Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It's diagnosed after you've gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United Kingdom.
Menopause is a natural biological process. But the physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy or affect emotional health. There are many effective treatments available, from lifestyle adjustments, hormone therapy and herbal remedies. This is where we come in.
Women are born with all of their eggs, which are stored in their ovaries. Their ovaries also make the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which control their period (menstruation) and the release of eggs (ovulation). Menopause happens when the ovaries no longer release an egg every month and menstruation stops.
Menopause is a regular part of aging when it happens after the age of 40. But some women can go through menopause early. It can be the result of surgery, like if their ovaries are removed in a hysterectomy, or damage to their ovaries, such as from chemotherapy. If it happens before age 40, for any reason, it’s called premature menopause.
In the months or years leading up to menopause (perimenopause), you might experience these signs and symptoms:
Weight gain and slowed metabolism
Thinning hair and dry skin
Loss of breast fullness
Signs and symptoms, including changes in menstruation can vary among women. Most likely, you'll experience some irregularity in your periods before they end.
Skipping periods during perimenopause is common and expected. Often, menstrual periods will skip a month and return, or skip several months and then start monthly cycles again for a few months. Periods also tend to happen on shorter cycles, so they are closer together. Despite irregular periods, pregnancy is possible. If you've skipped a period but aren't sure you've started the menopausal transition, consider a pregnancy test.
How Long Do Symptoms of Menopause Last?
Menopause is different in each woman. In general, the symptoms of perimenopause last about 4 years.
Causes of Menopause:
Menopause can result from:
Naturally declining reproductive hormones. As you approach your late 30s, your ovaries start making less estrogen and progesterone — the hormones that regulate menstruation — and your fertility declines.
In your 40s, your menstrual periods may become longer or shorter, heavier or lighter, and more or less frequent, until eventually — on average, by age 51 — your ovaries stop releasing eggs, and you have no more periods.
Surgery that removes the ovaries (oophorectomy). Your ovaries produce hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, that regulate the menstrual cycle. Surgery to remove your ovaries causes immediate menopause. Your periods stop, and you're likely to have hot flashes and experience other menopausal signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms can be severe, as hormonal changes occur abruptly rather than gradually over several years.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These cancer therapies can induce menopause, causing symptoms such as hot flashes during or shortly after the course of treatment.
Primary ovarian insufficiency. Premature menopause may result from the failure of your ovaries to produce normal levels of reproductive hormones (primary ovarian insufficiency), which can stem from genetic factors or autoimmune disease. But often no cause of premature menopause can be found. For these women, hormone therapy is typically recommended at least until the natural age of menopause in order to protect the brain, heart and bones.
Menopause is a natural process. Many symptoms will go away over time. But if they’re causing problems, treatments can help you feel better. Common ones include hormone replacement therapy (HRT), non-hormone medications and medications for osteoporosis such as vitamin D supplements to help keep your bones strong.
Lifestyle changes help many women deal with menopause symptoms. Try these steps:
If you’re having hot flashes, drink cold water, sit or sleep near a fan, cooling the wrists can cool the core.
Use an over-the-counter lubricant for dryness.
Exercise regularly to sleep better and prevent conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises to prevent bladder leaks.
Stay socially and mentally active to prevent memory problems.
Don’t smoke. Tobacco might cause early menopause and increase hot flashes.
Limit how much alcohol you drink, to lower your chance of getting breast cancer and help you sleep better.
Eat a variety of foods and keep a healthy weight to help with hot flashes.
Practice things like yoga, deep breathing, or massage to help you relax.
How can herbal remedies help?
Ladies Mantle Complex™
Other than making common lifestyle changes, taking Ladies Mantle Complex™ can help you cope with your menopause symptoms. Ladies Mantle Complex™ is an expertly designed formula of wild yam, agnus castus, black cohosh, and lady’s mantle herb. These ingredients have traditionally been used to improve skin health, reduce vaginal dryness and reduce menopause symptoms. They also improve sleep, ease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), reduce hot flushes and night sweats, and also ease period pain.
