Welcome to Embrace the Change

About the menopause

About the menopause

Although we’re not experts on the medical side of the menopause, we’ve spent a lot of time researching the subject and have written this section to give you a brief overview, which we hope will help.

Every woman will eventually arrive at the menopause. It’s not something which can be avoided, how ever much we try to ignore it. We might discuss it surreptitiously, perhaps in whispers. It seems to be one of those taboo subjects – who wants to own up to having reached that stage in life where our fertility has decreased, our libido is apparently disappearing and our hair will thin and wrinkles increase?

But hey – one good thing – no more periods!!

There are various terms used to describe the stages. The word “Menopause” has come to be associated with the whole process, from beginning to end even though, medically, it really refers to your last period.

Premenopause

This is usually used to refer to the time when your hormone levels haven’t started to change and your periods are normal.

Perimenopause

This is the time during when it all begins to change.

Technically it’s from when hormone levels start to change and periods become more irregular, through to your last ever period and perhaps a little longer, until your hormones have settled into their new pattern.

It can last anything from 2 years to 6 years, although in the early years the signs may be relatively minor, and the duration varies.

It ends 12 months after your last period – it is usual to wait for 12 months without a period before you can be sure it is really the last one.

This is what is more usually described as “going through the menopause”.

Menopause

“Menopause” is really a point in time – the last menstrual period – though the term gets used to describe the whole process.

Typically, in Britain, the average age for the last period is 50 years old, but this can vary quite a lot from individual to individual.

It is generally stated that a normal range of ages would be between 45 and 55 years.

Earlier than 45 is considered a “Premature Menopause”. This can come about naturally, or can be precipitated by medical treatment such as surgery in or around the ovaries, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.