Menopause and Perimenopause

 Menopause typically progresses through three stages over a 10-year period.

Peri-Menopause (Age 45 - 50)

As women approach middle age, they go through a stage known as peri-menopause, characterized by some of all of the following, which result from an imbalance of sex hormones:

•Menstrual cycles usually become shorter, longer, or unpredictable the closer the women approaches menopause;

•Headaches, swollen breasts, before period;

•Cramping with periods and mid-cycle pain;

•Bleeding problems, such as spotting or heavy period;

•Weight gain around the waist;

•Muscles becoming less firm;

•Hot flashes (recur during menopause);

•Depression, fear, and apathy;

•Nasal congestion, recurrent respiratory infection;

•Memory loss and foggy thinking;

•Loss of balance and dizziness;


•Reduced sex drive;


Menopause (Age 50 and Beyond)

The onset of menopause signals the end of the woman’s reproductive cycle, and is marked by cessation of the monthly periods.  The average age for onset is 50; however, the timing is dependent on a number of factors.  For example, smokers, and women who have not have children, have an earlier onset; women who are obese, or suffer from PMS or fibroids, have a later onset due to the excess of estrogen produced by the fat cells (adipose tissue). Some of the more common symptoms associated with menopause are:

  1. hot flashes and/or night sweats

  2. fatigue

  3. thinning of hair

  4. insomnia

  5. breakthrough bleeding

  6. breast tenderness

  7. vaginal dryness

  8. food allergies

  9. indigestion

  10. reduced libido

  11. forgetfulness

  12. heart palpitations,

  13. loss of bladder control,

  14. frequent urination

  15. painful intercourse

  16. joint pains

  17. osteoporosis


  1. 1.Estrogen Dominance; The Silent Epiidemic (

  2. 2.Cabbages, Sex hormones and Their Metabolites (

  3. 3.Bioidentical Hormones (

  4. 4.Estrogen Levels and Menopause (

return to Metabolism Menu  or Health Essays Menu

  1. Peri-Menopause

  2. Menopause

  3. Post-Menopause

Refer also to articles:

  1. Female Hormones

  2. Estrogen Dominance & Hormone Balance

by Catherine M. Haug,  June 2007