On Menopause – Let’s Talk
Why do we talk about sex, losing weight, fashion, diets, mental health, but seldom ever talk about the one thing that will affect over 1.1 billion women by 2025? Given the world’s aging population, it has been estimated that by 2025, women all over the world will be at one stage or another in menopause.
So is this a conversation worth having? Yes it is! This life-changing event will affect all women, and a conversation on this topic would assist women in knowing what to expect, when to expect it and what can be done about it.
Menopause should not be feared or regarded as a taboo subject; instead, it should be considered a natural part of life as we transition through womanhood. It is in essence, another milestone we will encounter on this journey called life as part of what makes us women.
The National Institute on Aging describes menopause as the change or “change of life,” is a normal part of a woman’s life. It is a point in time during the last menstrual cycle, the last period. The years leading up to that last period, when women might be experiencing menopausal symptoms like changes in their monthly cycles or hot flashes, are called the menopausal transition.
This transitional period gives women a chance to focus more on themselves and make the necessary changes required to improve their health as they enter a new phase of life. There is absolutely no way of predicting exactly when this transition will occur as each woman’s biological makeup is different.
While most women will experience some symptoms of menopause, it is imperative to understand that not all women will experience the same symptoms. The symptoms we experience are triggered by our genes, lifestyle, diet and exercise regime. Although this change happens to women typically in their 40s or 50s, it may sometimes occur with women in their 30s.
The average onset of menopause normally occurs around the age of 51 and can take up to 5 years for the menopausal transition to be completed. During this period, about 75% of women experience some sort of menopausal symptoms such as:
- Change in period, this may be the first thing you notice
- Hot flashes – a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part or all over your body
- Night sweats – hot flashes that are severe enough to wake you from your sleep
- Vaginal health issues and loss of bladder control
- Sleep – not experiencing a good night’s sleep
- Sex – you could become less interested or more interested in sex
- Mood (mood swings, depression, and irritability)
- Loss or thinning of hair
- Water retention, unexplained weight gain especially in the hips, waist and stomach
- Low metabolism
- Chronic fatigue and morning sluggishness.
Women experiencing these symptoms should seek help if needed. Although there are many pharmaceutical drugs available, there are also many natural alternatives that have been used by women for thousands of years. These natural alternatives are able to successfully treat the symptoms of menopause without harmful side effects and are excellent at ensuring that the change affecting the body does not affect your quality of life.