How do you overcome the struggles of Menopause? Share your tips in the comments!
Menopause is a normal condition that happens to all the women in their 50s and sometimes earlier. It happens when ovaries stop working and periods cease as a consequence.
Women go through Perimenopause where they have irregular menstrual periods, then Menopause when periods are completely absent for a whole year. After that period, Post-menopause occurs which includes all the years after Menopause.
Read more: My Menopause Struggles
It’s a natural biological process which happens because of an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone levels, and that causes many physical, psychological and hormonal effects. Most of its symptoms are not pleasant, and they include but not limited to the following:
- Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are the most common symptom of Menopause. When it happens at night, it is called night sweats. It’s a sudden feeling of intense warmth, sometimes it is accompanied by sweating and red flushed face, and some women have chills and increased heartbeat too.
There is no way to avoid this symptom, but you can avoid its triggers like caffeine, alcohol and tight clothes.
Keep track of what sets your hot flashes in order to avoid them. When it happens, take it easy and breathe deeply in from your nose and out from your mouth. Talk to your doctor if it is too tough on you.
Read more: Going Into Menopause Since the Age of 30
- Weight gain
Menopause might make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen. This is not mainly related to hormonal changes, it can also occur due to aging and lifestyle.
Weight gain can lead to serious complications like diabetes, or heart diseases. Following a healthy lifestyle and exercising are essential to avoid it.
- Thinning Hair
The imbalance between Estrogen and Progesterone can cause hair loss or thinning hair. Women in Menopause usually notice a handful of hair during their showers.
Read more: Menopause Causes Depression
- Mood Changes
The end of childbearing years may be very painful for many women. Due to rapid hormonal fluctuations, many women may have sudden outbursts of anxiety and stress.
Studies say that the sudden drop of estrogen has an effect on the Serotonin and Norepinephrine levels during the Menopause which is linked directly to depression.
These changes in hormone levels, especially Estrogen, cause many psychological defects like depression, fatigue, irritability, stress, forgetfulness, and anxiety.
70% of Menopausal women report irritability as the most common occurrence of all.
Here are some tips on how to cope with these mood swings:
- Eat Healthily
- Exercise regularly
- Find a calming activity like Yoga or Meditation
- Engage with your friends and nurture your relationships
- Avoid alcohol and tranquilizers.
Read more: Endometriosis – My Lifelong Companion
- Vaginal Dryness
It happens when the moisture of your vagina disappears which causes a lack of lubrication.
Many women struggle from vaginal dryness, itching, and pain through their Menopause years and this highly affects their sex lives. That doesn’t mean that your sex life is over. You can try using some over the counter lubricants which re-moisturizes your vagina and decreases the pain during intercourse.
Don’t forget to use condoms to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.
- Sleep Problems
The loss of hormones accompanied by Menopause causes many changes in the woman’s body. Sweating and hot flashes can make it hard to sleep. The national sleep foundation says that approximately 61% of menopausal women report insomnia.
However, good sleep is always necessary in order to be able to perform daily tasks efficiently, so try to stick to a sleep routine and a consistent wake-up and sleep time. You should also improve your sleep environment by:
- Making sure your room is quiet
- Keep your bedroom as cool as you can
- Avoid alcohol and smoking.
In conclusion, Menopause is a stage in which major hormonal, physical and psychological changes happen. Symptoms may vary among woman, but they all remain similar and sometimes more intense when a woman has had her ovaries surgically removed.
However, it’s a very natural stage that all women go through and with the support of the family it will pass very smoothly as long as you give your body the appreciation and patience for these natural changes.
If you feel like your family and friends can’t provide you with the support you need, join our Menopause Awareness group, where you get can the support from more than 1000 members who are going through the same journey.