True story: According to research, our 50s are the most optimistic time in our lives. That’s a theme that also came up in our own survey of 300 women ages 50-70: 79% told us that they felt optimistic about their futures, and another 69% said that they felt that they were currently in the best phase of their lives.
But for many women, this incredibly inspiring decade coincides with a major physical transition—and while the majority of 50- and 60-somethings we spoke to felt that they had a pretty good general knowledge of menopause and what to expect, a lot of them felt less confident about the details, like their nutrient needs and the specific changes they could expect.
So without further ado, we’ll just say this: We hear you, and we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn about the different phases of menopause, as well as the nutritional needs to keep in mind as you go through this transition. (Because from our POV, no guesswork should get in the way of enjoying the most optimistic time of your life.)
Perimenopause: This is the 3-5 year stage before menopause officially begins: Typically, your period gradually becomes more irregular as your ovaries begin producing less estrogen. This phase begins for many women in their late 40s, and you may begin to notice some of the common physical effects of menopause (like hot flashes, fatigue, and decreased sex drive)—although many women experience these symptoms to varying degrees, and sometimes not at all (1). This is a good time to check in with your healthcare provider so you know what to expect and you both can manage this transition together.
Menopause: While many of us talk about menopause as the overall phase when our menstrual cycle slows to a stop, actually, that better describes perimenopause—technically, you’re not in menopause until you haven’t had a period for a full year. The average age of women in menopause in the United States is 51.
Postmenopause: It’s kind of helpful to look at menopause itself as more of a benchmark than an actual phase—you’re in perimenopause until you reach menopause (aka not having your period for twelve months), and then you immediately enter postmenopause. At this point, your estrogen levels have dipped to their lowest point, and you may continue to experience some of the physical effects of menopause.
One very important thing to note throughout this entire transition is that as your body goes through these major hormonal changes, your nutrient needs change as well. That’s why we believe that it’s important to choose a multivitamin tailored to this specific time in your life—while it won’t treat any of the physical symptoms of menopause, it can help to fill the gaps in your diet to support healthy aging from within.