The fascinating thing about menopause is that most women do not fully understand it. When you reach between your late forties and early fifties, your body will stop producing normal levels of the hormone estrogen. When this occurs, you are sent into a tailspin, otherwise known as peri-menopause. During this period of your life, you will start to experience new and strange things, most not terribly pleasant. This lack of knowledge has nothing to do with education per se but today, there is unfortunately, a lot of misinformation that makes the entire menopause thing confusing.
For instance, you will begin to have hot flashes, wake in the middle of the night from night sweats, struggle with headaches, heart palpitations, and joint pain, notice you are much moodier than usual, and more. All of this will last anywhere from one to ten years and the intensity of the symptoms will vary from one woman to the next. Then, once your normal monthly period has stopped for twelve consecutive months, you have actually started into menopause or post-menopause.
Cramping After Menopause – What’s the Cause?
As you will discover during both of these phases, the body is going through tremendous change. Because of not being educated on how menopause really works, women will start experiencing what they call “cramping after menopause”, which in reality, is normal cramping during the peri-menopause stage. Remember, when you are in the peri-menopause stage of the change of life, you will still have monthly periods. If you are like most women, you have cramps. Therefore, as long as you are still ovulating, you will experience cramping after menopause, which is actually the first stage of menopause.
Interestingly, some women who are without a monthly cycle for a full year will swear that they still have cramping after menopause. Although the ovaries are no longer working to produce the estrogen, women still feel some degree of cramping although nothing like when they were menstruating. Just remember, so many things are going on in your body during both peri-menopause and menopause that anything is possible. Therefore, if you find yourself having cramping after menopause, first determine if you are actually in peri-menopause when this would be expected. However, if you have moved into the full-blown menopause and still have cramping, then we suggest you talk to your doctor just to make sure nothing else is going on.
Now, one possibility to consider is the type of treatment you are taking to get through the long list of menopausal symptoms. In this case, most women find they do better on natural herbs and vitamins than on prescription treatments. In addition, if you have not heard, Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT, which was used for many years has recently been receiving some very bad press. HRT has been proven to increase the risk of several cancers and therefore, most doctors are recommending that patients not take it. In other words, if you have been on HRT and are experiencing cramping after menopause, then it could be the treatment.
When it comes to cramping and menopause, you need to know that this is relatively common. This is why the definition of menopause or post-menopause has been created, whereby you are without a period for twelve months. The reason is that in some women, ovulation can still occur for a year after the menopausal FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormones) levels have changed. When in menopause, your FSH levels will usually be above 40-mlU/ml. In fact, this happens in up to as many as 30% of all menopausal women. Of course, many other factors could be involved with the cramping after menopause. For this reason, it is essential that you work with a good doctor, one that understands how menopause works and all your treatment options.
The most important thing is that if you begin to have cramping after menopause, do not panic. Chances are in your favor that nothing serious is happening and that you can find some type of natural treatment for providing relief. Just do not ignore it if the cramping does not stop. The change of life is a difficult time but with great support from family, friends, and your doctor, it does not have to be. In fact, millions of women around the world are currently going through the change of life but you would never even know, simply because they have learned how to manage it.