If you’re a woman nearing the not-so-big 50 years of age, you might start feeling differences within your body. This time usually means one particular milestone on the horizon for women, the dreaded menopause. It can be a scary idea while your body is starting to change but it’s a perfectly natural process. Menopause occurs because your ovaries have pumped out their lifetime limit of eggs and are now taking an infinite break. Here are the most common symptoms and how you can deal with them:
1. Getting oh so HOT in here
Approximately 50% of women will experience hot flashes as a symptom. You might feel a sudden heat that spreads through the entire body causing the face and neck to become red or blotches on the back to form. This will cause sweating or cold shivers known as night sweats to occur after.
Relief: Take slow deep breaths and find a fan. They’re usually triggered by something you’ve ingested, so be aware of your diet and avoid these foods if you’re unsure: caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol.
2. Breaking the cycle
The imbalance of hormones in the body will cause period irregularities. Don’t be alarmed if you’ve missed your period one month, spot between expected cycles and then get incredibly heavy flow the next time. Menstrual irregularity is completely normal, just your body’s way of adjusting to waning estrogen and progesterone levels. If you have not had your period in 12 months, it is safe to assume you are not and will not get pregnant anymore.
Relief: Unfortunately there is no predictability with this symptom. You’ll need to be prepared for the unexpected so carrying a pad around is a good idea.
3. Dry down there
Decreasing estrogen levels will cause the lining to be thinner and less moist. This will lead to vaginal dryness and itchy irritation. Your vagina will be more prone to infections and this will make intercourse less comfortable and sometimes even painful. It is a very common symptom but there are options.
Relief: You are not alone. Try a water based lubricant you can buy at your drug mart.
You might start forgetting little things you normally wouldn’t such as your niece’s birthday or Wednesdays’ doctor appointment. Many women complain about difficulty concentrating during this period and feel anxious because of it.
Relief: Keep an agenda and update it daily. Don’t stress, it might trigger hot flashes and you’d start sweating buckets.
5. Roller coaster of emotions
You might find yourself feeling extremely motivated and happy one moment and the next, you only want to stay in bed all day because you’re sad. Mood swings can be very intense and difficult to deal with because they’re so unexpected. If you are worried it might be depression, seek a physicians help straight away.
Relief: Get as much rest as you can and don’t take on too many tasks at once. Try staying active so that endorphins will keep you smiling throughout the day. Talk with the people around you so they are aware of your situation and your feelings, this will be a very tough time for them as well because they’re unsure how to be around you. Communication is key.
Other frequent symptoms include dizziness, breast pain, brittle nails and bloating. If you’re more curious, here are some common questions asked by real women to physicians. Whether it’s your mother, sister, or girlfriend going through menopause, make sure they know they have your support. This stage of life is all part of being a woman and we can rejoice in no more bloating or cramping. Power to you strong ladies!
What are your experiences with menopause?
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