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.
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 a 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