Post Menopause is the stage following menopause and generally starts between 24 and 36 months after a women’s last period. The blatant difference between menopause and post menopause is the reduction in symptoms – for instance hot flashes are less frequent and not as powerful. A woman is also considered post menopausal after the removal of the ovaries because it effectively ends menstrual bleeding.
When women transition into post menopause, the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) produced by the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain will be extremely high, indicating her ovaries are beginning to shut down. Estradiol, a form of estrogen, decreases in post menopause when the ovaries are no longer producing eggs. This decrease in estradiol causes the increase in FSH. The follicle stimulating hormone attempts in vain to stimulate egg production. Basically, this means the end of periods, fertility, and menopause.
While the ovaries begin to shrink after menopause, they are still very important to the body. Vital hormones such as testosterone are produced by the ovaries. Female testosterone is a vital hormone for maintaining sex drive, bone and muscle strength, and energy. Many post menopausal women begin to see a relief from menopause symptoms at this time.
Post menopause is different in every woman. The age after menopause varies significantly and so does the end of the symptoms. The problem with waiting for menopause to pass is the uncertainty of the timeframe and the severity of the symptoms. Furthermore, while post menopause may bring relief from menopause symptoms, unbalanced hormones put you at risk for certain conditions. Low estrogen, for example, leaves you at risk for osteoporosis, heart disease and genitourinary atrophy.
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