Health + Wellness

How To Cope With Menopause

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As you approach your late 40s or 50s, you may grapple with menopause symptoms that may impact your physical and mental health. Find out how to cope with these symptoms.

For women, the gradual progression into menopause is an inevitable part of ageing. If you know you’re entering that point in your life right now, there’s no need to panic.

In case you don’t already know what menopause is, it’s when a woman experiences her last menstrual period.

According to the National Institute of Ageing, this transition is broken down into three phases – perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause. Due to the changing levels of estrogen and progesterone levels, you may experience certain changes in your body in the years leading up to your last menstrual period (perimenopause). After a full year without a period (menopause), you would have reached the post menopause stage which would last for the rest of your life.

While all women may have different signs or symptoms of menopause, here are some common ones and how to cope with them:

Hot flashes

Many women (but not all) may experience hot flashes during menopause which are feelings of heat that spread throughout the body. Your face and neck may feel flushed and heavy sweating and cold shivering may ensue. Keep a record of when your hot flashes occur to track what triggers your hot flashes and avoid them as much as possible. Some common triggers include caffeine, stress, alcohol or simply being in a warm room. To prevent uncomfortable sweating in your sleep when a hot flash hits you, keep your room cool and dress lightly. If your hot flashes significantly disrupts your life, consult your doctor for the most suitable therapy or drug treatment.

Insomnia

Some women may have difficulty sleeping or getting restful sleep during menopause. You might wake up earlier than you intended to or have trouble getting back to sleep after. To get sufficient rest, try doing yoga or meditate just before going to bed to relax yourself, or exercise in the day so you’ll be worn out by the time you get to bed.

Mood Swings

All the changes in hormone production may affect women’s mental stability during menopause. The feelings of tiredness and fatigue could also result in irritability. Doing things to relax like yoga and breathing exercises can help lift your mood. You may also want to consult your doctor for drug treatments to alleviate your mood swings too.

Vaginal Dryness

Yes ladies, the decreased production of estrogen and progesterone can cause your vagina to be drier and result in painful intercourse. Other vaginal health problems such as infections or itching may accompany this too. Thankfully, you can combat the dryness with water-based lubricants or moisturizers. Alternatively, you can always get your doctor to prescribe you creams or pills for vaginal dryness.

Urinary Incontinence

During menopause, the linings inside the vagina thins and loses elasticity. As a result, some women may find it difficult to hold their bladder or may feel a constant need to urinate (urinary incontinence). To cope with this, you should avoid alcohol consumption, strengthen your pelvic muscles with targeted exercises, and stay hydrated. If the problem still persists, do consult your doctor.

Physical Changes

With menopause and age, many women experience weight gain especially around the abdominal area. Your skin texture will change as well, with wrinkles becoming more apparent as your skin starts to lose collagen and elasticity. On top of that, the reduced oestrogen levels can also contribute to hair loss. While it all may seem dreary, you can still cope with these bodily changes with some simple lifestyle changes. Switch to milder hair products that do not contain harsh chemicals and avoid the sun as it can further dry out your skin. Last but not least, exercise regularly and stick to a healthy diet to keep the belly fat at bay!

With all that being said, menopause may seem like a tough period for many but it is a natural process that every woman has to go through. While you may experience all these changes in your life during menopause, it’s always good to manage these symptoms and feel good after you’ve survived this process.


Image by silviarita from Pixabay

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