Menopause is the moment that signals the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. This phenomenon is mainly because, approaching menopause the body start producing less oestrogen—a hormone involved in many bodily functions in a woman’s physiology. In other words, your whole body will undergo some changes, and not just physical but also emotional.
Some changes will last for a couple of years, while others will remain for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s crucial to know what these changes are to find out how you can adjust accordingly. But before that, you need to know when to seek help from professionals.
When to see your doctor
When experiencing menopause, you must see your doctor regularly so they can monitor any changes within your body. After all, every woman has different experiences during menopause.
You may get some advice from your female friends, but that doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Hence, it would be best if you had a professional in this field, particularly a gynecologist.
Perhaps the most alarming scenario is when you’re experiencing heavy bleeding or menorrhagia during or after menopause. If that’s the case, visit your gynecologist immediately.
Now let’s see which are the different changes during menopause:
- Hot Flushes and Sleeplessness
During menopause, you’ll have to deal with hot flushes for quite some time.
A hot flush refers to the sudden hotness of your body, mainly your upper torso. Symptoms include sweating, blushing, and reddening. Immediately after a hot flash, you may feel cold. The whole process lasts for up to five minutes and can occur up to 30 times a day.
The good news is that not every woman gets hot flushes. Approximately 80% of women experience hot flashes, and if you’re lucky, you might be part of the lucky 20%. If not, then you’ll have to bear with it for a number of years, variable to each women, but if you’re somewhat lucky, it’ll only last for a year.
Discomfort as a result of hot flushes may also cause you to have trouble sleeping. You may even experience hot flashes while sleeping, so interruptions are expected.
- Bone Health
Oestrogen improves the calcium absorption of the body. That’s why during menopause, once your oestrogen production declines, it’ll become much harder to maintain healthy bones.
This is precisely why most women only get osteoporosis after going through menopause. Unfortunately, this change lasts forever, although you can take steps for your bone’s health.
- Eat and drink dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and milk
- Include leafy greens in your diet
- Eat fish more often
- Avoid taking drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and preservatives like soda
You can also take osteoporosis medications, which usually involve pills that people take weekly, monthly, or annually.
- Cardiovascular Problems
Oestrogen is also related to your arteries health. The more oestrogen, the more flexible your blood vessels are. That’s why during menopause, you’ll become more susceptible to cardiovascular problems, as your vessel lose tone.
As always, you need to make sure you can adjust to this change. The best way to do that is to improve your arteries’ flexibility by exercising, eating fruits and vegetables and also complementing your diet with specific supplements proven to improve your heart health.
- Weight Gain
Although most people will say that menopause leads to weight gain, it’s not entirely true. Weight gain is the product of aging, but by the time you experience menopause, you’ll most likely reach the age where your metabolism has slow down.
As such, it’s much easier to prevent weight gain with these healthy tips:
- Mind what you eat
- Eat protein- and soluble fiber-rich foods
- Include dairy products in your diet
- Exercise regularly
Weight gain is perhaps the most noticeable change during menopause, so it’s relatively easy to distinguish.
- Changes in Your Hair
As a result of lower oestrogen levels, you may find your hair much shorter and thinner during menopause. It may also display signs of brittleness as it breaks more easily than before.
The worst-case scenario is you’ll experience hair loss. Make sure you avoid hair treatments that involve chemicals as it may cause additional damage. Instead, you can try remedies such as the following:
- Include food with a plethora of nutrients
- Prevent UV rays and pollutions
- Steer away from hair products with a lot of chemicals
- Use natural or herbal hair products
No one wants to experience hair loss. However, even with severe menopause symptoms, hair loss is still a rare case.
- Mood Swings
Mood swings are also a common occurrence for women undergoing menopause. Some of the most common mood changes include:
- Lack of motivation
Oestrogen is also involved with your brain receptors that are in charge of emotions, and that’s why mood swings are common. For example, oestrogen affects the endorphins molecules, which are responsible for making you feel happy.
It’s possible to feel good by doing breathing exercises, meditating, and eating foods that have antidepressant effects such as:
As you can see, changes during menopause affect not only your physical health but also your mental health.
- Vaginal Atrophy
Vaginal atrophy refers to the drying, inflammation, or thinning of the vaginal walls, which often occurs when your body produces fewer oestrogen hormones. This condition may result in painful sexual intercourse and other urinary problems.
Although there’s no foolproof method to prevent this condition, you can at least minimize the adverse effects of menopause with these products:
- Moisturisers restore the moisture on your vaginal area. Blossom balm has received 5 star ratings by our readers and is one you should try.
- Lubricants can reduce discomfort during sexual activity. Moreover, lubricants can spice up the situation. I always recommend Motion Lotion as one of the best intimate must-haves.
Remember how menopause reduces the flexibility of your arteries? Sexual intercourse after menopause helps stimulate blood flow, so it’s crucial to maintain vaginal health even with old age.
- Breast Changes
One of the most critical tasks of oestrogen is to regulate lactation in your breast and maintain their shape and size. During menopause, your breasts are bound to be saggy and have lower density and fullness.
You can, however, retain the size and shape of your breasts by exercising regularly.
Menopause comes with good news and bad news. The good news is you’ll no longer experience painful menstruation. The bad news is it brings a lot of changes which you’ll have to get accustomed to whether you like it or not. With this guide, you can prepare for these changes, so you don’t have to suffer during your menopause.