Menopause happens suddenly, and you’re going to be uncomfortable during the phase. It is going to be a very difficult, very trying time. Sex is no longer satisfying during menopause. These are just some of the things we hear about menopause, and we’ve come to regard them as gospel truth. When we think of menopause, discomfort is the first thing that comes to mind.
Many people, not willing to deal with menopause, turn to hormone therapy (HT) for quick, long-lasting treatment. Others invest in natural remedies for menopause symptoms, such as increasing their water intake or meditating. Whatever you choose to do, it’s best to understand more about menopause and what you’ll be going through.
1. MENOPAUSE BEGINS AT 50
Actually, menopause begins at 40. Or 55. Or 63. It can also start at 50, but the average is actually 52. The point is, there is no exact age. Transition period – otherwise known as perimenopause – starts anywhere from your 30’s to your 60’s and can last anywhere from a few months to 13 years prior actual menopause.
Technically, menopause is defined as the absence of menstruation for a period of one year. In some cases, you may still have periods, even though you’re experiencing unusual fatigue, hot flashes, mood swings, irritability, and weight gain. This is perimenopause, and some can experience it as early as 30.
To get a rough idea of when it will start, turn to genetics and your hormonal activity. 52 is the average age, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only age.
2. MENOPAUSE MEANS DEPRESSION
It’s normal to experience irritability, anxiety, lack of energy, and difficulty concentrating as you go through menopause. But is menopause really the culprit behind the mess?
Mood swings do not equate to depression. During menopause, most women do become more emotional. They are easily angered or brought to tears, and they are often irritable and prefer to spend time alone.
These are simply mood swings brought upon by the hormonal changes and the discomfort caused by hot flashes and sleep disorders. They are not, in any way, symptoms of depression. Neither are there higher rates of depression among menopausal women. Depression and menopause have nothing to do with each other.
3. WEIGHT GAIN IS INEVITABLE
Weight gain is a part of menopause. Contrary to popular belief, however, it is not inevitable. Women still have perfect control over their weight, even during menopause.
In 2003, a study was conducted, following 535 premenopausal women all the way through their menopause. Results showed that the women were able to remain at their baseline weight or lower as long as they followed a 1,300 calorie diet and burned 1,000 to 1,500 calories a week.
So why the myth? It is harder to shed weight after menopause. In fact, menopausal women who don’t watch their intake experience a gradual one- to two-pound weight gain per year. However, the moment you let yourself think there’s nothing you can do about it, it’ll definitely come true.
4. SEX DURING MENOPAUSE IS UNCOMFORTABLE
During menopause, you’ll experience a definite drop in estrogen. This chemical is responsible for causing the body to react to arousing situations. It also keeps the vaginal walls hydrated. Lack of estrogen results in vaginal dryness, and this can make sex painful.
The vaginal walls also become thinner and less elastic, making sex extremely uncomfortable. It can lead to painful intercourse and even burning.
If this is such a problem, simple topical treatments such as lubrication and estrogen cream are perfectly safe and can be used liberally during intercourse.
All in all, menopause is not as horrible as some may have led you to believe. It’s actually a beautiful, empowering time in any woman’s life. When it comes to dealing with it, a positive outlook is honestly the best natural treatment for menopause symptoms there is.