How To Cope With The Menopause
Posted on: 02 August 2016 by Ashley Mills
The menopause is a natural stage in a woman’s life, where she will no longer be able to have periods. As a result, she will not be able to get pregnant naturally.
What Is The Menopause?
When a woman reaches a certain age she will stop producing eggs. Additionally her monthly periods will also stop. Although the age at which a woman will start the menopause varies, it is usually between her 40s and late 50s. During this time her oestrogen levels will significantly fall. The date of menopause is defined as one year after a woman's final period. The decline of oestrogenafter her last cycle is known as the peri-menopause.
Symptoms Associated With The Menopause
The symptoms of the menopause and their severity differ for each and every woman, but common menopausal symptoms include:
• Hot flushes
• Night sweats
• Low libido
• Vaginal dryness
• Mood swings
Symptoms of the menopause start after your last period, and last approximately around 4 years, however for some women symptoms can last for longer. If symptoms start to become bothersome and are causing continuous discomfort, it is advised that you see your GP.
Have A Healthy Lifestyle
Having a healthy diet and lifestyle is essential during the menopause. Menopause has been shown to raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels, major contributory factors to heart disease. It is therefore important to eat a balanced diet, to reduce your risk of heart disease. A healthy diet can also help to alleviate symptoms of the menopause. Foods like oily fish, calcium, and nutrient rich fruits and vegetables are highly recommended.If you are a smoker, quitting smoking also helps to loweroestrogen levels. Studies have shown that women who smoke reach menopause around two years earlier than women who don’t smoke.
As well as eating a healthy and balanced diet to reduce your risk of health issues linked to the menopause, it is also advised that you should include regular exercise into your lifestyle for better menopause control. Exercising regularly can improve your health, by reducing your risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. It can also help to alleviate mood swings commonly associated with the menopause.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Not every women will seek treatment for the menopause, however for a lot of women HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is a commonly used treatment for alleviating menopausal symptoms. Taken either in tablet or patch form, HRT works by supplying the body with much needed oestrogen, which is severely lowered during the menopause. Although there have been some health concerns/side effects linked to hormone replacement therapy, many women have found that this treatment has made a huge difference to their lives. If you are considering HRT for the menopause, you should speak to your GP who will be happy to discuss your options, and explain the different treatments for menopause, and how they will work effectively for you.
Alternative Treatments For The Menopause
Whilst hormone replacement therapy is seen to be one of the most effective treatments for the menopause, some women prefer natural alternatives. Natural menopause solutions like acupuncture, which has been used as an effective remedy in China for many centuries, and complementary medicine such as 'black cohosh’, which some women have claimed to be particularly effective at preventing menopause symptoms. Vitamin D, yoga, St John’s Wart and Ginseng has also been championed as effective solutions against menopausal symptoms. It is always advised that you speak to your doctor if you are considering taking any natural remedies for the menopause.
Altering your lifestyle habits, and looking into the many treatment options available, can help you cope with the menopause more effectively. Such changes will allow you to continue to enjoy a happy and healthy life.