Estrogen, Perimenopause and MenopauseJul 15, 2022
Our bodies have a decline in estrogen as we approach menopause which can influence tissues in and around our vagina, the bladder, and our pelvis.
Before we discuss estrogen, let's look at the definition of Perimenopause and Menopause
Technically, menopause is ONE DAY marking the one day that is 12 consecutive months without a period. Anything before is perimenopause, and after is post-menopause.
There is an evolution going on right now around the terms, but basically, it is considered that once you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months, you are in menopause.
Perimenopause is considered by most people to be the 6 – 10 years prior to the onset of menopause.
Some women can go into menopause surgically.
If a woman has had their uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries removed, they are instantly in menopause as soon as they wake up from surgery. For those who have just had their uterus removed but keep their ovaries in place, technically, the ovaries would continue to produce hormones.
We are now finding that usually, within the first 5 years after having the uterus removed, most people start to transition into menopause, and the hormones become dysregulated.
We normally have estrogen-rich tissues in these areas from circulating in our body, and when we are not producing or have a decline in estrogen, these tissues can become dry, which can influence sensation. The tissues can start to thin and contribute to burning or irritation-type sensations for some women, and it doesn’t even have to be by touch; it could just be walking around or doing exercise. The drying out or thinning of the tissues can also exasperate or potentially bring on urinary frequency and incontinence.
Incontinence is any unwanted loss of urine at any time and any amount. So, if you are not sitting on the toilet, wanting to go pee, and urine comes out of you, that would be termed "incontinence."
64% of women are completely unprepared for menopause...and 73% of women do absolutely NOTHING to treat their menopause symptoms.
That means they suffer needlessly through...
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Mental health changes
- Stubborn weight gain
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Sleep problems
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
Accepting menopause as another stage in our life cycle helps us be better prepared for the symptoms.
One fun thing about reaching menopause is wearing white pants in celebration!
There are no indicators for how it will feel for you, but one thing we can all do is take charge and become our own best health advocates BEFORE we reach menopause.
Knowledge is power and gives us tools to seek the best options for managing the transition.