While we frequently hear the word, often shrouded in mystery and subject to significant taboo, what does menopause actually mean? Menopause is a biological process that women experience at around the mid-life mark, marking the end of fertility. It’s defined as the permanent cessation of menstrual periods and ovulation (defined as having stopped for at least 12 months), which generally falls between the ages of 45 and 55.
During the menopausal process, a woman’s ovaries gradually stop producing eggs, and the body produces less of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. These hormonal changes can cause a wide range of often quite unpleasant symptoms, including night sweats, significant and unexpected mood changes, and changes in sex drive.
Is menopause normal?
For better or for worse, menopause is a natural, expected stage in the ageing process for many of us, and is something that all women will need to go through. It’s not a disease or an illness, despite the fact that it can have a significant impact on your health and sense of well-being.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
The symptoms of menopause can vary widely from woman to woman and can range from mild to severe. Some women, in rare circumstances, may experience no symptoms at all, while others may find their symptoms to be significantly disruptive to their daily lives. As a result, it’s important to treat your own symptoms as part of a personal experience, and adapt your approach to managing them based on what works for you.
Hot flushes are one of the most commonly experienced symptoms of menopause. They’re characterised by a sudden, unpleasant feeling of heat, often accompanied by sweating and a rapid increase in heart rate. Night sweats are another, similar symptom to hot flushes, but occur during sleep and can result in disrupted sleeping patterns.
Women may experience increased irritability, unexpected mood swings, and depression as a result of hormonal changes. Vaginal dryness and alterations in libido are also common, which can lead to discomfort during sexual activity.
How can you manage the symptoms?
While you can’t stop the menopausal process from happening, there are several treatment options available to help manage the severity of the symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one option that involves taking certain hormones to help create balance in the body. Other treatments may include non-hormonal medications, such as Nutri Advanced Menopause supplements and more general lifestyle changes.
Lifestyle changes can be a really useful way to manage the symptoms of menopause. Beneficial changes include exercise, a healthy diet, stress reduction techniques, and avoiding triggers (such as caffeine or nicotine) that may exacerbate certain symptoms.
Seeking medical assistance
It’s important for women to speak with their doctor about menopause and any symptoms they may be experiencing. Regular health checkups can help to detect any potential issues early on, such as osteoporosis or heart disease.
While menopause can have a significant impact on your general well-being, there are several effective options available to help you manage the symptoms. Before choosing an option, it’s useful to seek medical advice, especially if the symptoms you’re experiencing are especially severe.