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The Menopause Manual: Safeguarding Yourself Through the Transition

December 3, 2020

If your life were a book, menopause would mark the beginning of its best chapter, gilt-edged and golden, a glorious keyhole to the years yet to come. Menopause heralds a second childhood, tied together by an autumn phase of discovery and a new adventure. As fulfilling as this new phase is, menopause itself can give rise to symptoms that can often cause discomfort and unease.

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Understanding Menopause

Menopause refers to the continued absence of menstruation for a period of six months. However, it is not a phenomenon that occurs overnight. The process is tapered and the window leading up to menopause is known as perimenopause. On average, menopause sets in when a woman is about 51 years old, although symptoms can manifest much earlier. Perimenopause paves the way for the body to make necessary hormonal changes in the lead up to menopause.

Through both these phases, oestrogen and progesterone reserves see-saw, as the ovaries continue to operate on the limited hormones available. These hormonal shifts are often evidenced through mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia and bone degeneration, each symptom a nod to the body’s changing hormonal landscape.

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Symptoms of Menopause

1. Symptom:

Hot Flashes

Remedies:

- Engage in frequent, paced exercise

- Opt for acupuncture and acupressure therapy

- Avoid hot beverages, spicy foods and alcohol

- Stay cool and choose light, airy clothes

- Keep water close by

2. Symptom:

Breast Tenderness

Remedies:

- Apply an ice pack

- Apply a warm heating pad

- Perform gentle massages

- Wear a support bra

3. Symptom:

Vaginal Dryness

Remedies:

- Apply sesame oil

- Apply a store-bought lubricant at regular intervals

4. Symptom:

Loss of Libido

Remedies:

- Moisturise with lubricants

- Perform sensual massages

- Perform Kegel exercises

- Consider hormone replacement therapy

5. Symptom:

Urinary Incontinence

Remedies:

- Stay away from caffeinated drinks and alcohol

- Restrict your consumption of spicy foods

- Consult your doctor for a course of medication

6. Symptom:

Mood Swings

Remedies:

- Exercise regularly

- Meditate often

- Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol

- Augment your intake of fruits and vegetables

Must Read: Soya, a Good/Bad friend for Menopause women?

Measures to Minimise the Impact of Menopause

Menopause can sometimes lead to medical conditions that stem from hormonal changes. Two of these are spotlighted below.

High cholesterol is a common effect of menopause. The best way to combat the condition is to be consistent with aerobic exercise and to adopt a nutrition plan recommended by an experienced nutritionist.  

Bone Degeneration

Menopause can trigger bone degeneration so it is imperative that you enhance your intake of Vitamin D and calcium. Your doctor may also recommend supplements that you can take to keep your calcium levels in check.

Conquering Menopause

Menopause is a temporary period that is almost like a Pandora’s box, presenting different symptoms for different women. Menopause is followed by a window called postmenopause, where symptoms ease but may not be entirely absent.

The truth is, there’s no standard protocol that menopause follows; your experience may be very different from your sister’s, for instance. The secret to surmounting the condition lies in managing its symptoms in the best way. Make a list of symptoms that strike and use this guide to turn them around.

Must Read: Common Problems Associated With Menopause

Your life’s best chapter ought to have a stellar beginning. Make it count.

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