There are many stages that occur in a woman’s life. All of them bring out new feelings and physical changes. Through a woman’s life, they will go through many of these changes in adolescence, adulthood, and late adulthood. One of the last stages to go through is menopause and the effects afterward.

Menopause is when you no longer have a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months. Through those months and beyond, your body will go through changes and it can change your physical and mental health. When menopause ends, there are some symptoms that could rollover.

What Does Menopause Look Like

Menopause is your body’s process of stopping the menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months. Through these months, your body may go through some intense physical changes as the level of hormones are changing inside of you. In this stage, you may feel hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, and possible cognitive changes. These effects may last the full year of menopause and soon start to dwindle as your menstrual cycle fully ends after 12 months.

What Comes Next

After your body has been in menopause for a year or so and your menstrual cycle is officially ended, you will go through post-menopause. This stage of your life will last for the rest of your life. Your menstrual cycle will not come back after this. In this last stage, your body is no longer producing as much estrogen as before. This could lead to possible side effects from low hormone levels or similar side effects of the menopause process. It is common that women around 51 go through the stages of menopause and post-menopause.

What to Expect

After the year of menopause, you will no longer go through the fluctuating levels of hormones that the menstrual cycle brings with it. This might lead to lower hormone levels in your body. This could cause possible side effects as post-menopause is set into place. While the side effects of menopause may subside after a year, it is common that some will continue. You could still feel the effects of hot flashes, insomnia, weight changes, and depression. These symptoms may continue to happen with the changes in hormone levels in your body. If they get too intense or you are seeing problems, going to a doctor can help.

What Can Be Done

If you are still feeling the effects or overall just feel different than you did a couple of years ago, there are some ways to help your body level out. The addition of exercise can help with the effects of post-menopause. Adding a simple 30-minute walk or cardio workout a day or starting yoga can help your mind and body.

Then, you can also add phytoestrogens into your diet. This simple addition can take place of the estrogen levels you lost from menopause. You can find phytoestrogens in flaxseed, chickpeas, and whole-grain cereals.

Outside of the day-to-day changes, you could make, if the effects are too strong and you think you need more, a doctor may prescribe hormone therapy. Hormone therapy can be taken in the form of a gel, pill, shot, or cream and can help level out your estrogen hormones. You could see your physical and mental health rise and go back to what you may be more used to.

The stages of menopause and post-menopause happen to all women. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye on your own health and seek help if you are not feeling well.