Menopause is one of the major transitions that occurs in a woman’s body. Though it is a natural phenomenon, it can be overwhelming for you. Menopause comes with many hormonal changes affecting each woman differently.
Menopause is a period of multiple changes happening simultaneously in your body. Do you know about these problems related to menopause? If you’re not aware of these yet, we believe it’s critical for every woman to understand them in detail.
If menopause is something that makes you uneasy, this article will enlighten you. It has everything you need to know about the menopause symptoms and solutions.
What is menopause?
Menopause is the point when a woman’s menstrual cycle stops. Her reproductive cycle ceases, and she cannot be pregnant anymore.
What is the right age for menopause? It ranges from 45–55 years and occurs naturally. However, menopause can also happen early because of cancer treatment, surgery, or family history.
How do you identify whether you are at the menopause stage or not? It is when you do not have a menstrual period for a year.
The natural process of menopause is gradual and takes place in three stages.
Stages of menopause
- Perimenopause. It is the onset of menopause that starts ten years before actual menopause happens. A woman’s body produces less estrogen gradually. However, you still have your menstrual cycle, and you can become pregnant.
- Menopause. It is the point when you do not have a menstrual cycle anymore. Your ovaries do not release eggs and produce oestrogen.
- Post menopause. You experience various menopausal symptoms during this stage. It includes hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and body odour.
What are the problems in menopause?
A woman’s body goes through a major transition during menopause. The hormonal changes in her body give rise to a range of physiological issues. Some might experience intense symptoms while some are mild.
Here is a list of problems you might experience throughout your menopause. This will help you understand the shift in your body better.
- Hot flashes. Hot flashes are among the common menopause symptoms. It is nothing but a sudden flash of heat and sweat. It is an uncomfortable vasomotor symptom that spreads like a sudden warmth all over the body. When will you experience hot flashes? Hot flashes will usually start with your menopause cycle. You might experience them in your post menopause period or for the rest of your life.
- Vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness occurs when the vaginal tissues are not well-moisturized. Estrogen moisturizes the vaginal lining keeping it healthy. But lower levels of estrogen production during menopause cause vaginal dryness. The tissues and skin around the vagina lose their elasticity. The condition, vaginal atrophy, makes vaginal skin thinner and dryer.
- Body odour. Stay calm if you are noticing a change or increase in your body odor in your 40s or 50s. It is a common symptom that many of you will experience. It affects various body parts, including armpits, groin, feet, and hair. Sweating during menopause is a major cause of body odor. Hot flashes and night sweats increase perspiration affecting your freshness and smell. Changes in estrogen levels affect the usual vaginal flora resulting in an unpleasant smell in the groin area.
- Joint and muscle pain. You might know that osteoporosis is a common problem among females in their 50s. But can you imagine that menopause is one of the common causes behind it? Yes, menopause leads to loss of bone density rapidly. Menopause makes the bones weak and brittle. It makes postmenopausal women vulnerable to spinal, wrist, and hip fractures.
- Urinary incontinence. Menopause loosens the vaginal and urethral tissues making them less elastic. It urges the menopausal woman to urinate urgently and frequently. It is followed by a loss of urine known as urinary incontinence.
You may also go through stress incontinence. It is the loss of urine during laughing or coughing. You can be susceptible to urinary infections often during menopause.
The list of menopausal problems that women face is endless. Here are some other symptoms you might experience.
- Insomnia or difficulty in sleeping
- Emotional changes like mood swings, irritation, mild depression
- Breast tenderness
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Changes in sex drive
Solutions to Menopause Problems
It is not wrong to say that every problem has a solution. Undoubtedly, women suffer through multiple symptoms during menopause. However, accurate and timely body care can relieve their severity.
Here are some solutions that you need to know and implement during your menopause.
- Diet. Improving your diet habits will give you relief during menopause up to an extent. Limiting your caffeine consumption and cutting down on spices can reduce the severity of your hot flashes. Try to increase eating foods like soybeans, lentils, grains, chickpeas, beans, fruits, and vegetables. A protein-rich diet will balance your estrogen levels in the body. Do you know how to deal with body odor during menopause? Consume Vitamin C-rich foods like kiwis, cherries, peppers, and broccoli. Vitamin C is a detoxifying agent that treats vaginal odors. You must also take rudimentary measures like controlling your diet consisting of sulfur-containing food, meat, fish, dairy, seafood, etc. , maintain cleanliness, stay hydrated, and consider wearing the right clothes.
- Prescribed medications. Your doctor will prescribe specific medications if the menopause symptoms bother you extremely. Remedies are available in the form of estrogen cream, tablet or ring to replace estrogen levels. You can apply creams and pills directly into the vagina with an applicator. Vaginal creams work on dryness in and around the vagina. Antidepressants like SSRIs and SNRIs and birth control pills manage menopause symptoms like mood swings and hot flashes. Calcitonin, like Miacalcin and Forticol, will prevent bone loss during menopause.
- Exercise. Exercise will be fruitful in relieving menopause symptoms, especially if you are dealing with hot flashes and insomnia. Here, yoga will keep you calm and reduce your anxiety or fear related to menopause. Kegel exercises strengthen pelvic floor muscles. It will help you get relief from frequent urination. Moderate exercise for around 150 minutes a week or running for 75 minutes a week will do wonders during your menopause.
Menopause is a part of a woman’s reproductive life cycle. It is the time when a woman goes through several changes in her body. The reduced levels of estrogen result in various problems affecting physical and mental health.
Managing the menopause symptoms is challenging. However, you can do so by adopting a healthy lifestyle. It mainly includes a balanced diet, increased hydration, and exercise. Do not hesitate to consult a doctor if you experience anything unusual in your body.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.