Every woman needs to acknowledge the fact that she will reach menopause at some point in her life and it is not a health problem. While the factors involved in menopause can cause discomfort, menopause is a normal stage of life which begins when women aged between 45 to 55 fail to menstruate for 12 consecutive months though it can still occur before or after this age bracket. A woman who has reached menopause can no longer become pregnant naturally.
Symptoms and signs of menopause
It’s not easy to know exactly when you will have reached menopause. You may begin to notice changes years or months before menopause actually hits. Hence, it’s important to pay attention to how you are feeling and the changes you are experiencing. Please bear in mind that your symptoms may be different from another woman friend who is your age mate. Besides, other women do not experience any symptoms at all. Here are changes to look out for if you are suspecting you have reached menopause.
One major sign that you are heading to menopause is when your periods become irregular. Your periods may begin to last for longer or shorter periods, become heavier or lighter or come more often or less often. All these changes happen thanks to the declining levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body. However, irregularities in your menstrual cycle before age of 40 should be a health concern and you should consider seeing your gynaecologist.
Another symptom of menopause is fatigue. If you are having quality sleep every night but still feel tired and sluggish all the time, menopause could be the main culprit. Fatigue associated with menopause will just not go away even if you choose to rest longer than usual. This can greatly affect your productivity, lead to mood swings eventually increasing your stress levels.
Most women who have reached menopause will admit to having experienced hot flashes which result in chills and sweating. The sudden feeling of intense body heat may make you feel terrible heat even when you are in a cool environment. In fact, those hot flashes mostly occur at night making you wake up in the middle of the night feeling extremely hot. Hot flashes and night sweats cause a sudden feeling of intense heat in your body causing your skin especially the face and neck to turn reddish. Your heart may beat faster than usual. You may suddenly feel cold thereafter.
Are you more forgetful these days? Before you get too hard on yourself, consider the fact that menopause could be on the way. The reducing levels of progesterone and estrogen could be making you have memory lapses and inability to focus as you used to. A lot of women find it difficult to concentrate even in their workplaces. However, this will not last forever. As you transition to complete menopause, your memory will improve.
If you have noticed that you are using the bathroom more frequent these days, you could be approaching menopause. The falling levels of estrogen may cause the thinning of the urinary bladder and urethra leading to urinary inconsistent. Also, weakened pelvic muscles may sometimes lead to urinary leakage when you do rigorous exercises, laugh, sneeze, cough or lift something heavy. To strengthen your pelvic muscles, consider doing regular workouts especially Kegel exercise.
Other menopause symptoms include
- Vaginal dryness
- Low libido
- Thinning of hair
- Dizzy spells
- Panic disorder
- Weight gain
- Frequent headaches
- Joint pain
- Breast pain
- Tingling sensation
- Brittle nails
As mentioned above, menopause is not a medical problem. Therefore, most women do not require treatment for their menopause symptoms. The symptoms go away without taking any medication. Plus, some symptoms are so mild that you even forget about them almost immediately.
If your symptoms are rather too uncomfortable, they are making you worried or are severe enough to disrupt your daily life, you need to see your doctor. Your doctor is in a better position to tell you if there is something to worry about, ways to relieve them and the right treatment option for you. Your medical practitioner can suggest the right medicine for you depending on your situation.
Over the same, if the symptoms are not too severe to warrant a hospital visit, here are natural remedies that can help you manage menopause at home.
Eat a balanced diet
This is the time you need to be extra watchful with what you are eating. It’s one of the best ways to reduce symptoms of menopause. If you can start early, the better for you. Make sure your diet includes lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Reduce the consumption of coffee, artificial sugars, oils and saturated fats. Also, drink enough water every day to keep your body well-hydrated.
Regular exercises are very beneficial to every human being regardless of their age. If you have been exercising before, this is not the time to stop. If you haven’t, its time you begin, your body needs to stay active. They don’t have to be high intense workouts, just some regular physical activities such as walking or jogging can be very helpful. They might even reduce the severity of hot flashes and make them feel less intense.
Sometimes, menopausal anxiety may even worsen your menopause symptoms. Hence, you need to practice mindful deep breathing like the ones practised while meditating to ease the anxiety. Make it a routine to practise deep breathing for 15 minutes in the morning and in the evening. You should also practice deep breathing every time you notice a hot flash on the way. It can greatly reduce the intensity.
Menopause is a natural occurrence and every woman should embrace it. The best way to handle it is to know your symptoms and how to deal with them. As a woman, don’t wait until you approach menopause to eat a balanced diet, exercise and generally lead a healthy lifestyle. Learn to take care of your body so that when the time to deal with menopause comes, your body will be strong enough to handle it.