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Menopause is a period of a woman’s life that represents the transition from a reproductive to a non-reproductive phase. The main indicator of menopause is the absence of the menstrual period for at least one year. In most cases, menopause begins at the age of 51. This transition doesn’t happen overnight, but it over a longer period of time. This experience is different for each woman.
Sometimes, the first symptoms of menopause can begin even 10 years before a woman officially enters the phase. Although some women think that menopause will ease their life since they won’t need to worry about PMS symptoms, the pain, the need to buy hygienic pads each month, etc. there are some aspects that are rather difficult for women and make this period a difficult one. Let’s take a look at some of these aspects:
- After menopause, it’s not uncommon for women to gain weight, but, this weight gain happens gradually. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, during menopause, women gain five pounds in average, whereas some may gain 15 to 25 pounds. This weight gain increases the chance of breast cancer, depression, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. In order to prevent weight gain, you should exercise on a regular basis and eat a healthy diet.
- In menopause, the progesterone and estrogen levels drop and this leads to nighttime flashes and problems sleeping. In order to reduce the hormone-related sleep problems, take a half-an-hour bath before bed and adhere to a consistent sleep-wake schedule.
- Due to the fluctuating hormones, women may experience changes in brain chemistry, which may further lead to depression. Women become more prone to depression in the perimenopause period. Some of the ways in which you can address mood swings during menopause are meditation, breathing techniques, adequate sleep, a healthy diet, and last but not least, an unconditional support from your family and friends.
Bone Loss & Osteoporosis
- They are very common in women older than 50; even after the age of 35, gradual loss of bone mass in the body may happen and thus, lead to osteoporosis. Estrogen maintains the bones strong, but, during menopause, the ovaries stop the production of this hormone which causes problems with the health of the bones.
- In some cases, hot flashes can last for years. They may begin with the onset of menopause or after the last menstrual period. Rise and drop in body temperature may lead to heart palpitations, anxiety, tension, and a sense of dread. Since they are common during sleep, they may cause insomnia, fatigue, and changes in mood. In order to reduce the chance of hot flashes, avoid hot drinks, spicy food, warm temperatures, alcohol, certain medications, and try to lower stress to a minimum. You should also dress sensibly and have a change of nightclothes at hand.