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Premenopause, Premenopause, Menopause?

In the major phases of change around the age of fifty, it is often difficult for a woman to assess precisely, her hormonal status, the production of hormones from these periods being particularly subject to variations.


For many people, the evolution of the hormonal status of women, with this passage from a period of genital activity which lasts a few decades, to a progressive modification of the cycles, then to a permanent disappearance of menstruation, is expressed by the terms premenopause and menopause.
These qualifiers speak to everyone, and yet are imprecise and do not fully reflect a certain reality.

Let’s go back to physiology:
The woman notes a change in the regularity of her cycles, corresponding to a sudden drop in progesterone.
Then the menstruaation stop.

For a large number of women, menstruation will no longer appear at all. Menopause is not yet fully established, however.
In others, after a first year without menstruation, slight twitches signs of a a weak hormonal activity, starting to be perceived more clearly, may still appear for a few months.

If the term menopause literally means the end of the menstruation, modern physiological approaches bring more subtleties. The World Health Organization (WHO) has therefore broadened the vocabulary by adding another name, even if the latter is not yet integrated by our contemporaries.

So if we classically speak of:
Premenopause, then menopause
It makes more sense to follow WHO’s proposal.
For this institution, perimenopause is “the period before menopause, when clinical and / or biological signs of menopause appear and continue for a year beyond the end of menstruation”.
Perimenopause therefore includes premenopause and one or two years after menstruation stops.
Then the menopause follows.

Following an interview with Doctor OVIEDO-MASSET, gynecologist in St Mandé.

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Female well-being

The first choice of the INTIME ORGANIQUE PARIS laboratory is female well-being.

article april 2019

Can we describe the woman in a few words? The diversity of female representation over time is obvious. The place, the historical events, are often decisive.

Women, through the ages

If it is difficult to have an idea of the feminine feeling in past times, the heritage of artistic creations allows us on the other hand to guess the ideal image of the woman.

All started in Prehistory. Archaeological findings suggest that this period sees women as the symbol of fertility.

During the Greek period of Antiquity, the feminine ideal became attached to the physical representation where the harmony of the body is essential. The woman of the Middle Ages must enter into very precise criteria: broad shoulders, small breasts, narrow hips, plump belly, to be blond and unvarnished.

With the Renaissance, the notion of femininity reappeared. The make-up acquires its letters of nobility. The woman puts on makeup to highlight her face.

Thus, the woman must correspond to the “standard” of each era.

The French Revolution sees the first signs of recognition of women, who start to claim certain rights in terms of their statute. In Europe, the First World War was an important turning point. Women work in factories or on farms and are forced to replace the men who went to the front and take charge of their lives.
A sign of female emancipation, this status. never stopped to evolve since. Education becomes compulsory for men and women. Responsibilities are starting to be shared.

So the world has long been focused on men. The woman was confined to the role of mother, of servant. And even if in the past women have played a significant role, the majority have had to live in submission in the shadow of their companion…

Let’s be happy to live today. We can think, decide and choose, remembering that this advance is recent…

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The period of female genital activity is punctuated by a succession of cycles during which 2 types of hormones; estrogens and progesterone are secreted at varying rates depending on the time of the cycle.This period of genital activity lasts several decades.

Then a period of hormonal instability follows.
The woman enters premenopause.

What are the manifestations of premenopause?
Menstrual cycles start to be less regular. Menses may be more abundant. Certain symptoms, irritability, sleep disturbances, weight gain, decreased libido, disturb the woman. Hot flashes appear, very disabling and particularly pronounced under the effect of stress.

What is going on from a hormonal point of view?
Estrogens continue to be secreted normally. On the other hand, there is a significant drop in the production of progesterone.
This period can last a few months or even a few years.

Period, as we have seen, fade out, then end up completely disappearing.

Then when menstruation has stopped completely for at least a year,
The woman enters menopause

What are the manifestations of menopause?
Discomfort such as irritability, trouble sleeping, weight gain, hot flashes continue to manifest.

The skin becomes less flexible and tends to wrinkle.
The mucous membranes become drier. The risk of cystitis increases.

What is going on from a hormonal point of view?
Estrogen production stops. So the woman no longer produces either estrogen or progesterone.

From a hormonal point of view, the woman’s life is divided into several periods:

  • The period of genital activity: women secrete two types of hormones: estrogens and progesterone.
  • Premenopause: the woman continues to secrete estrogens, but there is a drop in progesterone production.
  • Menopause: women do not produce estrogens or progesterone. Menses have completely stopped for at least a year.

Premenopause and menopause are therefore two different stages that need to be separated.