Menopauseis a phase in a woman’s life when she stops having her menstrualperiod. It marks the end of female reproduction. Normally, the stagestarts at the forties or fifties depending on an individual. However,menopause may start early or late. Perimenopause occurs early beforethe official menopause. According to Bieber,Sanfilippo, Horowitz, and Shafi (2015),women can begin this stage eight to ten years before menopause. Itmay last for several months or years. A change in estrogen (a femalehormone produced by the ovaries) marks the start of Perimenopause.The level of estrogen infrequently drops causing irregular periods,among other symptoms. During this stage, the body produces less andless of estrogen. Nevertheless, there is still a possibility of awoman getting pregnant during this period. A woman may enter thispause if she has a family history of Perimenopause, is a smoker, hadan oophorectomy or hysterectomy, or has undergone cancer treatment.Symptoms of Perimenopause include irregular periods, lighter orheavier periods, breast tenderness, loss of sex drive, severeheadaches, urinary tract infections, among others.
Onthe other hand, Postmenopause is a stage in woman’s life thatoccurs after the official menopause. During this period, menstrualperiods cease completely. Similar to Perimenopause, the level ofestrogen decreases and the ovaries shut down. Women begin this phasetwelve months after menopause. Unlike in the Perimenopause stage,during postmenopause stage, a woman chance of getting pregnant isnearly zero. Causes of postmenopause include hormonal changes ofestrogen and progesterone, illness, and surgery. Signs and symptomsof postmenopause include hot flashes, night sweats, urinaryurgencies, insomnia, vaginal dryness, breast tenderness, headaches,irregular periods, and emotional changes, among others (Bieberet. al., 2015).Due to the low level of estrogen, women in postmenopause stage are atrisk of several health conditions such as heart disease andosteoporosis. Hormone therapy and change to a healthy lifestyle arerecommendable to avoid such risks.
Bieber,E. J., Sanfilippo, J. S., Horowitz, I. R., & Shafi, M. I. (Eds.).(2015).ClinicalGynecology.Cambridge University Press.