Menopause, when it happens naturally, is another phase in a woman’s growth and life cycle that is reached roughly around the age of 51. In some rare cases, menopause can happen prematurely, occurring as early as in a woman’s 40s. Whether happening naturally, or as a result of some other cause, as a woman ages, she should begin to prepare herself mentally and physically for the changes that are likely to occur in her body. Sometimes the changes occurring can seem unrelated to the issue of menopause; and without the knowledge and awareness of these changes, a woman may also be unaware that certain changes are also varied and can show up in varying degrees from one woman to the next.
How Your Body Changes With Menopause
One of the first changes a woman who is entering menopause may experience in her body is an irregular period. It is expected that irregular periods can continue for up to four years once a woman has begun entering menopause; after which, her periods are expected to stop entirely. Another expected and an often talked about symptom of menopause is that of the dreaded hot flashes. Other symptoms that may also occur include:
- A lowered sex drive
- More frequent (and sometimes violent and sudden) mood swings
- Sexual intimacy may become painful on account of vaginal dryness and soreness
- Bouts of insomnia
- Night Sweats
- More frequent headaches
- Anxiety, with increased heart rate – to the point where one can feel like the heart is racing.
The symptoms of menopause can be less severe with dietary and lifestyle changes. It is important to avoid unhealthy habits like smoking, consuming too much alcohol, not drinking enough water, and lack of exercise; while choosing to embrace healthier ones. Exercising, eating well, drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water (minimum) per day, and meditating are all just a few practices that can help lessen the symptoms. Just as each woman’s symptoms can vary, each woman should also choose which healthy habits will work best for her in lessening the severity. If you are going through menopause, contact your physician who can help you navigate the necessary lifestyle changes, as well as recommend over-the-counter treatments and prescribed medications or therapies that will assist.