A female enters menopause when she has no periods for over 1 year. Throughout perimenopause (before menopause) and menopause, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body fluctuate as the female’s ovaries try to keep up with the normal levels of hormone production.
Symptoms of menopause can be very troubling, discomforting and at times painful for the female. Read ahead to learn about common menopause symptoms and how to deal with them and improve your quality of life.
Hot flashes are the sudden feeling of feverish heat and are a common symptom of menopause. Phytoestrogens are the plant-derived hormones that can partially reverse the hormonal changes occurring due to menopause. Soy-based foods are enriched with high levels of phytoestrogens. So, eating lots of soy-based foods like tofu can be helpful in dealing with hot flashes. Other supplements helpful in treating or controlling hot flashes include-
- Wild yam
- Red clover
- Black cohosh
- Dong Quai
Exercising thrice a week for a minimum of 20 minutes each time can also ease hot flashes by lowering the amount of circulating FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) in the body. Also, avoid triggers that can make you hotter like hot beverages, spicy foods, alcohol, etc.
Breast tenderness and swelling is another common symptom of menopause. Your doctor can prescribe you effective drugs to help decrease breast swelling and pain. Some herbs including black currant oil and evening primrose oil can also bring potential relief for mild symptoms. (Also Read: How and why does aging effects a woman’s breasts? )
Decreased estrogen levels lead to thinning of the vaginal lining and diminished vaginal secretions. Vaginal dryness and irritation can make sexual intercourse painful, repelling and even unpleasant. Regular sexual stimulation can help vaginal elasticity. Using lubricants during sex can also reduce pain during intercourse. (Also Read: How and why is Sex affected post Menopause? )
It is very important here to keep in mind that there are a bunch of causes and conditions other than menopause that can cause painful sex. So, always consulting a gynecologist is wise and safe.
Spotting or irregular bleeding
As the female moves through perimenopause, her uterus begins to shrink slightly. The endometrium (inner tissues of the uterus) no longer builds up to shed on a predictable menstrual cycle. Many females complain of spotting or bleeding post-menopause, which may last a few days, and be light or heavy. Visit your gynecologist to consult and get a proper diagnosis. Bleeding or spotting post-menopause can be due to cancer or any serious health problem. So, avoid delaying treatment and visit your gynecologist to avoid any problems.
Urinary leakage or Stress Urinary Incontinence
Nearly 30% of females aged 50 to 64 have problems like urinary incontinence. Decreased estrogen levels may cause or contribute to problems like urinary leakage. The laser vaginal tightening procedure is a highly successful treatment for this. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can strengthen the vaginal muscles and relieve symptoms like painful sex or urinary leakage.
As metabolism slows down after menopause, females are likely to gain weight. Weight loss in menopause demands the same approach it does at any other time in life.
Set a workout schedule and follow it precisely for 3 to 5 days a week and maintain a varied, nutritious diet in calorie goal range.
Insomnia after menopause is commonly due to night sweats or hot flashes. But sometimes females seem to have a hormone shift which makes them wakeful around the same time each night.
Insomnia can be frustrating and exhausting. Meditate for a few minutes each night before bed. It can calm you down and put you in a peaceful state of mind to help fall asleep. Taking a warm or cool bath can regulate body temperature and help you sleep comfortably and relaxed.