The months and years that follow your final menstrual period. It overlaps with the perimenopausal stage..
During menopause, the ovaries gradually produce lower levels of estrogen and progesterone. After menopause, the estrogen levels in women are about one-tenth the level before menopause and progestin levels are near non-existent. Estrogen is known as a ‘female hormone’ and plays a key role in shaping the female body. One of estrogen’s primary roles is to promote the growth of cells in the breast and uterus and estrogen affects many aspects of women’s physical and emotional health. Progesterone is the second most important female hormone. Progesterone is primarily responsible for regulating the reproductive cycle.
A lack of estrogen during menopause causes your bones to lose calcium and become weaker, putting you at risk for severe bone loss or osteoporosis. A lack of estrogen also increases your risk of heart disease.
Menopause depression can be a very miserable symptom of menopause. It is important to understand the changes that are taking place in your body and that it is these changes that are causing your depression and mood swings. It is believed that the decrease in estrogen triggers changes in the brain which may be responsible for depression..
Menopause depression is not an uncommon occurrence, but it is a possibility that your depression may be coming from another source. Other sources of depression might include, having low self-esteem, not being happy in a relationship and money problems. These are some of the problems that can lead to depression but there are many more. If you feel that your depression is beginning to interfere with your normal – everyday life – it is important to discuss this with your doctor.
If menopause changes are triggering your depression – the real root of the problem may lay in too much stress in your life. Many women tend to become stressed more easily while dealing with the changes that occur during this time in their life. All these different changes could be short circuiting your body – causing you too stress to the point you feel overwhelmed.
Remember – menopause is a natural occurrence; all it means is that your body is going through changes. A good way of looking at these changes is not as a sign of aging – but that you have now reach a point in your life where you can be young again. It’s time to have fun. Having lots of fun never fails to relieve some stress.