Menstrual cycle and menopause

Nothing like the menstrual cycle indicates the end of fertile life. That is why we have created this guide to help guide you in understanding the small ailments that can affect your intimacy and that can have to do with your period.

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With menopause, the cyclical nature that most of all characterizes being a woman ends. This great change (more internal than external, actually ), can be experienced with fear because it represents the end of something, which is not followed by a different cyclicality: nothing more simply happens.

Menstruation, in fact, definitively ceases and in their place there is no longer something that arrives one month after another.

Does the end of the menstrual cycle mark the entry into menopause?

Menopause does not come suddenly so it is often difficult for a woman to identify the exact moment in which the body stops ovarian activity .

With a good approximation (in an empirical way, that is) we can rely on the observation of the trend of menstruation which are one of the most important indicators of the state of activity, or not, of the ovaries. However , menstruation can go through a period of irregularity before finally ceasing: it is perimenopause .

After 12 months from the last menstrual cycle it can be said that the body has actually entered menopause.

The answer to the question is therefore: yes, the end of the cycle marks the entry into menopause, as long as at least one year has passed since the last menstruation .

More answers to frequently asked questions about menopause and menstruation can be found in this FAQ article .

Menstruation disappears but small pains or ailments may remain

During perimenopause, that is, the period that precedes the definitive end of menstruation, there may be periods of irregularity in which the cycle is shortened or lengthened so much that it skips a month, or even more. However, what happens frequently is that menstrual pains are accentuated, and with them PMS therefore also headaches, irritability and dancing mood.

Then, when the body definitively enters menopause and menstruation disappears, small abdominal pains that remind us of the period but which are not premonitory of menstruation may remain . Likewise, breast pains can recur.

If you want to know more you can learn more by reading this article where we clarify the main reasons for menstrual-like pains in menopause and perimenopause .

Here instead we analyze the reasons for breast pain (mastodynia)

When your period is particularly painful during fertile life due to endometriosis – a disease that involves the growth of endometrial tissue outside its natural location (the uterus) – the acute pains that make this disease crippling tend to gradually disappear in menopause. However, it is possible that some pain remains. In this article we explain why .

But those leaks … are they still menstruating?

In perimenopause it is quite normal to have blood loss . The reasons can be of different nature, but mostly it is spotting , a so-called “friendly symptom” that must be carefully observed and reported to the gynecologist.

Often there is nothing to worry about, however it is good to exclude some reasons for blood loss that could be more important such as Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy , a common situation in menopausal women (surveys speak of an incidence of about 50%) which causes the walls of the vaginal and vulvar mucous membranes to thin , become more fragile and dry and therefore subject to abrasions or painful micro-lesions, as well as bloody. This can happen frequently after intimate intercourse, and is one of the reasons many postmenopausal women avoid full intercourse . Obviously abstinence is neither a remedy, much less a solution to the problem, indeed: it could generate other issues, unrelated to the physical ones, which have an impact on daily life.

In the event of leaks, of any nature or extent, we recommend that you speak to your gynecologist . Alternatively, if you are afraid, ashamed or think you need a second opinion, you can choose a professional experienced in menopause problems from our updated list of gynecologists , choosing the one closest to your home.

 

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