Menopause Frequently Asked Questions
Have a few menopause frequently asked questions (FAQs) you’d like answered?
Just like puberty and pregnancy, perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause are key phases in a woman’s life. It’s a time of change and hormonal ups and downs that all too often catch us unawares. So when, and if, they connect the dots it sends them on a quest for information.
In light of this, we’ve put together a few of the most common questions you ask with brief answers and links for more in-depth information. We genuinely hope they help to make your transition easier. If you have other questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here.
Menopause is not a disease – it’s a normal, natural event – defined as the final menstrual period. Menopause is usually confirmed when a woman has missed her periods for 12 consecutive months (in the absence of other obvious causes) so she only knows she’s reached it in hindsight.
Associated with reduced functioning of the ovaries resulting in lower levels of estrogen and other hormones, menopause is reached when the ovaries stop producing eggs and periods and fertility come to an end. Natural menopause typically occurs around the age of 51 and most often between ages 45 and 55.
See our full article: What Is Menopause
‘Peri’ means near and refers to the years preceding menopause when there is a gradual transition from the reproductive years to end of fertility. During these years a woman’s estrogen levels can fluctuate wildly.
Perimenopause begins (on average) four to 10 years before the final period. It usually starts when a woman is in her early to mid-40s and her reproductive hormones begin to decline. It’s these hormonal shifts that can cause symptoms in some women.
Post-menopause refers to all the years of a woman’s life beyond menopause. It immediately follows a woman’s last period – although she won’t realise this for a year – and she will be at this stage for the rest of her life. The signs of peri/menopause gradually decline and disappear for many women during these years because her sex hormones have reduced and stabilised. However, lower levels of estrogen can lead to increased risk of heart, brain and bone disease.
Menopause, whether natural or artificial, is called premature when it happens at age 40 or younger. POI or primary ovarian insufficiency is the official term for the partial or total loss of ovarian reproductive function before 40. This can be due to chemotherapy or radiation treatment, autoimmune disease, genetics or enzyme deficiency. According to the International Menopause Society POI occurs in one per cent of the global population, in 1/1000 women under the age of 30 and 1/10000 women under the age of 20. Read the Society’s white paper on POI.
Also known as surgical or induced menopause, artificial menopause occurs earlier – usually before 40 – than the ‘average’ age for menopause of 51/52. It’s often the result of a full hysterectomy and the surgical removal of both ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy) although chemotherapy-induced menopause can fall under this banner too. Hysterectomies may be performed due to risk of cancer, severe endometriosis or chronic pelvic pain. The abrupt cessation of ovarian hormone function causes menopausal symptoms to come on rapidly.
Note: if a woman undergoes hysterectomy but her ovaries are left intact she will still go through natural menopause.
That depends. You may not even notice any changes. Quite a few women don’t, however 65-70 per cent experience moderate to severe symptoms. There are 34 recognised symptoms of menopause, the most well-known of which are hot flushes (hot flashes).
Know the 34 symptoms of menopause
- Body odour changes
- Brain Fog
- Breast tenderness
- Burning mouth syndrome
- Digestive issues
- Electric shock sensations
- Hair changes
- Hot Flushes
- Incontinence & UTI’s
- Irregular heartbeat
- Irregular periods
- Itchy skin
- Joint pain
- Loss of libido
- Muscle Tension
- Night sweats
- Oral problems
- Sleeping difficulties
- Vaginal dryness and/or atrophy
- Weakened fingernails
- Weight gain
- Mood Swings
- Panic disorder
A good diet, ensuring you have optimum levels of nutrients and regular exercise has been shown unequivocally to help minimise the symptoms of menopause.
We also provide and recommend MenoMe 40+ and 55+. Both products use scientifically researched trio of herbs known as EstroG-100™ which have been shown to reduce 10 of the main symptoms of menopause and improve quality of life as measured by the Kupperman Index. 55+ also contains marine magnesium, vitamin D3 and Enzogenol® pine bark extract.
The simple answer to this question is whole foods like fruit and vegetables, moderate quantities of fish and healthy fats or PPFF – phytoestrogens, protein, fat and fibre. Typically a Mediterranean-style diet is considered optimum. Equally important is avoiding refined sugars or processed foods. Try these six foods to balance hormones.
There is no ‘best’ exercise per se. What’s more important is what is best for you as an individual and that you move for at least 30 minutes per day. Every. Body. Is. Different. Exercise is key to helping to ease symptoms and also to help keep you strong and healthy and your brain on high alert as you grow older. However, more and more research is coming out showing that HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) and its sister – Tabata – are particularly beneficial for women post-40.
It’s very individual but optimum nutrient levels are crucial during menopause. We have found magnesium, vitamin D3, calcium, essential fatty acids, iron, zinc and vitamins B, C and E are all good to have on hand. Finding a good multivitamin, that is not loaded up with inexpensive fillers is important. And remember it all begins with the gut so taking a probiotic can be helpful too. Without good digestive health, your body won’t absorb nutrients well. It takes about three months to get your nutrient levels back up to scratch if they’ve been lacking. Learn more about menopause here.
