Written By Lizzie Howard / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
You may know that menopause occurs later in life for women, technically once an entire year has gone by without a menstrual period. What isn't often discussed is what women should expect to experience as this time of life approaches.
A reduction in progesterone and estrogen produced in the ovaries can cause a number of symptoms to arise. To help you better prepare for these changes, read on for an overview of what you need to know about menopause.
Age of Onset
One of the first things people want to know about menopause is when it will arrive. The answer varies by individual, however, most can expect the onset to occur between the ages of 45 and 55. Genetics play a large role in when menopause begins, but factors such as chemotherapy or smoking can bring it on sooner.
What many people don't know is that the transition into menopause can begin as far as 10 years before true menopause occurs. Hormone production begins to decline. Because of this, you may start to notice some symptoms that are typically associated with menopause. Your menstrual cycle may become unpredictable during this time.
There are some symptoms or issues most women notice around the time of menopause. Hot flashes can be uncomfortable and occur either day or night. Mood swings, muscle or joint pain, and loss of concentration are also some of the more common symptoms.
You might notice that your body becomes more sensitive to heat in general as you age. This can make it difficult to know the difference between having a hot flash and simply feeling excessively warm. Hot flashes tend to affect the upper portion of your body. Your face and neck may suddenly become warm.
Reddened or blotchy skin can accompany a hot flash. As can sweatiness, dizziness, and heart palpitations. A hot flash differs significantly from merely being warm.
The rate at which you experience flashes will differ. You could notice them once a day or even several times throughout your day, and they could show up years before menopause officially occurs. Avoiding triggers such as spicy food, alcohol, stress and excessively warm temperatures can help to curb them. A reduction in weight or smoking could also help.
Although weight gain is often inevitable with aging, the approach of menopause can also cause you to pack on pounds. This may be particularly noticeable around the midsection.
Maintaining healthy eating habits and exercising regularly can help you to manage your weight. These habits may also have a significant positive effect on other menopausal symptoms.
There are several symptoms associated with the approach of menopause that you may not be aware of or expect. Poor sleep or insomnia can occur. Improving your bedtime habits or adding a natural sleep aid could help.
Problems concentrating or brain fog are common. There are supplements that may help to sharpen your focus. You may also notice an increase in anxiety or depression. It's definitely a good idea to talk to your doctor about how to best manage these issues.
A loss of libido is not uncommon. You may also experience some vaginal changes. Vaginal dryness and atrophy are symptoms that are attributed to the onset of menopause. You can add personal lubricant to make sexual intercourse more enjoyable, and there are vaginal exercises you can practice in order to keep the muscles strong.
The fluctuation in hormones may lead to an increase in yeast infections or urinary tract infections. A fragrance free vaginal probiotic suppository can help to balance and restore the microflora within your vagina to reduce such uncomfortable issues, as well as to lessen the vaginal odor that often comes with perimenopause, the years leading up to menopause.
You don't have to tolerate itchiness, dryness, burning, and discomfort.
Hopefully, this summary of menopause and the years approaching this transition will help you to feel more prepared for what's to come. These changes due to fluctuations in hormones can be frustrating and uncomfortable, but they don't have to rule your life.
There are steps you can take, both on your own and in conjunction with your healthcare provider, to reduce the symptoms of menopause.
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Lizzie Howard is a Colorado native who after graduating from the University of Colorado spends her time as a freelance writer. When Lizzie isn’t writing, she enjoys going on hikes, baking for her friends and family, and spending time with her beloved yellow lab, Sparky.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.