Women have long referred to menopause as “the change.” While it is true that menopause is a major change, it is not something that takes place overnight and generally occurs in three stages, which can share symptoms or have their own unique symptoms.
In the first stage of menopause, or perimenopause, your hormone levels can get pretty out of control. Your ovaries are beginning to transition, but some days, your hormone levels may soar while other days they can bottom out. You may suffer from water retention menopause, irregular periods, breast tenderness and moodiness. You may feel just as topsy-turvy as your hormone levels do during this time, so getting control is likely high on your to-do list.
Menopause technically refers to a single day: the day that marks a full year without a period. Your ovaries have finally settled down, and your body has a new, stable level of hormones. This does not mean that you are home-free when it comes to symptoms, however. You may still have some perimenopause symptoms along with new symptoms that are related to your lower levels of hormones.
Post-menopause refers to the period after your periods have ended. Once you have completed menopause, you will be in postmenopause for the rest of your life. This can be an exciting time in which you can indulge your passions and spend more time on yourself, but it can also be a time of increased health risks. Taking time to manage your symptoms with positive choices can ensure you live a healthy life.