Menopause is like a passing cloud.

There comes a time in women’s life when they are liberated from the monthly menstrual periods for the rest of their lives. When women stop menstruating and have no periods for 12 months straight, it means that they have reached the menopause crossroads of life. It is then that the reproductive years of life are over marking the end of women’s ability to have children. When you are born with a uterus and ovaries, menopause is a natural and inevitable process that every woman may experience differently.

Menopausal age for women is different across the world.

Natural menopause is usually expected to occur when women hit their mid-40’s or 50’s. However, women may experience early menopause or premature menopause due to various factors like surgery, change in lifestyle, health conditions, nutritional factors and more. While genetics play an important role in determining the age of menopause among women, many other factors impact the menopausal age of women across the world differently.

Factors like socioeconomic conditions, geographical conditions, education, lifestyle habits, nutrition, physical activities, quality of life and more influence the menopausal age of women. The latest World Health Organisation (WHO) data suggests that women’s life expectancy in India is about 70.3 years. And the average age at which Indian women attain menopause is around 46 years of age, which is far less in comparison to the Caucasian women in the west whose median age for menopause is 50.9 years according to a study by the ICARUS in southern Europe. The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) suggests that in North America, the average age for women to start menopause is 50.5 to 51.4. The median age for menopausal women in Asia averages between 42.1 to 49.5 years. It is 52.8 years among African women and 47 for Turkish women according to the Menopause and Osteoporosis Association of Turkey. Apart from these, there are growing percentages of women going into early menopause naturally or in a surgically induced manner for various reasons.

Menopause is an evolutionary phase.

A life-changing event like menopause does not set in a day or happen overnight. Menopause may take place anywhere from a few weeks and last for years together evolving along three transitional phases called Perimenopause, Menopause and Postmenopause.

Life does not stop at menopause! It propels you to move on

Some of the changes that take place during menopause are changes for life that cannot be undone like the drop in estrogen and progesterone levels that cause a parity in hormonal activity. The declined estrogen levels cannot be restored naturally and may cause various symptoms during menopause, which the women may be experiencing for the first time in their life. Some of the physical, physiological, emotional, and psychological changes that occur during the menopausal years may be temporary, and some changes are for life.

The symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, the impact of sex life, vaginal atrophy, anxiety, depression, the decline of skin and hair health and more, may drain the energy off. But it does not stop women in their tracks. Instead, it makes age seem like just a number and prepares them to safeguard their health from long term risks like osteoporosis, cardiovascular issues, cancer, and move on. Menopause is a life-changing process that trains women to look ahead and adapt in a hard way to live life to the fullest in the years to come.

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