Menopause is just another stage of life a woman goes through as her childbearing years end. Your estrogen and progesterone hormones are waning during this period and it causes health changes throughout your body during menopause. You are losing your ability to reproduce and the fertility cycle shuts down. You no longer have your menstrual cycles, and your physical feminine qualities from estrogen may fade. You may start to grow facial hair and your voice may lower. These effects are from testosterone becoming stronger as you lose estrogen.
They are a sign that you are approaching the golden years; the markers to the “change of life” you, and thousands of women before you, have endured. Some women deny them and try to cover up, but others welcome the next stage of life with open arms. How you react can help you take menopause in stride.
Some women experience depression around the time of perimenopause, partly because of the hormonal changes and partly by the events that can happen in midlife, such as kids moving out, divorce, menopausal weight gain, difficulties with their sex life, and stress over missed periods early on, and so on.
Estrogen withdrawal causes the physical and mental changes you are going through. There are hormone replacement therapies you can take, creams you can use and nutritional supplements and herbs that have been historically taken during this time of life.
Having a trusted doctor or herbalist can greatly smooth the way for you. It’s OK to ask for recommendations from friends of who they see. Some days you will feel crazy and some days you are yourself again, so do not take this stage of life too seriously. Many jokes about menopause point out the absurdities you feel and make you want to laugh. In fact, laughing is just what you need to get you through a bad day. In addition, a good support group, having friends going through that same thing you are will greatly benefit you.
During and after menopause, you are at a higher risk for osteoporosis and heart disease. You can fracture your bones easier and are at risk for blood clots. Make sure to check with your doctor and get tested. Start eating a healthy diet, taking vitamin D3, and exercising daily. Walking is the best, but you also need to lift some weights regularly to keep up your muscle tone and build bones. Again, a group will help you stick with it and have fun while exercising. Menopause is not the end, it is just a part of aging and you still have the rest of your life to look forward to.