The hormonal change in a woman's body, which usually begins between mid-40s and early 50s, is known as menopause. The exact start of menopause and its duration varies from woman to woman. During this time, the ovaries gradually stop producing oestrogen and the maturation of fertilisable eggs also decreases. Physicians divide the menopause into different stages:
- The so-called perimenopause describes the phase just before menstruation stops – it begins at an average age of 47.5 years. During this phase the production of progesterone decreases, which initially triggers an increase in oestrogen in the body. Over the course of time, oestrogen production is reduced until it finally stops altogether. However, the proportion of the male hormone testosterone remains constant.
- Menopause describes the time of the last menstruation, followed by at least twelve months of no bleeding.
- Postmenopause describes the time following this period. During this phase, the ovaries have stopped functioning and the body gradually finds a new hormonal balance.
The onset of menopause is initially manifested by cycle disorders, which can be very different for each woman. Menstruation may therefore become increasingly lighter or irregular. However, unusually heavy or longer menstruation may also occur. Over time, this can be accompanied by hot flushes, profuse perspiration and insomnia. Further symptoms can include vaginal dryness, a reduced libido (reduced sexual desire), weight gain or mood swings all the way to depressive moods. Headaches, chest tightness, back pain, digestive problems or dizziness may also be symptoms that occur during menopause.
More severe menopausal symptoms may require hormone preparations to relieve perspiration or hot flushes, for example. These preparations are offered in different dosage forms, for example in the form of tablets. Your treating physician will explain whether and which hormone therapy is suitable for you, as well as the risks, advantages and disadvantages. One possible alternative could be preparations containing ingredients derived from medicinal plants, e.g. with the proven herbal active ingredient of the Black Cohosh (cimicifuga) contained in Sinei® by Aristo Pharma, for example.