Menopause is when you no longer have a menstrual period and your reproductive years are over. But by definition, they wait until you haven’t had a period for an entire year to make sure that you’ve really had your last one, and then once you reach that point, you hit menopause. So technically, menopause is the one day after one year of no periods pairing.
The menopause is the transitional period leading up to that one day and post menopause is everything after that one day. It’s where you are after this transition and will stay for the rest of your life. The average age of menopause is 52, but it ranges from 40 to 58, with increasingly more women experiencing perimenopause early. But that’s another topic.
The symptoms of perimenopause can happen anywhere from 2 to 10 years before you reach menopause. So there’s a fair amount of time there, and most women are way more symptomatic when they’re perimenopausal. That’s when your hormones are really shifting around a lot. The two most important hormones are estrogen and progesterone, and although we often think that we get the symptoms of menopause from the low estrogen in perimenopause, the progesterone actually drops faster and messes up the ratio of estrogen to progesterone.
So, we may end up with something called estrogen dominance with the estrogen levels too high and that is actually what is causing a lot of the symptoms. But it’s that shift all over the place that can create the real roller coaster ride in a lot of women.
There’s so many other things that also contribute to estrogen dominance. There are environmental hormones in plastics that package our food which can leach and then when we consume over time have a detrimental impact on our hormone balance and then the hormonal impact of cosmetics. Many chemicals in cosmetics, femcare, moisturizers and lubes are bad hormone disrupters and will disturb women’s hormones. Chemicals in femcare and cosmetics are a huge problem and it is safer and healthier to choose chemical free, 100% all natural products. The impact of estrogen dominance can be minimized by removing as many estrogen disruptors as possible.