Thanks for all your comments and questions. I have taken the common questions and provided some short answers – based on scientific literature. Do chat with your clinicians and also there is much more literature out there if you are interested.
Technically, you are considered "in menopause" once you have not had your menses (periods) for 12 consecutive months. However, we do not like the term "menopause" because nothing is really paused. "The change" is more accurate, though we prefer to say we're "transitioning". After all, menopause is just a transition from the reproductive to the non-reproductive state. The same happens in reverse at puberty.
The phases in a woman’s life when she transitions from a girl to a woman capable of reproducing offspring, commonly beginning with the start of her menses, and later in life when she transitions out of her reproductive state, commonly beginning at the waning of her menses.
At least 10% of the population – men and women – experience hot flashes throughout their life. For the other 90%, hot flashes are a transient, but bothersome occurrence. While less bothersome than menses every month for 30 years, hot flashes are a daily reminder of the changes we are experiencing. We will write more about hot flashes over the next few months. Look out for our Hot Flashes Jury where we weigh the evidence about what works.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Since menopause is essentially just a transition to a non-reproductive state, HRT is not truly necessary. With that in mind, we recommend that estrogen therapy should only be prescribed as a short-term solution (no more than five years) under the guidance of your medical professional. Some women may ask their doctor to stay on HRT longer, and some medical professionals may oblige, but only for certain women due to cardiovascular and breast cancer concerns.
Are you currently experiencing menopause (transitioning)? Time to start moisturizing – all over. As we age, our skin changes. We begin to lose moisture and need to help our skin retain moisture. Why stop below the waist and start again on the legs? Everywhere needs moisturizing – even in the Radical Vagina area.
Sleep is not all it’s cracked up to be. There is no set time that we need to sleep at night. While six to eight hours is recommended for adults, what our brains actually need is only two periods of 1.5 hours each. The rest of the time is to relax our muscles and to stop eating.
Hair thickness decreases with age in everyone and doesn’t specifically relate to whether we are going through the transition to the non-reproductive state. It starts in the mid-forties. Our hairlines also recede as we age. There is a range of over-the-counter products that can increase hair growth. A hair dresser who understands the problem can help with thinning hair.
Weight gain is not just a problem in the transitional periods. Weight gain is due to interconnected diseases and our genetic make-up. Weight management and vigilance requires lifelong strategies. We will be sharing some useful tips over the next few months.