From PMS to Postmenopause. Explore Common Symptoms + How to Stay Supported
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Breast tenderness? Hot flashes? Trouble sleeping or staying energized? Weight gain? If you answer yes to any of these, you’re not alone. They’re common issues women experience throughout adulthood. Yet menstrual periods and menopause—the normal life phases behind these often frustrating concerns—aren’t discussed openly. Here are the basics you need to know about the stages of your hormonal journey, plus tips for staying supported as you move through them.
You’re in the menstrual stage from your first period until around age 40. Though not all women experience PMS and menstrual symptoms in the week leading up to and during their period, many do, from discomfort to changes in mood and energy. These issues are a result of hormonal shifts. Over your cycle (28 days, on average), hormone levels increase and decrease as your body prepares for pregnancy; if you don’t get pregnant, you shed your uterine lining (menstruate), and the cycle begins again.
The word perimenopause itself is relatively new, so don’t be alarmed if you haven’t heard it, or have but didn’t know you were in this stage. It refers to the transitional time before menopause, usually between the ages of 40 and 52, when your body slowly weans off reproductive hormones in preparation for the end of your menstrual cycle.You may still have your period but also begin to experience hot flashes and night sweats, as well as notice other changes.
Menopause occurs when you’ve gone a year without a period. For most, this significant change marking the end of the reproductive years happens at about age 52—though every woman’s journey is unique.Common menopausal symptoms can last five-plus years, and include hot flashes and night sweats, difficulty sleeping, mood shifts, and weight gain, particularly around your midsection.
After menopause has occurred, you’re in postmenopause for the rest of your life. Menopausal symptoms eventually cease, but new issues arise, such as concerns about cognition. You may also experience loss of libido in this stage, as well as at other stages.
How to Stay Feeling Your Best at Every Age
A healthy lifestyle is the foundation for wellness. Regular physical activity, a balanced diet, good sleep hygiene, and stress management can go a long way to maintaining well-being across stages. When you need additional support, consider supplementation. Solaray’s new doctor-formulated her life STAGES™ line offers comprehensive PMS & Menstrual, Perimenopause, Menopause, and Postmenopause formulas designed to address each phase’s most common concerns, plus a Libido formula for use across stages.