Menopause is a natural process, and it affects every woman - some quite dramatically. The ability to talk openly about it and get support in personal relationships and the workplace is fundamental for women to manage and overcome symptoms.
Menopause refers to a specific point in time: 12 months after a woman's last period, lasting only one day. The years leading to that point are called Perimenopause. During this transition, women experience irregular periods, hot flashes, weight fluctuations, brain fog, irritability, low libido and many other symptoms that vary dramatically from person to person.
Perimenopause can last anywhere from months up to 14 years - most frequently, it lasts about 7 years. However, on rare occasions, some women skip the perimenopause process and reach menopause instantly. The transition duration depends on each individual's lifestyle, such as smoking, the age it starts, and ethnicity.
During Perimenopause, the production of oestrogen and Progesterone starts to vary, which may cause a few symptoms.
On top of driving female growth and reproductive development, oestrogen is also responsible for proper bone growth and health, brain function optimisation, and mood regulation.
Besides playing a role in sexual development and reproduction, Progesterone also helps maintain fat tissue, stimulating weight gain and appetite, regulating behaviours and maintaining bone health.
Knowing the function these hormones play in the body, it becomes easier to understand the impact they can have on the body as women go through menopause.
Drop Bio Health conducted a survey with 200 women undergoing menopause. The symptoms most commonly are:
It's important to note not all women experience all of these symptoms. They vary in severity from woman to woman.
Remember, you don't have to do it alone. Take steps to educate yourself and those around you about menopause and its impact on your life. Connect with supportive communities and prioritise your wellbeing.
Here are some of our favourite communities
Learning about what is happening in your body empowers you to take action. Menopause wasn't talked about in the past, and many women suffered in silence. Today women are more vocal and actively seek support, educating themselves and those around them.
Dr Ginni Mansberg and Journalist Shelly Horton co-founded 'Don't Sweat It' to break the menopause taboos and preconceptions in the workplace. They prepared a Menopause in the Workplace online course to educate women and men on the topic.
Finding the right health professional to support you will equip you with the tools you need to overcome symptoms and understand more about how the menopause transition affects your body.
Psychologists can provide mental and emotional support, and a GP can work with you to find treatments to alleviate your symptoms.
Our survey results indicate menopause may be one of the most challenging times in a woman's life, and there is not nearly enough education, resources, and discussions around it. It is time we start talking more about menopause - with communication, knowledge and empathy, menopause doesn’t have to be an exasperating process women endure alone.