No, You're Not TOO Young for Menopause!
Updated: Feb 6
Are you a female over the age of 35? Then the answer is NO, you're not too young for Menopause!!
I know, that's some scary shit to consider, but it's real life and should be a fact that women are aware of when they begin to experience changes and feel like they are losing their mind!!
You're not, I promise and that is why learning about this third season is so important!!
Let’s start with the most important tidbit here >>> Menopause is not a one-size fits all kind of thing.
The menopause journey is going to look and feel different for every woman.
And with it brings many challenges. From perimenopause to menopause to post menopause it’s important to know what to expect and what you can do to make the transition a little less life interrupting!
Here are a couple of interesting facts:
Only one half of women consult their doctor for help with navigating this new season.
50% of women who haven't yet experienced menopause are worried about approaching it
The number one symptom most women are concerned with are hot flashes followed by weight gain, mood swings, depression and anxiety.
63% of working women say that menopause had a negative effect on their working life
Whether you are at the beginning of your midlife journey, knee-deep in it, or approaching the end, there's probably one thing you have in common with so many other women: it's still hard to talk about no matter how much we work to open the conversation.
You may feel like you're the only one struggling . . .
. . . or you may wonder if your symptoms are considered normal
Menopause can literally affect every part of your body from your hair to your feet.
It can affect your mental, physical, and emotional health.
It can affect your sex life, relationships, and work life.
And it’s really hard to know where to start with regard to helping make this a little easier on yourself.
The best place to start is understanding which stage you are in or what stage you might be approaching.
It’s important to understand that menopausal symptoms can start while women are still having periods.
The average age for women to being experiencing menopausal symptoms is between 45-55 with the average woman hitting menopause at 51.
The most common first sign of perimenopause are hot flashes and night sweats. These can begin as early as 5 years before you stop having a period.
During perimenopause, ovaries produce fewer and weaker follicles until eventually you stop ovulating. Only 12% of women wake up one day and never have another period. The other 88% noticed fluctuations in their cycles (longer or shorter periods, heavier or lighter, or in some cases with intermittent spotting).
In the early stages of perimenopause estrogen levels are still high enough to allow for ovulation. However these levels are lower than your body is used to and that is why the symptoms may be felt before the cycle changes.
Menopausal symptoms can start many years before the actual menopause.
Changes in the hormone progesterone can cause those annoying mood swings, feelings of ow mood, anxiety, poor sleep, and weight gain without the classic hot flash symptoms.
It's important to note that while your hormone levels are lower you can still get pregnant so keep in mind any need for contraceptives until you're hit post-menopause.
Menopause itself is said to have been reached when a woman has been free from a period for 12 consecutive month. Typically this happens between the ages of 51 and 55.
Here's the good news . . . your period is officially over due to your ovaries no longer having enough follicles to maintain your menstrual cycle!
YES, you can totally celebrate!!
However due to the lack of estrogen joints can be affected, particularly in the hips and the knee, as well as the fingers and hands. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments may become more prone to stiffness and aches.
It's important to understand that while a woman may not have had a period for a year and is considered fully menopausal, symptoms can continue for many years after-in some cases up to 10 years or more. AND that decreased levels of hormone production of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA can cause significant changes in the body.
Some women will sail through this season with no issues (so jealous!), while others have light interrupting issues.
Even if you have no symptoms over time you will be more at risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. You may also experience vaginal dryness, urinary incontinence, and even prolapse. These symptoms might be experienced during perimenopause as well. The good news is there's plenty you can do including to reduce the severity through diet, exercise, and other treatment options you should discuss with your doctor.
Day 366 without a period . . . welcome to your post menopause journey.
After menopause your adrenal glands are still producing small amounts of a type of estrogen called estrone. Excessive stress can reduce this adrenal output so it's important to make stress reduction a top priority.
A helpful tip - eat healthy fats and foods rich in vitamin C to help boost not only your mood, but also your libido!!
Since I loaded you up with some many “ issues” >>> Here are 5 Things To Celebrate About Menopause
You no longer have to buy tampons - saving you a little extra $$ each month.
A nice glass of cold white wine may help reduce hot flashes (keep in mind red can trigger those flashes)
Movement is a must! An empty nest, aging parents, different work demands all equal more stress - this is a great time to take up meditation or yoga to help you destress. And don’t forget the power of a good power lifting or cardio session for a mood booster!
Celebrate by starting a pelvic floor routine or scheduling an appointment with your doctor or continence specialist. When estrogen levels fall it’s common for your pelvic floor muscle to feel the effects (especially when you sneeze, laugh, or do jumping jacks). And even though it is common doesn’t mean you have to suffer - this is treatable!!
Invest your tampon savings into a new cute pair of breathable PJs. A lucky 25% of women will never experience a hot flash, but for the remaining 75% of us, purchasing cotton sleepwear and a fan can be a lifesaver! Hot flash triggers include spicy foods, alcohol, and smoking.
Listen, it’s not all bad. Many women find that they actually feel more confident, creative, and free. This is your time to feel empowered. Find joy and make yourself a priority for a change!!
Want to learn more about the three stages of Menopause, what to expect, what treatment options are available, what questions to ask at your next doctor appointment, and find out exactly what stage you are in??
Grab a copy of my comprehensive guide The Beginner’s Guide to Perimenopause and Beyond.