Everything you need to know about the menopause journey

The average woman has 400 to 500 periods in their lifetime – but it’s what happens when it’s time for our monthly cycle to stop that concerns many of us.

So what is menopause, exactly?

The word itself provides the answer. It comes from the Greek “menos”, meaning month, and “pause”, which means to cease.

Sometimes called “the change of life”, menopause occurs when a woman’s ovaries decrease oestrogen and progesterone production.

This stops the release of eggs and marks the end of menstruation.

For most women this happens between the ages of 45 and 55 (the average age is around 51), although for some it can begin earlier or later.

But there are actually phases in the menopause journey.

Perimenopause – the transition phase

This is the time leading up to menopause, when women may start experiencing changes in their menstrual periods such as irregularity or changes in flow.

Cycles might also be shorter or longer in length, and fluctuations in the production of hormones can bring with them a bunch of not-so-nice symptoms.

These can include hot flushes, night sweats, aches and pains, feelings of fatigue and irritability, sore breasts, disturbed sleep, vaginal dryness, mood swings, crawling feelings under the skin and waning sexual interest.

Some women can experience menopausal symptoms for five to 10 years before their final period.

It’s estimated 60 per cent of women experience mild symptoms, while another 20 per cent are more severely affected.

Remember that pregnancy is still a possibility in this transition phase, so it is recommended that you use contraception until at least 12 months after your final period.

When are you permanently “in” menopause?

Yes, menopause is defined as your final period.

But because periods can be very irregular – even months apart – as you approach your “change of life”, you aren’t technically “in” menopause until you haven’t had a period for a year.

What about post-menopause?

Some women continue to suffer symptoms well after menopause.

So it’s important to top up on additional nutrients and to continue to support your health, particularly as your body has gone through many changes.

Support during, before and after menopause

Women’s support needs fluctuate throughout the menopause journey, and there are plant-based treatments worth looking at.

The benefits of red clover (Trifolium pratense) in helping with perimenopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes is creating quite a buzz.

A 2017 study from Denmark’s Aarhus University found red clover – taken in fermented form – reduces the number and frequency of hot flushes.

That’s on top of an earlier study published in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, which also reported that red clover reduced hot flushes.

The flowering red clover plant is actually a legume and contains a type of phytoestrogen called isoflavones.

Phytoestrogens have a similar chemical makeup to oestrogen, and can therefore help balance female hormones, which is why red clover is commonly recommended to relieve menopause symptoms.

Promensil extracts isoflavones from whole red clover plants that are harvested just before they blossom to offer women a safe, pure and effective source of this phytoestrogen.

The range has differing doses of standardised red clover isoflavones, understanding that each woman’s menopause journey is unique.

For more than 20 years, it has helped millions of women achieve a greater sense of wellbeing before, during and after menopause.

In China, menopause is called “a second spring” – a time of new growth and greater wisdom and confidence.

With right products and support, you too can embrace this time of your life and look forward to what comes next!

This post is brought to you by Promensil.

Always read the label and follow directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. This medicine may not be right for you. Read the label before purchase. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet.