The medical community has divided the climacteric, or “change of life” into the following stages. Your doctor may refer to them when describing your health.
- Premenopause. Sometimes this stage is defined as all the years when menstrual cycles are regular- in other words, all the reproductive years preceding the change of life. At others times, it is defined as the beginning years of the climacteric- usually after age 40- when menstrual periods may become irregular. Because of these conflicting definitions, you should ask your doctor to be more specific if he or she tells you that you are premenopausal.
- Perimenopause. The period approximately two years before and two years after the final menstrual period. This is the time when women notice the most physical changes, such as irregular periods and hot flashes.
- Menopause. Your final menstrual period. Determining the date of menopause can be done only retroactively, after you have been free of menstrual bleeding for a full year.
- Postmenopause the months and years that follow your final menstrual period. It overlaps with the perimenopausal stage.
“Lack of menopausal knowledge for your body does not only perish you but perish the lives of those around you”. – Francisca Adjei Sarpong.
Source: Susan Perry. Kate O’Hanlan. M.D