Getting older is no bargain, especially if you’re a woman. We deal with fluctuating hormones our whole lives, and it only gets complicated as we come to the end of childbearing age. While we enter the next chapter of our lives, our bodies can send us some mixed signals.
You can easily confuse signs of early menopause with perimenopause symptoms. Not to mention the confusion that those who are postmenopausal feel when they experience bleeding after menopause! Spoiler, contact a doctor.
All of these blurred lines are agitating. So, I’m going to sort all this confusion out for you. Then, I’ll discuss plenty of all-natural things you can do to ease your transition throughout the stages of menopause.
Am I Too Young? When Does Menopause Start?
There isn’t a magical number where every young girl unanimously gets their period. Subsequently, there is no definitive answer as to “when does menopause start?”
Menopause is defined as the era in time 12 months after your last menstrual cycle. The average woman enters menopause at the age of 51. However, it’s very common for women to experience symptoms of menopause in their 40’s.
Symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot Flashes
- Night Sweats
- Mood Swings
- Vaginal Dryness
- Sleep Problems
- Brain Fog
These signs of menopause all sound like an average month! It’s easy to confuse irritability and insomnia caused by a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) with signs of early menopause. Well, sometimes it’s a little bit of column A and column B.
Things can get even a bit more confusing. That’s because we’re all unique. So, let’s discuss some factors that might cause a delay or expedite the stages of menopause.
What Influences the Stages of Menopause?
When we were younger, there were factors that caused us to experience our first menstrual cycle earlier or later than our peers.
Playing sports, stress, and illnesses can delay the first menstrual cycle up until 16 years old. Meanwhile, fast metabolisms and genetics can cause a girl to have her first period as a preteen.
Adults can also trigger or prolong the stages of menopause and its symptoms. Smoking, genetics, and hysterectomies can all cause signs of early menopause.
There are also factors that can delay menopause, such as long-term use of oral contraceptives and frequent or high-risk pregnancies.
At the end of the day, you’re not too young to experience the signs of early menopause. If you do believe you’re entering this chapter of your journey, please contact your gynecologist. Also, try some of our all-natural recommendations at the end of this article to ease yourself into this inevitable transition.
What are the Stages of Menopause?
There are three stages of menopause. Each stage is unique in its effects on the body and your everyday routine. However, many of the symptoms also overlap. So, you might not even be consciously aware of which stage of menopause you’re in.
Don’t worry about putting yourself into a box. Always stay in-tune with how you feel at the present moment and cater to those needs.
We’ll discuss this a bit later when we go over ways to ease your transition through the stages of menopause. In the meantime, let’s get to know these stages a little better!
Many people confuse signs of early menopause with perimenopause symptoms. Perimenopause is the months leading up to your last menstrual cycle.
Your body is starting to create less estrogen and other vital hormones. This rapid shift throws your body off-balance and can cause several uncomfortable symptoms.
There is no defining perimenopause age. Most women will experience symptoms around the mid-’40s. However, signs can start showing up as early as the mid-’30s.
Signs of Perimenopause
A lot of women won’t even notice that they’re experiencing signs of perimenopause. They think it’s other hormonal shifts combined with stress. Whereas, other women might notice a significant difference in their demeanor and overall health.
Common signs of perimenopause include:
- Early or Late Periods
- Irregular Bleeding
- Hot Flashes
- Sleep Problems
- Bladder Issues
- Fluctuating Cholesterol Levels
- Depleted Sex Drive
- Loss in Bone Density
The most glaring sign of perimenopause that women notice is an early or late period. That’s why it’s so helpful to document your cycle. If you are always 30 days between each cycle and notice the time spans getting shorter or longer, you might be entering perimenopause.
The stages of menopause all get lumped into menopause because this chapter is the most clearly defined. Menopause is the period of 12 months without a period. Pun intended.
Most women enter menopause around the age of 51. During this stage of menopause, your ovaries no longer release eggs.
They also create minimal estrogen and progesterone. These hormones ran the ship for most of your life. So, now your body is adjusting and learning to navigate with a new set of hormones.
