What happens to the body during menopause?
”Menopause, just like puberty, is a normal phase of life. It’s not a disease. It’s not a disorder,” Dr. Lubna Pal says.
The body goes through changes in puberty as well as during menopause. Just like in puberty, there is a big upheaval in our hormonal profile, and the body undergoes some physical changes.
Physical changes related to menopause are driven by declining levels of estrogen and progesterone. They typically arrive a few years before a person’s last period.
Menopause has officially occurred when someone has had no periods for the last 12 months.
Within the first two years after someone’s very last period, their body is adjusting to the absence of estrogen, and menopause symptoms are more common. Symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep problems are much more common in the year before the last period and the few years after the last period.
Later on after menopause, low estrogen can start to lead to symptoms such as vaginal dryness. Bone loss also happens rapidly within the first two years after menopause. Some people lose up to 20 percent of their bone mass within the five years after menopause.