Menopause is a wonderful stage in a woman's life. As challenging as it may seem, it's a silver lining that can change our lives for the better. Easy to say, but hard to believe? That's understandable. With all the physical and psycho-emotional changes that comes along with this transition, it can be difficult for some women. No matter how hard it is…
Don’t let menopause spoil your appetite for life!
Remember that you are special! No one can handle all the life changes that you go through, from menstruation, pregnancy to menopause. All these things are part of a woman's life. Like all the other transitions, menopause can be a wonderful time – if we fully understand it. So here's a short guide to all the women in menopause who are looking for answers!
What Women in Menopause Should Expect
Every woman is unique, so no journey is the same. The menopausal age, symptoms and experiences vary from one woman to another. Some may find it difficult, some may not feel discomforts or symptoms at all.
Nonetheless, we all have one thing in common – menopause is a milestone that we all face. It is referred to as “change of life” because a lot of physical, emotional and personal changes happen in this phase of life.
Fertility gradually ceases, so we can no longer bear children. Hormones will begin to falter and go down, causing menopause discomforts. We may experience depression or anxiety over hormonal imbalances or personal life changes. Children carving their own paths, leaving home and building a life of their own. Relationships can either become stronger or it may come to end.
Yes, you will feel free, but at the same time, anxious that the life you’ve been used to for years is already over. Yes, menopause is not all sunshine and butterflies, but also keep in mind that this phase is the beginning of a new lovely era. The moment to feel delighted that we have lived longer. That we still have a third of our lives left to live.
Menopause is the perfect time to think that everything we want to do is on the right track. We have to look over our health, and though we feel older, there are still a thousand ways and years to come to do good things for our body and mind.
Understanding the Stages of Menopause
“When does menopause start?”
“How do I know if I'm in menopause?”
“I'm noticing some changes in my body, is this menopause?”
These are just some common questions that women in menopause ask. Although we know that menopause will eventually come, sometimes, we are still unprepared and things can overwhelm us. Menopause is not just ‘menopause'. It doesn't happen in an instance or occur out of nowhere. It actually follows three stages: perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause.
Perimenopause is the first stage of menopause. It starts 8 to 10 years before your menstrual cycle completely stops. This means that even if you still have your monthly periods, you can still enter perimenopause. At this stages, your female hormones,and progesterone are still produced by the ovaries but they can start to gradually decline. Symptoms or discomforts may begin occurring at this phase.
The second stage is what we know as menopause! The menopause stage happens when your menstruation or period ceases for a full 12 months. At this stage, your ovaries will stop producing egg cells, but it will still produce minimal amounts of estrogen and progesterone. Aside from the symptoms of perimenopause, you will feel additional discomforts at this stage.
The last phase is the postmenopause stage. Estrogen and progesterone permanently remain at low levels throughout life. This is probably the highlight of your menopausal transition because in this stage marks the permanent end of your period, symptoms will also start to cease. Although you'll feel a sense of relief in postmenopause, it is important to take care of your body to prevent the risks of osteoporosis and heart problems.
By understanding what goes on in the body during these stages, you will be able to understand yourself and your menopause symptoms better. Consequently, you can also cope and manage them properly.
Learn more about these three different stages and know each stage's specific symptoms by reading our article: Stages of Menopause and their Symptoms.
Aside from being aware of the symptoms for every stage, one of the things that you can do to is to take a menopause test to check your hormones. Don't worry! You don't have to go to the doctor and get a lab, you can do it yourself in the comforts of your home. There are plenty of self-test kits, menopause quizzes and DIY methods that you can do. To find out more, check out our comprehensive list of menopause tests!
You can also watch this fun and informational video of Menopause Taylor as she discusses the different phases of menopause! [25:32]
What's Next For Me?
Most of the time women are not aware that menopause age already begins. It may take several months, even years before you actually realize you are in menopause. The most important thing is, you listen to your body!
Observe your symptoms, assess your body – you know it better than anyone. Ask yourself questions like, why do I feel this way? What's happening in my life right now? Don't go running to the doctor and stuff all sorts of synthetic hormones just because you're feeling some discomforts.
When you get a clearer picture of how you function, it’s time to see what you can do for yourself. There are several menopause management options that you can choose from.
Natural Therapy. Since menopause is a natural change, it's only fair to use natural relief methods before anything else. Part of this option is tweaking your nutrition or diet, exercise , mindset, trying different relaxing therapies, using herbs and organic supplements and overall, living a healthy lifestyle. The goal of natural therapy is to provide you with long lasting health benefits.
Conventional Therapy. More and more women are turning to conventional therapy like Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) because they feel like these can give them immediate relief of effects. Although they can help women in menopause relieve symptoms, many studies have confirmed that they increase the risk of estrogen-sensitivity cancers like breast, uterine and ovarian cancer, blood clots, stroke and heart disease. Before you decide to take the plunge, talk to your doctor and weigh the pros and cons.
Integrative Therapy. Basically, this is marrying natural and conventional therapy. The goal of integrative therapy is to make use of all possible therapeutic remedies which is composed of conventional medicine and proven alternative and complementary therapies to address the whole person – body, mind, emotions and spirit.
Whatever you choose, make sure that it can address your needs and help you in the best way possible without causing harm to your body!
Things You Can Do To Make Your Menopause Journey Easier!
- Relax and slow down! Reduce your working hours to have more rest and more time for yourself.
- Start eating right. Look over what you eat, make sure you maintain a healthy diet.
- Maintain an ideal weight. Our weight reflects 80% of what we eat, so what we need is to look over our eating habits.
- Walk outside and get some fresh air. A 30-minute walk after meal can already bring a big difference. Team up with someone or group with the same purpose to find it more fun where you can actually treat it as a habit.
- Quit smoking and drinking. They can exacerbate your menopause symptoms.
- Enjoy! Find something new to do. Something you have never tried before.
- Write on a daily journal. Keep track of your symptoms, express how you feel or simply write what you did for the day and what made you happy.
- Smile more often! This will release your happy hormones and can give you some huge health benefits and menopause relief.
- Don't suffer in silence! Open up and talk with family and friends. As much as we want to handle everything on our own, sometimes, it can make a difference when we have people to lean on!
- Unite with other women in menopause. Join support groups of menopausal women, share your experiences, help fellow women and empower them. Love menopause together!
We should take menopause as an opportunity to accomplish wonderful things that will improve our well-being. Together, we can transform this seemingly “end of life” notion of menopause into a happy journey that's worth every moment!
Are you experiencing menopause at the moment? How are you feeling? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!