You have the right to know what is happening to your body. However, the menopause journey is a confusing one. You’re never sure of when it will start or end, nor the diversions it can take. It’s an experience most women go through and is often unforgettable because of the nature of menopause.
Nevertheless, medical professionals and researchers have found signs and symptoms to look for if you think you’re approaching menopause. Here are some directions that will help you feel less overwhelmed.
Perimenopause is the phase where your body will start providing helpful physical clues that help you realise you’re heading for menopause. However, this period can be quite long, as you still might get your period for a year or more, which will happen sporadically.
Menopause, however, strictly means not having had your period for more than 12 months because the estrogen production in your body becomes less as you age, which leads to various symptoms discussed below. Most of these can easily be treated by lifestyle changes, so you don’t have to worry about it causing severe damage to your body. Take a look at some of the common signs to look out for when you’re in this phase.
These are sudden and leave your upper body, especially your face feeling an intense flash of heat. Even though hot flashes last for only a few minutes, they can be extremely difficult to withstand. They slowly dissipate, starting from a few times in the day to a few times a week and eventually after months. They can, however, last a few years after menopause.
You might feel your vagina getting drier as time progresses; it can also make sexual intercourse uncomfortable. Make sure you have some kind of safe lubricant at hand. You might also face problems such as vaginal or bladder infections. There have been reports of women being unable to hold their urine for long periods of time, and this loss of bladder control is pretty normal and is called incontinence.
Around the time of menopause, you’re likely to feel moodier and have mood swings more often. This might also make you irritable to your surroundings, however, there is little scientific evidence backing this. Researchers believe it could be because of your family connections, ageing parents, adult children or people predisposed to mental illnesses like depression or anxiety.
Around the time of menopause, women have reported finding it hard to sleep throughout the night. Before this time, you could have a whole night’s sleep without interruption, but now you’re suddenly waking up throughout the night. In addition, night sweats might wake you up, and you may have trouble falling back to sleep.
Firstly, it is important to remember menopause is normal, and almost all women go through this – you’re not alone. Most women don’t require any treatment, but even if you do, you may only need to change your lifestyle a little bit to accommodate the changes happening in your body. If you’re confused about what changes to make or want to change your diet to feel more comfortable with the new changes, you can get in touch with Maria, a certified Life Coach and Nutritionist here at TLC.
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