this cycle; first – perimenopause, second – menopause and, third – post menopause. There is always a lot of menopause information around regarding the first two stages but a lot of people are often unaware of what to expect once menopause is over. Do the symptoms stop? Are there changes to the body? It’s questions such as these that women want the answers to, so let’s take a further look.
Once menopause is over, women’s hormone patterns have changed significantly. Your ovaries no longer produce estrogen and progesterone; this can, however, have a few side effects such as the following:
Dry or Itchy Skin
As we age our skin commonly becomes thinner; so, without estrogen being produced, the skin finds it difficult to retain moisture.
Aches and Pains
Joint and muscular pain, backache, and headaches are prime examples of what you may experience, again due to low levels of estrogen.
Loss of Vaginal Elasticity
Intercourse can become very painful after menopause due to the thinning of vaginal walls, which leads to dryness. Yep, you guessed it, this also happens as a result of your ovaries no longer producing estrogen.
Estrogen is responsible for the development and maintenance of female sex organs and breasts. It is produced to help maintain the lining of the vagina and keep parts moist and flexible. So, as estrogen is no longer produced post menopause, a lot of women turn to a means of replacing it. The first place a lot turn to is HRT (hormone replacement therapy). This is designed to increase levels of female estrogen. There are, however, risks associated with this treatment as it increases your chance of developing serious disease such as breast cancer. HRT is basically one of the most controversial topics in healthcare. So, instead, you may be better off looking into alternative methods such as natural herbs and remedies like black cohosh, which is one of the leading natural hormone replacement therapy products in use today.
As well as stopping the production of estrogen, post menopause can also cause an increase in testosterone. This can create what is known as peach fuzz. This is an increase in the amount of hair that is present on your body; most commonly the neck and upper lip.
There is help available if you do start to suffer from peach fuzz after you have gone through menopause. Drugs can be prescribed that will block the affect of testosterone on hair follicles. They work by slowing down the hair growth and are probably your best bet at fighting the growing phenomenon known as peach fuzz.
Post menopause is not all doom and gloom however; a study concluded that 65% of women between the ages of 50-64 were happier than they were pre-menopause. Also 59% were said to be enjoying better relationships not only with their partners but also with their friends.
Women who have reached post menopause often feel a unique freedom and energy; 66% felt more independent and many women claim they finally feel like they have time to be themselves. So don’t look at this cycle as a loss of youth; think of it as a new beginning and never be afraid to ask for help to get through it.