December 7, 2010

Menopause is part of the cycle of life

A girl becomes a woman when she reaches puberty, begins having her periods, and her body takes on some very obvious signs of maturity (enlargement of her breasts and curvature of her hips are examples). An exciting time, maturity means she will be capable of bearing a child even though she may still be one herself. This time period heralds the beginning of an exciting and fulfilling life for many women who, even in this modern age, feel more fulfilled when they can bear children.

Menopause is not an end but a new beginning in life

The signs of menopause, which come on somewhere between her mid forties and mid fifties, cause some women to feed depressed, almost as if their life is coming to a close. But the opposite is actually true. A woman has monthly periods from around age thirteen; some suffer from painful and heavy flow, along with mood swings which may be labeled as premenstrual syndrome or the more popular term, PMS. Also there is a worry of becoming pregnant until a woman ceases to have her monthly periods. Menopause should be considered a new lease on life because she becomes free of those burdens and can relax and become more independent and free to enjoy her life.

Some symptoms of menopause can be severe

Most often the symptoms of menopause are mild and cause little concern for women. However, others have more severe complaints and need medical assistance to get through this period of time. Among the more common symptoms are:

1)    Mood swings which can be confusing and create complications in her everyday relationships. Often women feel as though they are on a mental roller coaster ride that won’t end. This is the time for husbands and friends to be patient because it will soon pass.

2)    Hot flashes are found to be mild to extremely irritating and are identified by feeling hot or tingly sensations which spread over her body, often resulting in a redness called flushing. This may be mostly noticeable on her face, arms, and neck. While flushing is not dangerous or even harmful, it is a cause of concern and irritation for the sufferer. While not all women experience some form of hot flashes, around seventy five percent find it to be the first thing they notice when menopause begins. As the woman’s body experiences a lowering of estrogen levels and the ovaries cease to produce eggs, the outward signs include hot flashes, making for a miserable time for her. An estrogen supplement will generally help at this time.

3)    Nocturnal hyperhydrosis or night sweats can be an irritating symptom for the woman experiencing menopause because sleeping may become difficult. She wakens soaking wet with sweat, often with the feeling of itchiness and restlessness. The night sweats may well be more severe than daytime hot flashes.

4)    Irregular periods are often the primary signal of entry into menopause. Missing a couple of periods then finding they are back can be confusing and cause worry of medical problems. Longer or shorter periods and having them sporadically may worry the woman that she is pregnant. And becoming pregnant at this stage in life is not all that uncommon so care must be taken (unless she wishes to bear another child). The official time for menopause is actually when a woman has not had a period for a time period of twelve consecutive months. Mid forties and on is the typical age for most women to begin their irregular periods and onset of menopause.

5)     Suffering from a loss of libido is commonly found in many women once they reach menopause. Their emotional state can bring on lack in sex drive. This is one symptom which may well disappear once her body has regulated itself after the onset of menopause. Estrogen supplements may also help her libido return to normal. This can be an exciting time in a woman’s life because she no longer must worry she will become pregnant.

6)    Dryness of her vagina may be part of the problem if she suffers from loss of libido. Sex may be uncomfortable due to lack of normal vaginal fluids. There are lubricants that can help when this issue occurs.

7)    Feeling fatigued is a very common ailment that goes with menopause. She feels tired and useless and feelings including irritation and depression are common occurrences. This lack of energy may be a result of night sweats and lack of sleep but more commonly they simply occur even if she receives plenty of sleep. A severe lack of sleep, withdrawal from family and friends, and feelings of deep sadness and depression are symptoms that should be monitored by a spouse and perhaps a physician as well. Again, an estrogen supplement will often help increase energy and improve a darkened mental state.

8)    Racing heart and pounding heartbeat are commonly found in women who are menopausal. They are cause for concern because many women worry they are having heart problems or even a heart attack. She should see her doctor who can relieve her worries and assure her it is a common symptom of her time of life. Taking deep breaths and trying to relax will often be the only help needed to get through a period of pounding heart.

9)    That itchy and crawly feeling she feels on her skin may be part of hot flashes or a symptom all its own. Dropping estrogen levels often cause the skin to become dry. This is the result of a lack of collagen and can be helped by applying cream or lotion.

Menopause means a new lease on life for many women

Modern medicine helps women cope with this important phase in her life. Often women find if they make some lifestyle changes plus take a supplemental estrogen to compensate for the loss that occurred naturally, she can get through this period and enjoy the rest of her life, worry free. There are choices including alternative medications such as non estrogenic herbal remedies that may prove beneficial. Eating a balanced diet and adding calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, using less salt and sugar, along with adding an exercise program will go a long way toward relieving symptoms and restoring quality of life to the menopausal woman.

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