There is no cure for menopause, and though bothersome, it is a natural and necessary part of life for women. The symptoms of this condition are vast, vary from woman to woman, and tend to develop in stages.
There are treatments to abate the symptoms of this process, and women experiencing prolonged perimenopause have plenty of treatment options as well. Life has been made easier with medical science, but it is important to accept the inevitable by understanding it.
What Is Perimenopause?
This is the period of time before a woman experiences full-blown menopause. Varying amongst women is the time period of this condition; Some women experience this for around four years, others a few months, and some experience it for up to 10 years. Perimenopause usually affects those in their late 30s to 40s.
This is the time in a woman’s life where she goes twelve months without menstruation. Experienced by women in their 40s and 50s, this affects all women at some point in life. Very rare cases exist where young women become menopausal, but the age group most commonly affected are those 41 to 60.
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Breast tenderness
- Mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping and fatigue
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty concentrating and memory loss
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Estrogen and other hormone levels are decreased in menopausal women, thus exacerbating the symptoms. HRT is a treatment in which women are administered estrogen in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms and discomfort.
Low-dose vaginal estrogen cream is used to alleviate vaginal dryness and any changes in the area. Antidepressants are prescribed in extreme circumstances in which women have incredibly irregular mood swings and depression; they can also be used to combat hot flashes. Clonidine is a blood pressure medication used to reduce hot flashes. Other medications that keep hormone levels balanced are administered as well, such as daily vitamins, supplements, and even testosterone.
Diet and Exercise
Foods rich in calcium are essential when going through menopause because osteoporosis often results from the amenorrhea caused by the condition. Foods rich in iron, soluble fibers, and little fat and sodium should make up the majority of the diet for a menopausal woman.
Exercise is crucial in strengthening the body that is growing weak due to a lack of nutrients. Maintaining a normal, healthy weight ensures that your body will not need to work harder than it already has to. Additionally, exercise is therapeutic and abates the anxiety and depression experienced by menopausal and perimenopausal women.
Accepting that life is different after undergoing this change is important, and adjusting your lifestyle is necessary. Aside from changes in diet, exercise, and medications, ridding yourself of a toxic environment is a good consideration, simply because it adds unnecessary stress during a fragile time. Embracing a happier, healthier lifestyle full of acceptance will ensure that this condition does not control you, but that you reign superior over it.