Women everywhere have one thing in common; eventually, they will go through “The Change” and finally be rid of their “monthly gift”, which will free them from ever having to worry about that problem again. They will stop being fertile and will be past their child bearing years. For some women, the change begins in their late 20’s and early 30’s but for most women, it begins in their 40’s. There are three stages of this change that women must endure, but after that last stage, they are finished.
The first stage is called Perimenopause. This stage usually occurs when a woman is in her late 30s to early 40s. She will begin to have hot flashes, even on cooler or wintery days. Her breasts will be sore or tender, almost like she is breastfeeding again or, if she did not breastfeed, like the first few months when she was trying to stop the breasts from making milk. Her PMS (premenstrual syndrome) will worsen because of the impending change that she will be going through, so do not take it personally if she lashed out at you or says mean things. She is preparing to change into a woman who is no longer able to bear children and her hormones are out of balance.
Her sex drive will be lower than before. She may be very tired even after waking up from a nap or sleeping at night. Her periods will be irregular and maybe even more painful than before. While making love, she may have great discomfort because of the lack of libido and dryness of her vaginal area. If she coughs or sneezes, she could be embarrassed by a urine leak or need to use the bathroom a lot and have a few emergencies a day. She may have difficult mood swings that will make her loved ones want to stay away from her. She may also find sleeping very difficult because of the hot flashes and soreness.
The second stage is Menopause. This stage has all the above symptoms only they are magnified much more. This stage usually begins right after Perimenopause when a woman is in her mid 40’s. Along with the mood swings, lowered sex drive, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and problems sleeping, she may experience new symptoms. A heart palpitation could be a major symptom that she needs to deal with. Headaches or migraines can also be an issue that a woman needs to confront. Osteoporosis is a big medical problem that plagues women in Menopause, robbing them of much-needed calcium and causing bone loss.
The last stage is Postmenopause. This is the light at the end of the tunnel for the woman and her family. This stage occurs after Menopause and lasts for the rest of the woman’s life. This stage has only one symptom and it is one that most women look forward to- no periods for one year. Postmenopausal women should always get their yearly exams, however, because the threat of cancer is still a factor unless the woman has had a hysterectomy.