If you were born with a vagina then someday you will go through menopause, or you already have! Is it really as bad as tv and movies say it is? Listen as Josie, Kristal, and our guest Jocelyn talk about all things menopause.
Menopause is actually three different stages in your life
- Peri-menopause refers to the 4-10 years before menopause when your ovaries slowly produce less estrogen.
- Menopause refers to the time when your menstrual periods have stopped for at least a year
- Post-menopause is the stage of life after you have not had a period for 12 months or longer
Pre-menopause: Symptoms usually last 4 years but can last as long as 10. This is when you start getting hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
During perimenopause, your body begins to make less estrogen. This continues until the last one or two years of perimenopause until your hormone levels drop rapidly. You can still become pregnant during this time.
Loss of estrogen leads to things like:
- Hair thinning/ hair loss
- Dry skin and less elasticity
- Memory loss
- Body odor
- Sleep disruption
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
- Heavier periods
- Vaginal dryness
- another side effect of your body’s drop in estrogen. You can use lube at home but if that doesn't help you can see your doctor for other options like estrogen treatments.
Menopause is officially diagnosed after you have gone 12 months of amenorrhea (without your period) after pre-menopause.
- After menopause symptoms like hot and cold flashes, night sweats, mood swings, etc. can last up for 5 more years but usually start to decrease 3 years into menopause.
- Menopause is essentially the same as pre-menopause minus your period.
- Yay, no period
- Yay, no birth control!
- You can still get STI’s so you should still use condoms and the like
- You may be at increased risk for the following conditions after menopause:
- cardiovascular disease
- depression and other mental health conditions