The Menopause Survival Guide
Menopause can fill many women with fear, but, as says Dr Elizabeth Farrell, president of the Australasian Menopause Society and director of The Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health, “We always focus on the worst-case scenario and in fact, the majority of women don’t have a difficult time, and the expectation is worse than the experience and only a small number of women experience severe symptoms.” That said, at least 20 per cent of all women are going to suffer some kind of severe symptoms like mood swings, heart palpitations and insomnia. Going through menopause can also be an emotional time as it marks the end of fertility.
The changes that happened in my body when I was going through menopause were among the most difficult that I have ever had to go through, even worse than any of the changes that would happen in my body when I was going through my period every month. I was among the 20 per cent of women who go through the more severe symptoms. Menopause is a normal change that happens to women all over the world as the hormones in the body begin to reduce. This is because they no longer need them to be able to produce children, and even if you’re prepared for menopause, it can be a bit of a shock for your body to go through. I wanted to share with you some of my tips for surviving menopause in the hopes that it makes it an easier process for you.
Managing the weight gain
A usual side effect of your menopause is going to be some weight gain as your body adjusts to the hormonal shift and as your metabolism slows. Some ways that you can manage this is to:
- Be aware of how your body is going to slow down and ensure that you’re eating less than you used to.
- Exercise more frequently and keep your body moving as it’s going to need more movement to get the same results.
- Join a gym and get yourself a personal trainer.
- Consider the option of liposuction for you. Many women will find that they struggle to reach their goal weight – even with a huge effort on their part. If this is the case, liposuction can be a great option for you as it’s effective and a great way to get your body confidence back.
Managing the change in your life
For many women, the timing of their menopause means that it comes around 50 years old, although it can occur at any time between the ages of 45 and 55, and in some rare cases it can occur even earlier – though these cases usually involve chromosomal and genetic disorders, hysterectomies and even chemotherapy or surgery. During the first phase of menopause, perimenopause, the ovaries stop producing eggs and the body starts to produce less oestrogen and progesterone. Menstruation begins to become irregular and then stops altogether after a period of time. It may happen abruptly but for many women, this process happens over four to six years. You need to be ready for the change that you may experience pain, PMT, hot flushes, night sweats and headaches.
Managing Body Changes
This can cause dryness, irritation, itching and discomfort during sex and is known as vaginal atrophy. Dr Farrell says about half of women will experience vaginal dryness and it’s one symptom that never improves.
Doctor Farrell says that “The majority of Australian women have mild to moderate symptoms that they manage without any treatment at all.” To manage any of your symptoms, you may just need to avoid spicy food, caffeine, smoking and excess alcohol and to make sure that you drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet. You might also find holistic health measures like acupuncture, yoga, pelvic floor exercises and tai chi help.
Ultimately, menopause doesn’t have to be a difficult time for you – you simply have to ensure that you’re ready to accept these changes and that you’re vigilant when it comes to your fitness and your health.
Article Submitted By Community Writer