If you are in your late 30s or 40s, the thought of menopause has probably crossed your mind. You may have begun to dread it, but it is a natural progression that cannot be avoided. Menopause age is not fixed either. It varies from woman to woman and depends on multiple factors.
Sure, you know that you have reached the end of your fertile years when you stop menstruating for a year. It is one of the most significant signs of menopause, but you need to check out the facts for yourself too. Do not believe in the myths that abound around menopause. It is time to dispel them one by one. Go ahead and understand your body and the important changes that you will have to go through even as you advance in years.
It is not abrupt
The process does not come out of the blue when you find yourself being unable to conceive again. On the contrary, the signs of menopause become apparent gradually. Your hormonal levels especially estrogen and progesterone termed as female hormones begin to fall slowly. This starts in your late 30s and will continue for several years. The frequency of menstrual periods begins to fluctuate too until they stop altogether. There is no right or wrong menopause age, however.
Perimenopause: The precursor
The stage just preceding menopause is known as perimenopause. It can go on for 4 to 8 years. The signs of menopause begin to show up one by one, but you may not feel much of a difference. You would experience dryness of skin, particularly in the vaginal area that makes sex slightly difficult. Bouts of hot flashes leave you numb and helpless at times too. No worries! It is all a part of natural ageing, and you should not be unduly anxious. It is normal to have night sweats in your late 30s and 40s that are deemed to be the beginning of possible menopause age.
Approaching menopause is indicated by multiple symptoms with the intensity varying according to the age and health of the concerned person.
You may experience any or several of the following signs that are a warning that you are nearing the end of your reproductive life:-
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
- Dry vagina
- Reduced sexual urge
- Mood swings
It has been noticed that weight gain is a common complaint of women going through menopause. Fortunately, you can manage to remain healthy and shed excess weight by making lifestyle changes that include following a healthy diet and regular exercising. You may feel hungry due to hormonal changes, but that is no excuse for becoming completely inactive and leading a sedentary life. Try to maintain an optimum weight that will enable you to resolve several problems at one go.
The very thought of reaching menopause age is scary for most women. Do not be bogged down with domestic and professional challenges when the signs of menopause start to surface. Walking and jogging are not easy to do post 40 either. Moreover, you are anxious about ageing in general. Do not succumb to stress and make sure to spend quality time with friends and family. Taking up a new hobby may be rewarding as well. Keep yourself engaged fruitfully so that your mind is not clouded with anxiety. Sure, you can resort to medication but only after consulting a doctor.
Yes! The reproductive life comes to an end at a certain time, but that does not mean that you cannot get pregnant later. Perimenopause begins 4 to 8 years before menopause age, but you will still be menstruating. This will enable you to become pregnant if you wish so; although the chances of success are low. However, you may decide to try any of the advanced reproductive techniques such as IVF for conceiving a baby after you reach 50.
It can be treated
This is not the end of productive life though. You can go out and live life to the fullest once you overcome the mild inconveniences. Unfortunately, several women tend to be overwrought with anxiety and remain depressed. Fret not! An experienced medical professional will be able to prescribe certain medicines that will help you feel better.
The best ways to reverse the signs of menopause happen to be via:
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Lubricants to combat vaginal dryness
- Vitamin supplements to arrest osteoporosis
- Psychological counselling to address mood swings and anxiety
- Sleeping aids and lifestyle changes to help one sleep better despite reaching menopause age
Menopause is not the end of life, though. Sure, your body changes, but it is not a disease. There is absolutely no cause for concern either. Instead, it is a new beginning when you are not tied down with familial duties or societal pressure. Enjoy the freedom and soar to new heights without restraint.