Signs of Menopause
Menopause is easier to define than perimenopause because you have gone 12 full months without a menstrual cycle. That means you no longer have to second-guess which stage of menopause you’re in.
Symptoms of menopause include:
- No More Menstrual Cycles
- Hot Flashes
- Night Sweats
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Mood Swings
- Lack of Interest in Sex
- Vaginal Dryness
- Decrease in Bone Density
These changes can cause miscommunications throughout your body. In turn, menopausal women are at risk for malnutrition that can cause health-related complications.
Common issues associated with menopause include heart disease, incontinence, and osteoporosis. Please seek a physician if the symptoms of menopause become worse. Also, try some of our all-natural suggestions at the end of this article.
This is the last leg in our triathlon that is the stages of menopause. Postmenopause is your life following your last menstrual cycle. You’ve got the whole year and are transitioning from menopause to postmenopause.
While the rest of your life is postmenopausal, you will still experience some residual side effects of this monumental life change. You will notice symptoms of menopause in the following four to five years since your last menstrual cycle. They can follow you into your ’60’s.
Signs of Postmenopause
Much like menopause, postmenopause is easy to measure. It’s essentially counting off from the same starting point as the previous stage of menopause. There just might be some slightly different, less frequent symptoms.
Postmenopausal symptoms include:
- Urinary Incontinence
- Postmenopausal Bleeding
- Night Sweats
- Hot Flashes
- Vaginal Dryness and Painful Sex
- Postmenopausal Atrophic Vaginitis
Postmenopausal bleeding isn’t normal. A little spotting might happen from a vaginal tear, but it’s highly uncommon. If you experience postmenopausal bleeding, it might be a sign of something serious, such as ovarian cancer. Please seek help immediately, even if the postmenopausal bleeding is light or spotty.
How to Deal with the Stages of Menopause Naturally
There is a lot of overlap between signs of perimenopause and postmenopausal symptoms. As soon as you expect you’ve hit the perimenopausal age, you should take proactive measures with your health.
These all-natural menopausal life hacks will make your transition through the stages of menopause more tolerable. Even if you aren’t showing signs of early menopause, some of these tips will improve your overall health, too!
Calcium and Vitamin D
Women naturally have smaller bones than men because they have less of a frame to carry. When a woman ovulates, her body gets prepared to carry extra weight in the form of a baby. Therefore, estrogen helps produce osteoblasts.
Osteoblasts are cells needed to create bones. When we go through menopause, we produce less estrogen. Therefore, we have less of this essential hormone to protect our bones.
Our bones absorb calcium, which gives them density. With less estrogen to create osteoblasts, our body will draw on the calcium in our bones. That’s why 56% of women have osteopenia, and 16% of women develop osteoporosis.
If you supplement with calcium, your body will need Vitamin D to help with absorption in the intestines. Make sure to get perimenopause supplements that have both of these essential vitamins and minerals.
Yoga and Meditation
Each stage of menopause brings about a whirlwind of emotions. It’s easy to become anxious over the changing road ahead.
You’re uncertain about how long these unfavorable symptoms will last. That’s a lot to take in! Find your center through yoga and meditation.
A meta-analysis of 545 menopausal women looked at the effectiveness of yoga during this transition. Results found “moderate evidence for short-term improvements of psychological symptoms in menopausal women after yoga interventions.”
Menopause is an inevitable process that can span over two decades. We can focus on the day-to-day by tending to our mind and body through yoga and meditation.
Further tend to your mental well-being with Tranquility Labs’ Tranquilene. As noted, stress can exasperate your menopausal symptoms or accelerate signs of perimenopause. Tranquilene is enriched with vitamins and minerals that help ease anxious behaviors.
Tranquilene is also fortified with Vitamin D. As I mentioned earlier, Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption that prevents osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Stay Active and Eat Healthy Foods
The uncomfortable symptoms of menopause can make us want to crawl into a fetal position and watch reruns of Friends all day. However, this treatment plan will only make the symptoms of menopause worse!
Make sure to get plenty of micronutrients by eating a balanced diet. These vitamins and minerals are essential for many physiological functions, including bone production.
