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Menopause is the stage in a woman’s life when menstrual cycles have permanently ceased for one year, marking the end of her ability to conceive. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 48-55, however menopause can also occur earlier or later in a woman’s life. Before menopause occurs, women go through a menopausal transition period, called perimenopause, that can last anywhere from a few months to ten years. However, the average length of time is four years. During this natural transition in a woman’s life, changes in reproductive hormones and other reasons unknown can cause symptoms in many women. These symptoms can occur in women during the perimenopause period and they can continue after menopause into postmenopause. Not all women experience the symptoms of menopause the same way nor for the same duration. For those experiencing menopausal symptoms, luckily there are solutions available to help ease any discomfort.
Symptom: Mood changes such as feelings of irritability, anxiety, and depression.
Solution: A healthy lifestyle that promotes physical and mental health can help women with the emotional aspects that may be experienced during menopause. For some women, supplements or medications are the answer. Talk to your healthcare provider about your moods and get information about how to:
Symptom: Insomnia, fatigue, trouble falling asleep, and staying asleep.
Solution: Sleep problems can often be caused by other symptoms experienced during menopause, such as hot flashes, depression, night sweats, and urinary incontinence. However, if other symptoms are not the culprit interfering with your sleep schedule, there are many things you can do to help get a good night’s sleep:
Symptom: Hot Flashes
Solution: Menopausal women who have hot flashes may experience sweating, sudden warmness on their skin, flushed red skin, tingling in their fingers, and a rapid heartbeat. Every woman has different triggers for their hot flashes, therefore it’s important to experiment with what might be causing them for you. Track what you were eating, drinking, wearing, and doing in a journal when the hot flashes occurred to help you discover a pattern. Some common triggers you might try to avoid are: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, spicy foods, stress or anxiety, tight clothing, cigarettes, and hot rooms. Knowing your triggers will help you to ward off hot flashes, however there are also things you can gravitate towards:
Symptom: Night Sweats
Solution: Night sweats are hot flashes or excessive sweating that happen during sleep and can cause some women to wake up. Keep cool throughout the night by following some simple techniques:
Symptom: Urinary incontinence
Solution: Treatment for urinary incontinence depends on a number of factors, including how severe it is and its underlying cause. Stress incontinence is when pressure from sneezing, coughing, or lifting can cause urine to push through the weakened muscle. Urge incontinence is when bladder muscles squeeze uncontrollably. Nocturia is the need to urinate several times throughout the night. Fortunately, there are a number of options to help treat bladder control problems:
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Last Revised 11/15/2017