The cessation of menstrual cycle or simply called as menopause is fraught with a lot of misinformation even among those who are supposed to be most concerned, women. Vaginal dryness, hot flushes, weight gain, wrinkles, anxiety, depression, thinning hair and of course, loss of sex drive are just some dreadful symptoms of menopause that most of us know.
A lot of women often confuse aging and easily associate it with menopause. This is because there are indeed few symptoms that have direct link to menopause caused by hormonal changes. However, a few minor changes in lifestyle can usually handle the symptoms. Contrary to what most women know about menopausal period, it’s actually a stage of natural transition towards a more exciting life.
Here are a few facts about menopause you ought to know:
- 45 to 53 is the usual age range for most women when menopause naturally occurs. There are some who experience it in an earlier age while some are later.
- Menopause can occur either a period of two years after the last menstrual period and can also be two to five years before.
- Longer or shorter periods, increased or decreased on premenstrual symptoms, lighter or heavier bleeding are the beginning of menopause. Eventually, menstrual periods cease.
- Vaginal dryness and hot flushes are the two clear symptoms associated to menopause.
- Women should also keep on track if they start to experience irregular bleeding. This is so their gynecologist can help them determine if these changes are normal or if it indicates abnormal changes in the uterine lining.
- Depression and mood swings are not at all related to hormonal changes. Even fatigue due to sleep disturbances are not at all related to menopause.
- Fluctuations in hormones do not contribute any major psychological depression.
- A woman will experience menopause usually at about the same age as her mother did.
It is best to understand that menopause is way beyond than just hormonal changes. It must be seen rather as a new doorway towards a new life. Imagine a life not dealing with contraceptives, a life without the discomforts of menstruation. It gives chance for a lot of women to concentrate on things they love to do; could it be a family role as a mother or as an established career woman.
So much with the facts about menopause, here are some of the most helpful tips to make this transition a life changing and exciting one:
Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Hot flushes, as one of the demonstrated symptoms of menopause, can be triggered by alcohol and caffeine. It is highly recommended to completely avoid them. Consider substituting your typical coffee with decaffeinated coffee or decaffeinated tea. It is best to keep in mind that excessive consumption of caffeine can cause the kidneys to excrete calcium which is a factor to lesser bone density among postmenopausal women.
Dress for hot flushes
Due to significant decrease in estrogen levels, the body responds with an intense and sudden feel of heat and usually accompanied by sweating. This is what we call hot flushes. Dressing up accordingly using light fabric materials is a simple remedy that can be done. When outdoors or if without air conditioning at home, carrying a personal fan will already do. You can also use facial mist to freshen up or blotting your face with cool towelette or washcloth to relieve the heat.
Take time in lovemaking
Hormonal fluctuations may cause the vaginal mucous membrane to excrete less lubricating moisture and become thin. As a result, sexual intercourse can be painful instead of pleasurable. The lack of moisture problem can be easily remedied by taking more time while making love. It is also highly recommended to find other ways to pleasuring each other such as engaging to non-penetrative sexual stimulation such as cuddling. If there is just not enough lubrication, we now have lubricating gels that are readily available in pharmacies. Vaseline does no harm but can be gummy and a little messy. It’s better to use unscented cold cream as an alternative.
Get plenty of calcium
It’s not only women in their menopausal stage who loses calcium. Everyone actually does as we age. However, for women, the bone density decreases as estrogen levels also decline. For women who are not in hormone replacement therapy, they need at least 1,500 milligrams of elemental calcium. Women who are in hormone therapy on the other hand, need at least 1,000 milligrams of elemental calcium. Other good sources of calcium are of course dairy products. It is recommended to take it from low fat yogurt, skim milk and cheese.
Eat a balanced diet
Heart disease and osteoporosis are two of the risks that menopausal women are prone to. During menopausal period, LDL also known as the bad cholesterol increases. A balanced and healthy diet can go a long way in preventing any serious health problems not just heart disease and osteoporosis but also cancer. A good diet for menopausal women, are those that are lesser in animal fat and lesser salt. One can never go wrong switching to a smorgasbord of vegetables and complex carbohydrates. Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of phytochemicals that help boost immunity and antioxidants that help prevent cancer.
Climacteric is yet another term for menopause. The word makes a lot of sense considering all the changes that a woman will undergo during the menopausal period. This is when a woman closes another chapter in her life and face a new one. As you age, it’s not only menopause that cause anxiety for some but also some physical changes such as visible wrinkles, new pains and aches and even hair loss.
Menopause is a period that is inevitable in a woman’s life. It’s always helpful that as a woman go on through this stage, she has someone to talk about all these change signals she is experiencing. Women most especially needs to understand that menopause may affect the way that they see themselves. It’s because that role as a woman also changes at the same time. Joining a support group changes that concept and help you redirect yourself towards a more positive disposition.
Plan for menopause
For many young women nowadays, menopause is something that they don’t anticipate at least in the first 30 years of their lives. That is the reason why they don’t care much of how their current lifestyle will affect their health in the future. On top of an unhealthy diet is the lack of physical activities. Such unhealthy lifestyle can post a toll towards a more challenging transition when their menopausal stage arrives.
There is surprisingly an increase of women who would go for hormone replacement therapy just to ease the symptoms of menopause. If only women are aware and anticipate this point of their lives, there would be a lot of women who doesn’t have to undergo hormone replacement. Instead, they accept that there are changes in life that we must see as a good thing and something that will be beneficial rather than something that devalues us.
In conclusion, acceptance and a positive outlook in life is everything especially on the emotional aspect. In terms of physical aspect, it’s prevention that makes all the difference. A balanced diet and regular physical activities keep one healthy so when the time comes, the body is ready.