Menopause is, unfortunately, something all women have to contend with at some point in their lives. Menopause is when a woman's hormone levels begin to lower and her periods stop. Menopause usually occurs between 45 - 55 years of age, however, it can happen earlier for reasons such as; oophorectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries), hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus), chemotherapy, genetic makeup or just natural timing.
Many women suffer with perimenopause symptoms before reaching menopause. Menopause is reached once you have gone 12 months without a period. Perimenopause symptoms can start years before menopause and carry on for years afterwards. Some of the symptoms include; anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, hot flushes and irregular periods. Perimenopause and menopause are a very individual experience for each of us, we all experience these changes and symptoms in different ways. This can be a very trying and difficult time in a woman's life, many women report it to impact their relationships, work and social life in some capacity.
There are both physical and mental symptoms as a result of the chemical changes in your hormones. You may experience several, all or no symptoms during perimenopause and menopause, it is a unique experience for all.
Mental Health Symptoms:
- Low Mood
- Mood Swings
- Low Self-Esteem
- Memory Issues (Brain Fog)
Physical Health Symptoms:
- Hot Flushes
- Sleep Issues
- Chest Palpitations
- Headaches & Migraines
- Muscle & Joint Pain
- Weight Gain
- Dry Skin
- Itchy Skin
- Vaginal Dryness & Pain
- Vaginal Itching or Discomfort During Sex
Symptoms are common and can be present for years so please don't suffer in silence, there are steps you can take to ease your struggles. Please contact your GP once you acknowledge symptoms and/ or a change in your periods. But there are some lifestyle choices you can make which will be beneficial, so here's some Do's and Don't's:
- Maintain a regular sleep pattern - Eat a healthy diet - Keep bones healthy by eating calcium rich foods. - Exercise regularly - Meditate & relax - Talk to people about your symptoms and struggles - Sunlight on your skin (Vitamin D) - Use water based lubricants during sex
- Smoke - Excessively consume alcohol - Drink caffeine regularly
There are some mental health medical practices you can consider during this time. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a great form of therapy which can help with the mental health symptoms and sleep. A development in mindfullness and emotion management can help considerably.
If you are suffering with vaginal dryness and itching, pain during sex or low self esteem regarding the vagina, then a vaginal rejuvenation treatment using Desirial may be worth considering. If you have any questions or would like to talk with a specialist about this treatment please click here. Your GP can also prescribe you with hormone treatments such as HRT, Creams, Testosterone Gels and more, so please contact them also.
Perimenopause and Menopause are a tough time for many women, but please don't suffer in silence. It is very common and there will be many many women experiencing/ experienced something similar. At the Sanctum, we will endeavour to help you in whichever way we can. Whether it's a medical concern regarding issues with your vagina, skin concerns or you need to relax/ talk we have a menopause clinic with Kari.