What is Menopause?

A woman has officially entered menopause when she has gone twelve months without a menstrual cycle. Typically occurring around age fifty, menopause is a transitional time in a woman’s life. With the baby-boom generation reaching middle age, approximately six thousand women enter menopause every day, or over two million a year.

see also: *Menopause Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

The period of time leading up to menopause is known as perimenopause or premenopause. During this time the menstrual cycle begins to change; periods may occur closer together, they may be irregular, or they may be longer or heavier than normal. During perimenopause the ovaries do not ovulate as regularly. Ovarian production of hormones decreases, particularly of progesterone. Other hormones such as estrogen and testosterone begin to decrease as well.

A woman has officially entered menopause when she has gone twelve months without a menstrual cycle.

Typically occurring around age fifty, menopause is a transitional time in a woman’s life. With the baby-boom generation reaching middle age, approximately six thousand women enter menopause every day, or over two million a year.

The period of time leading up to menopause is known as perimenopause or premenopause. During this time the menstrual cycle begins to change; periods may occur closer together, they may be irregular, or they may be longer or heavier than normal. During perimenopause the ovaries do not ovulate as regularly. Ovarian production of hormones decreases, particularly of progesterone. Other hormones such as estrogen and testosterone begin to decrease as well.

Perimenopausal and menopausal women may experience a variety of symptoms.

The most common is hot flashes. An estimated 75 percent of menopausal women endure hot flashes for about two years, and another 25 percent have them for five years or more. Other menopausal symptoms include depression, fatigue, vaginal dryness, heart palpitations, and mood swings. Some of these can last for years.




Women’s reactions to menopause vary widely. Some enjoy the change and others suffer from severe symptoms. If a woman is healthy, active, and well nourished, her adrenal glands will usually respond to menopause by creating precursor hormones such as pregnenolone and DHEA, which are then converted into estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. And if she takes natural steps to encourage this process, it is likely that she can avoid harsh and possibly dangerous medications altogether.

Synthetic hormones are less commonly prescribed by conventional doctors than they used to be. However, many doctors now commonly prescribe antidepressants to relieve hot flashes. These medications come with a host of potential side effects such as agitation, suicidal thoughts, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, decreased sexual desire, and delayed orgasm or inability to have an orgasm. They have even been linked to bone loss and increased risk of breast cancer.

Occasionally, menopause results from a disorder or a serious problem.

If menopause arrives due to unnatural causes, such as anorexia, bulimia, or extremely intense exercise, the root cause must be treated so that the cycle returns. When menopause is brought about by a hysterectomy or removal of the ovaries, natural hormonal-replacement therapy may be necessary to counter the sudden depletion of estrogen and progesterone and the resulting bone loss and increased heart disease risk.

We believe that every woman must be treated individually. Optimally, it is best to undergo a hormone test to find out which hormone imbalances you may have. For women with mild to moderate symptoms of menopause, we generally recommend the use of diet, exercise, and nutritional supplements, especially herbal and homeopathic remedies. The beauty of this approach is that these natural supplements balance the hormones that are already present in the body. In addition, the use of natural progesterone appears to be very safe and effective when a stronger approach is needed. Likewise, precursor hormones, such as pregnenolone and DHEA, may be helpful.

For women with extreme symptoms that are unresponsive to nutritional supplements, the use of natural hormone replacement is very effective. This is particularly true of women who had their ovaries removed at an early age or others with moderate to severe osteoporosis. Hormone therapy is, of course, best done under the care of a doctor who is knowledgeable in natural hormones.