Today we are recognizing World Menopause Week June 8 - 12. Who knew there was a whole week dedicated to Menopause??? I was a little wary about researching and writing this article as I am approaching this stage in my life. I thought I would open with a joke...but I couldn't find much that others were laughing about. However one of my favorite quotes is...MENtal illness, MENstrual cramps,MENtal breakdown, MENopause, did u ever realize how all our problems start with men?
Menopause is the transition period in a woman's life when her ovaries stop producing eggs, her body produces less estrogen and progesterone, and menstruation becomes less frequent, eventually stopping altogether this usually lasts 1 to 3 years. Menopause is a natural event that normally occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.
Common symptoms of menopause include:
- Heart pounding or racing
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Skin flushing
- Sleeping problems (insomnia)
- Decreased interest in sex, possibly decreased response to sexual stimulation
- Forgetfulness (in some women)
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Mood swings including irritability, depression, and anxiety
- Urine leakage
- Vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse
- Vaginal infections
- Joint aches and pains
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood and urine tests are done to check for changes in hormone levels
- Pelvic exam to check for changes in the vaginal wall
With severe symptoms of Menopause, some women may be prescribed hormone therapy Several major studies have questioned the health benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy, including the risk of developing breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots.
The good news is that you can take many steps to reduce your symptoms without taking hormones:
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods
- Dress lightly and in layers
- Get adequate calcium and vitamin D in food or supplements
- Get plenty of exercise
Menopause is a natural and expected part of a woman's development and cannot be prevented, but made you look (grin).
You will feel better by learning all you can about menopause and talking with your doctor about your health and your symptoms. If your symptoms are causing you discomfort or concern, your doctor can teach you about treatment options and help you to make wise choices.
Note from Terry. While we have covered a very difficult topic and included several cartoons and pictures to find some humor in this very tough condition. My wife continues to deal with this after six years and my only advice to others is to be understanding, give your wife, mother, who ever lots of room and be forgiving for some of her actions and words.