Menopause Information

Understanding perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause

Recognizing Perimenopause

Overview of Perimenopause and its importance

Perimenopause is the transitional phase leading to menopause.1 It can start in some women in their 30s 1,2, but typically it happens sometime between the ages of 40 or mid 50s1,2.  Perimenopause can last for years, sometimes even as long as 8 years.1,2,3,4.
During this stage, the ovaries produce less estrogen3 which causes an imbalance with the level progesterone produced by the ovaries1, leading to irregular menstrual cycles until they eventually taper off.2 Understanding and recognizing perimenopause is crucial for women as it marks the beginning of the end of reproductive years.

During perimenopause, women may experience various physical and emotional changes.1 These changes occur due to fluctuating hormone levels and can significantly affect a woman’s daily life. While some women may experience mild symptoms, others may have more severe ones, or even none at all.2

Signs and Symptoms of Perimenopause

The signs and symptoms of perimenopause can vary from woman to woman. Some common symptoms include:


    • Irregular periods: Menstrual cycles may become longer, and bleeding may become lighter or heavier. 1,2


    • Hot flashes: Sudden, intense feelings of warmth that can cause sweating and redness of the skin all over the body. 1,2,3


    • Night sweats: Hot flashes during sleep lead to excessive sweating and disrupted sleep patterns. 1,4


    • Urinary urgency: A sudden need to urinate more frequently. 1


    • Psychological effects: Fluctuating hormone levels can cause irritability, mood swings, lethargy, forgetfulness, loss of libido (sex drive)
      and depression. 1,3


      • Sleep disturbances: Insomnia or difficulty staying asleep may become more common during perimenopause. 1,4


        • Dryness: Dryness of skin and hair may occur, as well as brittle nails. 3


        • Vaginal dryness: Decreased estrogen levels can lead to dryness and discomfort during sexual intercourse. 2,3

Pregnancy During Perimenopause

You can still get pregnant while going through perimenopause. You are still ovulating when you have your periods, even if they are irregular, and can get pregnant. If you do not wish to get pregnant during this time in your life, you should use reliable birth control methods until you do not get your period for 12 consecutive months. 1

Health Risks Associated with Perimenopause

When your estrogen levels start to decrease during perimenopause, the density and strength of your bones may be negatively affected. This could lead to osteoporosis and eventually bone fractures. It is important to avoid falls. 1

It's important to note that perimenopause is a natural biological process, and the symptoms experienced can vary. If you suspect you are entering perimenopause, or if your symptoms are unbearable, then it's advisable to consult with your healthcare provider for guidance and support.

Entering Menopause

Defining Menopause and its Significance

Menopause is a natural biological process that follows perimenopause and that marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. It is defined as the cessation of menstruation for a consecutive 12 months. 1 This transition is accompanied by decreased production of the reproductive hormone, estrogen.

Menopause can also occur prematurely as a result of surgical removal of the uterus, ovaries or both, cancer treatments, and medical conditions. 2

A reduction in estrogen during menopause increases certain health risks for a woman experiencing menopause; coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infections, weight gain and skin and hair changes. 2

Signs and Symptoms During Menopause

During the transition into menopause, women may experience various symptoms similar to perimenopause symptoms. These symptoms can vary in severity and duration, but some of the most common include hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and sleep disturbances. The decline in estrogen levels primarily causes these changes. 

Besides physical symptoms, menopause can impact women's emotions, causing anxiety, depression, and irritability. Women with these symptoms need to get help from healthcare professionals and loved ones.
Proper education, support, and medical care can help women navigate menopause and embrace this new phase.

Embracing Post-Menopause

Exploring Post-Menopause and what to expect

Post-menopause is the stage of a woman's life after she has gone through menopause. Once in post- menopause, a woman will always be in post-menopause. This period in her life marks the end of her reproductive years. The ovaries produce very little esotrogen and progesterone at this point. Some women may still feel lingering symptoms from the menopausal stage, whereas some barely feel them at all. 5

Managing Health and Wellness in Post-Menopause

Osteoporosis, heart disease, vaginal atrophy, mental health issues and weight gain are risks that increase in women who are in postmenopause. 5 Making lifestyle changes and seeking medical care is important for women's health after menopause. Here are a few key areas to focus on:


Diet and exercise:
Eating a balanced diet with fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins can help control weight and lower the chance of chronic illnesses. Regular exercise like walking or yoga can improve bone strength, cardiovascular health, and overall well-being.


Regular Check-ups:
Women must prioritize regular check-ups and screenings such as bone density tests, and cholesterol checks. These tests can help detect any potential health issues and enable early intervention.


Mental and Emotional Well-being:
It's essential to prioritize self-care and maintain a strong support network. Finding happiness, managing stress, and seeking emotional support can help with post-menopausal emotions.


Avoid smoking
Smoking increases one’s risk of cardiovascular disease.


Women can enjoy a fulfilling and vibrant life by embracing post-menopause as a new chapter in life and taking steps to support health and wellness.


Understanding the three stages of menopause is crucial for women as they navigate this natural transition in their lives. By being aware of the symptoms and changes during each stage, women can better manage their physical and emotional well-being.

Important points of the 3 Stages of Menopause

Perimenopause: This is the transitional stage leading up to menopause. During perimenopause, women may experience irregular periods, hormonal fluctuations, and symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances, which can last several years. Understanding perimenopause allows women to recognize these changes and seek support.


Menopause: Menopause marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. Menopause is officially diagnosed when a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. Symptoms during menopause can include hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood changes. Awareness of these symptoms can help women seek treatment options that provide relief.


Post-menopause: Post-menopause refers to the years following menopause. At this stage, menopause symptoms may lessen, but women still face risks like osteoporosis and heart disease. Understanding post-menopause allows women to take proactive steps to maintain their health, such as getting regular check-ups and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does each stage of menopause last? The duration of each stage can vary from woman to woman. Perimenopause can last anywhere from a few months to several years, while menopause itself is considered to have occurred after 12 consecutive months without a period. Post-menopause lasts for the rest of a woman's life.


  • Are there any treatments for menopause symptoms? Yes, various treatments are available to ease menopause symptoms. Discuss your symptoms with a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable treatment options for you.


1. Cleveland Clinic. “Perimenopause: Age, Stages, Signs, Symptoms & Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic, 5 Oct. 2021,

2. “Menopause Information | Mount Sinai - New York.” Mount Sinai Health System,

3. Kausar Inayat, et al. “Symptoms of Menopause in Peri and Postmenopausal Women and
Their Attitude towards Them.” J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad, vol. 29, no. 3, 28 Oct. 2017, pp. 477–480.

4. “Perimenopause, Early Menopause Symptoms | the North American Menopause Society,

primer-for-the-perimenopausal .

5. “Postmenopause: Signs, Symptoms & What to Expect.” Cleveland Clinic, 10 May 2021,

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