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Menopause: The Complete Guide to the Estrogen-Free Stage of Life

The final stage in a woman’s reproductive life is called menopause. It occurs when you have gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period. This is the time when a woman’s body halts the production of estrogen and progesterone. The timeline can vary from woman to woman, but it’s generally accepted that most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55.

If a woman experiences menopause at the age of 40 or below, this is called premature menopause. The word itself is derived from two Greek words, “men” and “paus”. “Menos” means “month” and “paus” means “to cease”. So, as you can guess, menopause is a cessation in a woman’s monthly cycle. Once you reach this stage in your life, it doesn’t mean that you’re old. It’s just your reproductive life has come to an end. In this article, you will learn about menopause, its signs of it, and its impact on your life.

What is Menopause

Menopause is defined as when a woman goes 12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle, it marks the end of her fertile reproductive years. If you have your ovaries removed surgically for any reason e.g hysterectomy you will undergo surgical menopause.

Why Does Menopause Happen?

The answer is simple: because it has to. Think of this process as a “change from youth to an older, wiser more graceful age”. As estrogen levels decrease, the female menstrual period decreases become irregular and eventually stops. Estrogen and progesterone are produced in the ovaries. During this process, the female body undergoes multiple changes. Some women report experiencing more fatigue and frequent muscle aches and pain.

  • Perimenopause: During this stage which usually begins years before menopause, the lady may start to experience irregular periods or scanty periods due to the steady decrease of estrogen levels.
  • Menopause: This is when a lady has gone 12 consecutive months with no menstrual cycle

Post menopause: These are the years after menopause. They last till death.


As a woman that is going through menopause, these are some of the symptoms you may experience

  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dyspareunia (painful sex)
  • Urgent need to urinate more frequently
  • Irritability
  • Night sweats
  • Dry skin
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Weight gain

The Hormonal Change

While there are many ways to describe the changes that happen, the two basic hormones that are affected are estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone are responsible for the female menstrual cycle. During pregnancy, estrogen is necessary to help the uterus grow, and maintain the uterine lining. It also helps in the development of the baby’s organs. It is during menopause that the ovaries stop producing estrogen. Progesterone secretes a thick mucus that protects the cervix.it also keeps the womb from having contractions and it also helps your breasts get ready to make breast milk

Once a woman’s body enters menopause, she will no longer have a monthly menstrual cycle. Declining levels of progesterone are the main cause of vaginal dryness.

 Following menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease until they stop completely. Without these two hormones, there can be no monthly menstrual cycle.

The Psychological Impact

During the hormonal changes, women may experience feelings like sadness and worry. Depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances are very common during this stage of life. The result of which is more women becoming easily stressed, easy irritability, increased fatigue, poor memory and concentration, and reduced libido. Menopause can also cause you to lose interest in activities that you used to enjoy.

The Benefits

The most exciting part about menopause is that it can unlock so many advantages for women. The benefits of menopause include: –

Strong bones: This is also related to estrogen levels and the way they affect your bones. After menopause, your bones become less dense and are more likely to break or fracture. To avoid this, you can get calcium supplements or eat more calcium-rich foods.

No more periods: Since your ovaries are no longer producing estrogen and progesterone, you no longer have a menstrual cycle. You no longer have any need to buy pads.

No premenstrual syndrome (PMS): this usually comes with breast tenderness, headaches, food cravings, and sudden mood changes. As menopause begins, you will no longer experience most of these feelings.

Sex without fear of pregnancy. Pretty much self-explanatory

Fibroids shrink; estrogen feeds fibroid growth. The decline in estrogen shrinks fibroids. This does not mean that the fibroids are shrinking completely

Greater self-care: some postmenopausal women feel empowered, sometimes because of most of the biological changes that take place. They are relieved not to have monthly periods, no risk of pregnancy, and children all grown up. This comes with the freedom to pursue new professional and personal challenges.


Menopause is a precursor to greater things in life and the freedom that comes with age. it is a natural transition that every woman’s body goes through. The right nutrition and exercise can help keep your skin looking young and healthy.

The vitamins and minerals in a healthy diet can also help with your menopause symptoms and can increase your mood while reducing stress. Another important thing to remember is that you are not alone during this difficult time. Reaching out and bonding with other women can help.

Thanks for reading, and we hope you found this article helpful!

Do you have any stories of how you handled menopause, please let us know in the comments

You may also like Infertility In Women. The Truths You Need To Know.

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The Vagina: What You Need to Know. (Updated)

Medical Abortions And Why You Don’t Need To Be Scared

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