Yes. Some doctors will test your hormones via blood tests however these are unreliable as your levels can change from day today. If you have a medical menopause specialist they may be able to do more detailed testing. With that said, blood tests may become more sensitive in the future. A new study shows a blood test may soon be able to predict when a woman’s final period will be though more research is needed. From the perspective of a functional medicine lens, the most well-regarded test is called the DUTCH (Dried Urine Test For Comprehensive Hormones) Test which gives a detailed reading of hormone levels. Available in Australia and New Zealand from Nutrisearch.
How long is a piece of string? Because every woman is unique her transition to menopause will be too. The average time is about four years, but for some women, it’s up to 10 years. Dr Christiane Northrup, renowned women’s health expert and the author of The Wisdom of Menopause Dr Christiane Northrup OB/GYN suggests a guideline of 6-13 years.
While no one can predict how an individual woman will experience menopause some studies suggest it would be a good idea to ask your mother how she fared. This study of 164 mothers and daughters showed a 44 per cent heritability factor. And this 1995 research showed a family history could contribute to early menopause.
Absolutely, and some women do so when others talk about their symptoms or how they’re struggling it’s difficult for them to understand. The Australasian Menopause Society tell us that 20 per cent of women will have no symptoms at all, 60 per cent will have mild symptoms for around four to eight years and 20 per cent will be severely affected, with symptoms continuing into their 60s or later.
This study showed there is a high rate of suicide among women aged 45-54 years which researchers found may be related to the biological changes of menopause. It’s not unusual for women to feel like they’re going crazy during the hormonal upheaval of perimenopause or to become more susceptible to anxiety, depression and panic attacks. These can be a heavy load to bear but it’s important to realise that it’s not you, it’s your hormones. It’s crucial you reach out for help to people or organisations (like us) who specialise in menopause. We know all too well that it’s more to do with hormonal imbalance than you being mentally ill and we can both support you and give you tools to get you through and find your mojo again.
Symptoms of perimenopausal depression:
MenoMe has two products to help women through perimenopause and to support them for the rest of their lives in post-menopause. Both 40+ and 55+ contain the same hormone-balancing ingredients, a herbal root extract trio known as EstroG-100™. The difference is that 55+ also contains marine magnesium, vitamin D3 and Enzogenol® for brain, heart and bone health. Though they’re primarily designed for perimenopause and post-menopause either can be beneficial at any age.
40+ is 100 per cent EstroG-100™.
EstroG-100™ is a patented formulation of three herbal extracts that have been used for hundreds of years. It has been the subject of three scientific studies on menopause and naturally supports the body’s natural response to hormonal changes including body temperature, mood, healthy joints, energy levels, and restful sleep.
- Natural herbal formulation
- Scientifically researched to support women in all stages of menopause
- No side effects
- Presented in VEGE capsules – suitable for vegetarians and vegans
Perimenopause, the first stage of menopause, usually starts in a woman’s 40s but can start in her 30s or even earlier. 40+ is recommended for use at the first signs of perimenopause through to post-menopause.
Many women experience benefits within four weeks, but we recommend allowing 12 weeks and continuing use daily for ongoing maintenance.
Always read the label and use as directed.
EstroG-100™ is a patented formulation of three herbal extracts that have been used for hundreds of years. It’s been the subject of three published scientific studies on menopause and naturally supports the body’s natural response to hormonal changes including normal body temperature, mood, healthy joints, energy levels, and restful sleep.
The marine magnesium we use is called Aquamin and comes from the coastal waters of Iceland. It has undergone numerous scientific studies and has been the proud recipient of the coveted Nutraingredients: Healthy Ageing Ingredient of the year award. We chose Vitamin D3 as it’s the same form of vitamin D humans make from sunlight and is well researched, and Enzogenol® pine bark extract comes from the bark of New Zealand pinus radiata trees and has been the subject of several scientific research studies.
Perimenopause, the first stage of menopause, usually starts in a woman’s 40s but can start in her 30s or even earlier. Menopause is only measured retrospectively and occurs around 51/52 years after which we go into post-menopause. 55+ can be used at all stages but is highly recommended post-menopause.
• Natural herbal formulation
• Scientifically researched
• No side effects
• Presented in VEGE capsules – suitable for vegetarians and vegans
Many women experience support within four weeks, we recommend allowing 12 weeks for best results and continuing daily use for ongoing maintenance.
Always read the label and use as directed.
A Heartfelt Thank You ✨✨✨
We hope we have enlightened you, inspired you, set your mind at rest and given you some practical tools to take forward so you can live the life of vitality and happiness you deserve. It is an honour and a pleasure to serve you and don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly here.
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Disclaimer: Our articles are for information only and intended to educate from a holistic point of view. They should not take the place of medical advice. Certain diet and exercise practise may be beneficial for the majority of people but could have potential risks for others. If you are contemplating lifestyle changes or you have ongoing concerns please consult your healthcare provider.