Menopause Prevention


What is menopause?

The girl child is born with all her eggs located in her ovaries. Once she attains puberty, an egg is released monthly from either or both ovaries (Ovulation) If the egg remains unfertilised, her uterine lining disintegrates which is then known as a monthly period. The event following the release of an egg is controlled by oestrogen and progesterone.

Menopause is a period in a woman's life when her reproductive function declines. Usually a woman is said to be menopausal if she has gone 12 months without having a period. It usually marks the end of a woman's menstrual cycle.

Menopause is a normal ageing process hence it occurs in women aged from 40 or 50. However, menopause can occur much earlier in some women.

It happens due to hormone fluctuations. The two principal hormones being oestrogen and progesterone.

Just before and during menopause your oestrogen levels will decline. Hence your ovaries will no longer release an egg monthly. 

The first sign that signals you are approaching menopause is an irregular period.

Menopause is usually classified into three phases, these phases include:

  • Perimenopause: is usually said to be years preceding menopause. In this year, your period becomes irregular as your ovaries start running out of eggs. The symptoms of menopause might occasionally occur and resolve after a few weeks
  • Menopause: is said to occur if you don't have a vaginal bleed for up to a year
  • Postmenopause: is the time after the final menstrual period


Several symptoms will show that you might be approaching menopause. Every woman experiences different levels of menopausal symptoms. It is said that 20 percent of women experience no symptoms at all, 60 percent  experience mild to moderate symptoms and the other 20 percent of women experience severe symptoms.

Symptoms of menopause are classified into two groups: physical and emotional.

Physical symptoms of menopause include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Weight gain
  • Cold flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Dry skin, eye and or mouth
  • Increase urgency to pee
  • Headache
  • Hair loss
  • Vagina dryness and thining
  • Bloating

Emotional symptoms include:

  • Sleep difficulty
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of libido
  • Mood swings

Menopause is a natural part of ageing

Menopause can’t be prevented but the severity of symptoms can be managed.

How to prevent early/severe menopause

Balanced diet

During menopause your level of oestrogen decreases which gives rise to reduced bone density and osteoporosis. In addition, menopausal women are prone to heart diseases, hence a diet rich in calcium and omega 3 fatty acid plays a great role in the well-being of menopausal women.

You should consume the following if your are menopausal or postmenopausal:

  • Foods rich in calcium such as leafy vegetables, milk and other dairy products 
  • Foods low in trans fat such as lean meat, beans, vegetables, fish and nuts
  • Low sodium diet
  • 5 to 6 portions of vegetables daily
  • Meals rich in phytoestrogen such as flax seeds, dried nuts, soybeans, sesame seeds ,edamame, peaches, berries and wheat bran

Regular exercise

In addition to eating a balanced diet, regular exercise amongst menopausal and postmenopausal women have potentially long term benefits.

Exercise will not reduce your symptoms, however studies show that regular exercise can improve your mood, increase your quality of life, reduce your risk of developing heart diseases and prevent osteoporosis while leaving your muscle well-toned.

Exercise for postmenopausal women should include aerobic exercise, strength and balance exercise.

Low impact exercise like yoga is also beneficial in menopause because it helps you build strength, flexibility and gives you mental clarity.

Quit smoking

Studies show that women who smoke have an earlier menopause than non-smokers. They also tend to  have worse hot flushes and often don’t respond well to tablet forms of HRT1. Smoking is known to worsen and trigger the emotional symptoms of menopause.


Menopause is a natural phase in the process of ageing in a woman’s life. While the symptoms of menopause range from mild,moderate to severe, these symptoms cannot be cured but can be managed by lifestyle changes such as dietary modifications, incorporation of exercise into one's daily habit as well as lifestyle modifications like quitting cigarettes. 

If your symptoms become unbearable, your doctor will recommend hormone replacement therapy that could be a preparation of oestrogen alone,or an oestrogen and progesterone combination to alleviate your symptoms.


  1. Whitcomb, B. W., Purdue-Smithe, A. C., Szegda, K. L., Boutot, M. E., Hankinson, S. E., Manson, J. E., Rosner, B., Willett, W. C., Eliassen, A. H., & Bertone-Johnson, E. R. (2018). Cigarette Smoking and Risk of Early Natural Menopause. American Journal of Epidemiology, 187(4), 696-704.

Abigail Akhigbemen

MSc, Pharmacology&Toxicology, University of Benin, Nigeria

"As a pharmacist in academics, I find fulfilment in teaching, researching and writing. I have a passion for and am inspired by the pursuit for solutions to pressing disease and factors that affects mental health and wellness.I have taught a wide range of health and drug-related topics to Medical, Pharmacy, Science laboratory, Physiotherapy and Medical laboratory science students for the past 7 years, designing and supervising their undergraduate thesis/project." presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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