Postmenopause can come across as an enigmatic time of life –the first time in decades that a woman does not have the capacity to reproduce. After having gone through premenopause, perimenopause, and menopause itself, women will enter the last stage along the reproductive route –the last adjustment women need to make.
During postmenopause, hormonal fluctuations might still occur within women´s bodies, sometimes prolonging symptoms. Besides hormonal causes, experts have also identified external causes.
About Post Menopause
What is Post Menopause?
Postmenopause is the fourth and last stage of the menopause process. Technically, it is the entire time in a woman’s life after she passes menopause. In this stage, women can forget about menstrual periods and monthly inconveniences, since the ovaries have officially shut down as reproductive organs.
Understanding Post Menopause
When women reach postmenopause, they will regain a sense of control of their bodies. By then, the body has already learned how to function with low levels of hormones.
In most of the cases, the troubling symptoms women experienced in the years prior to menopause become significantly lessened, eventually fading altogether.
A few women, however, still experience certain aggravating symptoms, like hot flashes and vaginal bleeding, even after the total cessation of their menstrual periods.
Average Age of Post Menopause
It is hard to determine exactly when a woman will reach the postmenopausal stage. Commonly, most women reach Postmenopause during their late 40s to their 60s.
A factor to consider is that each woman will go through the menopause process differently, depending on a variety of circumstances. In the United States, the average age for women to reach postmenopause is the early fifties. However, in some cases, women become postmenopausal at an earlier age due to medical procedures, or health conditions, like obesity and stress
Causes of Post Menopause
Hormonal Causes of Post Menopause The same hormonal fluctuations that triggered the menopause process also play an important role during postmenopause.
Hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone decline naturally, leading to imbalanced levels and many uncomfortable symptoms of postmenopause. Although these fluctuations are more severe during the years leading up to menopause, they might continue in the early postmenopause years.
External Causes of Post Menopause
Even though hormone changes are at the very foundation of postmenopause there are a number of external factors that could throw a woman into her postmenopause years earlier in her life. These factors include:
Women who smoke and drink heavily often go through the menopause transition earlier and with more difficulty than women who don’t. On the other hand, there are also some studies suggesting that western diets, rich in hormone-treated foods, might even delay Postmenopause, prolonging the duration of symptoms.
Sometimes, women who experience constant periods of stress –due to financial hardships or familial disputes, for instance– may undergo the transition to postmenopause early.
Women who have both ovaries removed, due to cancer or other health concerns, will be flung into menopause and Postmenopause immediately after the surgery, causing them to suffer the consequences of sudden hormone depletion.
These treatments often damage the ovaries, sometimes causing them to begin the menopause transition shortly after, or even while on therapy.
Even though the causes of postmenopause mentioned above are present throughout the menopause process, the bodily functions they might affect can differ.