By Nurse Diane
I recently celebrated a milestone birthday. As I began to approach the half-century mark, one major thought entered my mind. I was so excited about the prospect of ending my menstruation cycle and starting Menopause. For the first couple of months at the start of the year, I had no period, so I began to dream of wearing white pants again. However, that was not to be the case. My cycle returned with a vengeance, and my shopping for white has once again been postponed. I have however started to experience some of the signs of menopause.
Some of the signs that Menopause has begin to occur include:
- Menstrual periods that occur less often and eventually stop
- Heart pounding or racing
- Hot flashes, usually worst during the first 1-2 years
- Night sweats
- Skin flushing
- Sleeping problems (insomnia)
- Decreased interest in sex, possibly decreased response to sexual stimulation
- Forgetfulness (in some women)
- Mood swings including irritability, depression, and anxiety
- Urine leakage
- Vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse
- Vaginal infections
- Joint aches and pains
- Irregular heartbeat
There is no way to prevent the occurrence of Menopause; it is a natural process of aging. Some measures you can take to help ease the symptoms include:
There are other medicines available to help with mood swings, hot flashes, and other symptoms. These include:
- A blood pressure medicine
- A seizure drug that also helps reduce hot flashes
DIET AND LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Hormones are not always needed to reduce symptoms of menopause. There are many steps you can take to reduce symptoms.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods
- Eat soy foods. Soy contains estrogen
- Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D in food or supplements
Exercise and relaxation techniques:.
- Get plenty of exercise.
- Do Kegel exercise every day. They strengthen the muscles of your vagina and pelvis.
- Practice slow, deep breathing whenever a hot flash starts to come on. Try taking six breaths a minute.
- Try yoga, tai chi, or meditation.
- Dress lightly and in layers.
- Keep having sex.
- Use water-based lubricants or a vaginal moisturizer during sex.
- See an acupuncture specialist.
This is World Menopause Week. If you are experiencing "the change" or know someone who is, remember to have patience and give support and encouragement. Before you know it they will be back to their old self in no time (maybe).
(Images from Google)