Did you know that “menopause” technically refers to one, specific event in a woman’s life? Did you know that there are actually 3 stages of menopause? Before you panic over 3 times the hot flashes, we’ll break it down for you. There are 3 stages of menopause, and what most women call “menopause” is actually perimenopause. After perimenopause is menopause stage 2, followed by the final menopause stage, postmenopause. Read on to find out what occurs during each of these stages of menopause and where you may currently stand.
Menopause Stage 1
Around 1 in 100 women experience the menopause before 40 years of age. This is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency. Some women go through an early surgical menopause after they might have had a hysterectomy and have had to get their ovaries removed.
Menopause Stage 2
Menopause stage 2 Perimenopause is the first menopause stage of the process and actually means “around the end of menstruation” (Reader’s Digest). According to Mayo Clinic, the average woman is 47 when she reaches perimenopause. During this time, your menstrual cycles will still occur, but irregularly. Those frustrating side effects, like mood swings and vaginal dryness, typically begin during perimenopause. While some of the symptoms taper off after menopause, others like vaginal dryness may continue to worsen as you age.
Some common symptoms include:
- Irregular Periods
- Vaginal Dryness
- Hot Flashes
- Mood Swings
- Weight Gain
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, talk with your Doctor about available options. If you’re experiencing painful sex, try Replens™ Vaginal Moisturizer to relieve vaginal dryness.
Menopause Stage 3
The term “menopause” technically refers to a specific event, and that is your last period. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, “menopause can be confirmed when you have missed your period for 12 consecutive months”. At this point, you have officially gone through menopause. The average age of menopause in the United States is 51 (Mayo Clinic).
Menopause Stage 4
Menopause stage 4 Postmenopause is the fourth and final menopause stage and means “after the end of menstruation”. This is the time from menopause (the last period) through the end of a woman’s life. During this time, women often have an increased risk of health problems such as heart disease and stroke. It is important to take care of your health through menopause and beyond in order to reduce these risks. It is also important to note that, according to WebMD, “after more than 1 year of no menstrual periods due to menopause, any vaginal bleeding is considered abnormal”. If you experience this, visit your doctor.
Remember ladies, menopause doesn’t have to be all bad. While some of the symptoms can be frustrating, others can be managed! For example, Replens™ Vaginal Moisturizer can provide relief for vaginal dryness. If you are experiencing painful sex and ongoing discomfort, using Replens Vaginal Moisturizer can help provide immediate alleviation and long lasting vaginal moisture.