Ladies Mantle Complex™ is an expertly designed formula of wild yam, agnus castus, black cohosh, and lady’s mantle herb. These ingredients have traditionally been used to improve skin health, reduce vaginal dryness and reduce menopause symptoms. They also improve sleep, ease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), reduce hot flushes and night sweats, and also ease period pain.
Main Ingredients of Ladies Mantle Complex™:
Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa L.) is a vine that’s native to North America. It’s also known by several other names, including colic root, American yam, four leaf yam, and devil’s bones. Wild yam root contains diosgenin. It’s a plant steroid that scientists can manipulate to produce steroids, such as progesterone, estrogen, cortisone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which are then used for medical purposes. Diosgenin has also been studied for its potential depigmenting effect. Excess sun exposure can result in small, flat, brown, or tan spots on your skin, also known as hyperpigmentation — which is harmless but sometimes seen as undesirable.
Wild yam is most commonly used in alternative medicine as an alternative to estrogen replacement therapy for alleviating menopause symptoms, such as night sweats and hot flashes. Wild yam root may have anti-inflammatory effects. It has traditionally been used to treat arthritis, which causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in your joints.
Angus Castus, which is the name of the largest genus in the Verbenaceae plant family, includes 250 species worldwide. Agnus-castus is the most common vitex used medicinally. One of the most popular and well-researched attributes of agnus-castus is its ability to reduce symptoms of PMS. These include constipation, irritability, depressed mood, migraines, breast pain, and tenderness.
Researchers believe that Vitex agnus-castus works by decreasing levels of the hormone prolactin. This helps rebalance other hormones, including estrogen and progesterone — thus reducing PMS symptoms. The hormone-balancing effects of Vitex agnus-castus may also help relieve symptoms of menopause.
Vitex agnus-castus may also improve female fertility due to its possible effect on prolactin levels. This may be especially true in women with luteal phase defects, or a shortened second half of the menstrual cycle. Reported side effects tend to be minor and include nausea, upset stomach, mild skin rash, increased acne, headache, and heavy menstrual flow.
Black cohosh is a flowering plant that’s native to North America. Its scientific names are Actaea racemosa and Cimicifuga racemosa, and it’s sometimes called black bugbane, black snakeroot, baneberry, or fairy candle. Its flowers and roots were commonly used in traditional Native American medicine, and today it’s a popular women’s health supplement claimed to help with menopause symptoms, fertility, and hormonal balance.
Black cohosh has several potential benefits — most of them related to women’s health or hormonal balance. Alleviating menopause symptoms is the reason most people use black cohosh, and it’s one of the uses that have the most compelling evidence to support it. Supplementing with black cohosh may increase a woman with PCOS’s chances of getting pregnant. Supplementing with black cohosh may also help regulate your cycles if you have PCOS. Although there’s little evidence that black cohosh can improve sleep, it may help reduce symptoms that are causing sleep disturbances in menopausal women, such as hot flashes.
Black cohosh has some potential side effects, but they’re typically mild. They include digestive upset, nausea, skin rashes, infection, muscle pain, breast pain or enlargement, and spotting or bleeding outside of your menstrual cycle.
Ladies Mantle is an unusual plant native to Europe and Greenland, it grows in cool regions and it is hardy for very low temperatures. It belongs to the genus Alchemilla which comprises about 300 species.
In the past, it was considered a magical plant and the dew from Ladies Mantle was believed to be a part of the magical substance called the philosopher’s stone. The alchemists thought that water droplets collected from the leaves may turn some metals into gold and cure any disease. Hence, its Latin name – Alchemilla vulgaris – indicates its use in alchemy and vulgaris means common and refers to its ubiquitous nature.
Nowadays, it is very popular in gardens but also grows in wet fields, in the mountains and forests. Lady’s Mantle Herb has many medicinal uses. The root and leaves of the plant are harvested in midsummer. It is often called a “woman’s herb” because it treats some women’s diseases. The leaves are used to relieve menopausal symptoms (such as hot flashes and night sweats), menstrual problems (it regulates the menstrual flow and relieves the pain). In some cases of endometriosis which results in excessive bleeding, Lady’s Mantle can tone and dry the womb.