One study looked at the connection between dietary patterns and bone density. Results found across the board that a diet high in fruits and vegetables helps maintain healthy bones. Whereas a diet rich in processed foods (hello, Western Diet) leads to bone loss.
Also, stay active. Research overwhelmingly shows that physical exercise depletes the physiological and emotional side effects of menopause.
Don’t overdo it and cause stress on your body. Also, supplement your workout routine with restorative yoga.
Sometimes when a ship is sinking, the best thing to do is try to plug up the holes. Fill in your estrogen gaps by eating plant-based foods that are rich in estrogen.
Plants have molecules that mimic ours. Since plants are naturally male and female, they also have hormones we can consume.
Examples of phytoestrogens include:
- Flax Seed
- Dried Fruits
Some phytoestrogens, such as beans, will contain lectins. Some people are sensitive to these carbohydrates. Eating too many lectins can cause inflammatory responses.
Chronic inflammation can lead to microbial imbalances and cause more complications with Postmenopausal Atrophic Vaginitis. If you experience a lot of GI problems eating lectins, consume lectin-free foods rich in phytoestrogens.
Hormonal replacement therapy or menopausal hormone therapy has become increasingly common over the years. This type of therapy is viable for women who have not received a hysterectomy, as the uterus plays an integral role.
Those who opt for this form of menopausal treatment are prescribed estrogen. However, they’re also prescribed a synthetic hormone known as progestin.
The use of progestin is controversial because it’s artificial. However, it’s prescribed to mimic progesterone. Without it, women are at a higher risk of endometrial cancer.
Vaginal dryness and Postmenopausal Atrophic Vaginitis are common symptoms through each of the stages of menopause.
These can cause a variety of uncomfortable side effects, including:
- Painful Sex
- Bacterial Infections
- Fungal Infections
The lack of estrogen causes our vaginal tissues to become thinner. That makes them more sensitive and prone to irritation. Use personal lubricants to help ease the discomfort and to improve your sex life.
We focus so much on what we’re losing during menopause that we ignore what we can be gaining. Everything we consume is an opportunity to give our body the help it needs.
Perimenopausal supplements like Tranquility Labs’ Estrolene help you through each stage of menopause by replenishing your body with vital nutrients.
Your body is already dealing with a lack of estrogen. It doesn’t need the added pressure of potential bone loss. This proprietary blend contains Vitamin D and calcium that your bones need during this pivotal time.
Estrolene is also enriched with all-natural phytoestrogens, such as red clover and Mongolia bark extract. Research suggests that red clover helps relax arteries so that blood circulates more effectively.
That’s important for menopausal women, for that are at an increased risk of heart disease. Plus, cholesterol levels fluctuate, which can cause fatty build-ups in the arteries. Lastly, menopausal women experience elevated levels of stress that can cause high blood pressure.
A 24-week study on the menopausal benefits of Magnolia bark extract found that daily use of this botanical can improve “insomnia, anxiety, mood, and irritability.”
Estrolene also contains Vitamin E. This powerful antioxidant helps revitalize skin cells and fights off free radicals that might cause cancer. Studies also suggest that Vitamin E eases hot flashes.
Live Your Best Life During the Stages of Menopause
Menopause is inevitable. We should enter this part of our life prepared, not in fear.
Sure, the first signs of perimenopause are scary. So, was your first period.
However, you survived and learned to live your best life. You’re adaptable. You can do it again!
Instead of worrying about the stages of menopause, focus on your day-to-day symptoms. How you feel every day is dynamic. Your reactions should be, too.
Also, come up with a long-term wellness plan before the first signs of perimenopause. Make changes to your dietary patterns, stay active, and start taking perimenopause supplements like Tranquility Labs’ Estrolene.
Getting older is a blessing. We get to see the fruits of our labors pay their dividends. Chase your grandchildren. Dance at your child’s wedding. Live your best life through each of the stages of menopause!
- Menopause is inevitable, not dreadful!
- Signs of perimenopause can be confused with signs of early menopause
- Use personal lubricants, eat phytoestrogens, and use perimenopause supplements to make the stages of menopause more tolerable