is defined as the TRANSITIONAL period from
normal menstrual periods to no periods at all. The
transition can, and usually does, take up to ten
years. During the perimenopausal transition you may
experience a combination of PMS and menopausal
symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Stedman's Medical Dictionary, menopause is defined
as the permanent cessation of the menses. This
condition may be diagnosed in retrospect when 1 year
has passed since the last menses. Well that’s pretty
cut and dry and its nice to know it was menopause
you were going through LAST YEAR!
But what can you do
now? We know the average age of menopause is between
40-51, but menopause starting at the age of 40 is
considered normal. So what if you're having
irritability, mood swings and irregular periods now
and you're not 51? Can it be PMS? Is it premature
menopause? Or is it the perimenopause ? Can you
still get pregnant? What are your treatment options?
Do you need hormones or Prozac or just vitamin E?
These are difficult questions and although there is
a blood test for menopause (FSH), the test can only
tell you if you are firmly IN menopause. However, by
the time the test is positive it's quite obvious
that you are into menopause.
on the other hand can occur at any age but is more
common in your 30's and 40's. The diagnosis and
treatment of PMS has been hampered by the fact that
there has not been a reliable definition for the
condition. The American Psychiatric Association
created a condition called the Premenstrual
Dysphoric Disorder (PDD) which should not be
confused with their earlier creation, the Late
Luteal Phase Disorder (LLPD). Physicians have always
viewed women as more vulnerable to mental disorders
than men and have attributed it to the instability
of their reproductive systems. Premenstrual
Dysphoric Disorder (PDD) consists of a well
defined set of symptoms but out of the estimated
30-60% of women who experience PMS symptoms only
3-5% of women meet the standards for PDD. But what
if you don't meet the criteria? Doctors don't like
to hear these questions because there is no good,
simple and reliable test. There are ways to figure
it out, but many physicians and patients just don't
want to take the time and effort. However, it is
important to figure it out because the treatments
are different. So where do you start?
You start with your
past. The age your mother or older sisters began
menopause can have a bearing on when you will begin
menopause. If your mother went through menopause in
her late 40's and you're 34 it is most likely PMS.
If your mother suffered from PMS then you are more
likely to suffer as well. However, your mother might
not remember when she went through menopause and
your older sister may not admit to it. The only
other reliable factor is if you smoke. If you smoke,
you can count on menopause starting 1-2 years
earlier than if you don't. Pregnancies, birth
control pills, your age when you first began menses
or breast-feeding have no impact on the age of
menopause. If you are on oral contraceptives or
other hormones such as Depo-Provera or estrogen,
these can have an effect on mood, irritability, hot
flashes, depression and your periods. Women who
can't tolerate birth control pills are more likely
to develop PMS and have a difficult perimenopause.
Adjusting the dose, brand or time you take these
medications can sometimes relieve unwanted side
of the symptoms of depression are found in both PMS
and perimenopause. Depression is not caused by
menopause, but it can run in families. If feelings
of depression, loss of appetite, insomnia, and
general loss of interest or pleasure in life are at
the top of your list you may be suffering from
clinical depression. These feelings should be
brought to the attention of your health care
provider. Depression and PMS can occur together and
it's not uncommon for anxiety or depressive
disorders to worsen during the week before your
period and at menopause. Sound confusing? Well, it
can be. All of the above statements are
generalizations but you have to remember that you
are a unique individual.
your family history for age of menopause and
occurrence of PMS and depression, you should
complete a symptom diary or calendar. This will be a
unique record of your feelings on a daily basis. For
three months keep track of your menses along with a
daily record of your symptoms. Ideally, you should
review your calendar with a health care provider but
first there may be a lot you can learn on your own.
There are two things you should look for. First look
for patterns. In PMS you will generally see an
increase in emotional symptoms beginning at mid
cycle (around day 14). In the week before your
period emotional symptoms will increase and physical
symptoms may begin. In the last few days emotional
symptoms will peak and then rapidly disappear after
your menses start. There are variations of this
pattern, but the key is symptoms that increase
BEFORE and are relieved AFTER your period. Now that
you have your symptoms calendar before you, look for
depression that lasts most of the month. This could
be a clue that you are depressed and need
If your menses are
occurring sooner than 21 days it may be
perimenopause or a more serious gynecological
condition and you need to be evaluated by your
health care provider. Menses occurring later than 45
days is more consistent with menopause or
perimenopause. If physical symptoms predominate,
especially hot flashes, vaginal dryness and night
sweats, and if they last throughout the month
unrelated to menses think more about menopause.
Remember menopause before the age of 40 is called
premature menopause and is rare. However
perimenopause can begin before age 40. Surgical
removal of the ovaries is the most common cause of
premature menopause. Hopefully you know if your
ovaries have been removed, but you may not. Years
ago doctors routinely removed ovaries in women
undergoing a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).
Now many gynecologists do not remove the ovaries.
you are firmly in menopause, that is, no periods for
one year, you can still get pregnant. If you don't
smoke, low dose oral contraceptives can be used
right up to menopause. Hopefully your calendar will
help you become more familiar with your symptoms.
From here you can design a PMS / perimenopause -
menopause treatment plan.
The Menopause Experience
natural remedy that may help most women with
perimenopause & menopausal symptoms is Imperial
Gold Maca™ Maca
Information on this site is provided for
informational purposes and is not meant to
substitute for the advice provided by your own
physician or other medical professional. You should
not use the information contained herein for
diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease,
or prescribing any medication. You should read
carefully all product packaging. If you have or
suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly
contact your health care provider. Copyright and
disclaimer ©2000-2013 ImperialGoldMaca.com.
All rights reserved.
statements regarding dietary supplements have not
been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration
and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or
prevent any disease.
Copyright © 2000-2015 ImperialGoldMaca.com. All Rights Reserved.
Statement | Safe Shopping |