Menopause- Best Years of Your Life

Facts About Women and Menopause

Menopause is a normal phase in a woman’s life and you can do a number of things to ease any negative symptoms. Some sail through this time with few discomforts and others need medical or some type of natural interventions to ease the symptoms.

Perimenopause has a median age of 47.5 years and is defined as the period of transition to natural menopause when the body undergoes endocrine and biological changes resulting from declining hormones from the ovaries. These are a few risk factors for some women entering menopause early: smoking may cause you to enter menopause 1-2 years earlier; family history as women in families tend to enter menopause at about the same age; never having had a baby; childhood treatment for cancer; and hysterectomy that removes the uterus but not the ovaries.

Woman Exercising

source allwomen
source allwomen

Perimenopausal Symptoms

Perimenopausal symptoms may include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle: Ovulation becomes more erratic which can effect the duration of your menstrual cycle and you may skip periods
  • Hot flashes and sleep problems: About 65-75% of women experience hot flashes and out of those 15% experience more severe menopausal symptoms. Hot flashes happen when the estrogen level decreases and the small blood vessels dilate inappropriately. Sleep problems are often due to night sweats.
  • Mood changes: Some experience mood swings, irritability or depression, but the cause may be sleep disruption or other menopausal symptoms.
  • Vaginal dryness and bladder problems: As estrogen levels diminish, your vaginal tissue may lose lubrication and elasticity, and sometimes intercourse may become painful. A few women have problems with incontinence.
  • Decreased fertility: With irregular ovulation you ability to conceive diminishes but it is possible to become pregnant as long as you’re having periods.
  • Fluctuations in sexual desire: This is true for some women, but many who have had satisfactory sexual intimacy before menopause will continue to enjoy intimacy for years to come.
  • Loss of Bone Density: Declining estrogen levels can cause lose of bone density more quickly than you can replace which increases your risk for osteoporosis
  • Changing cholesterol: Estrogen helped keep healthier cholesterol levels, so as it declines this may become a problem.

Perimenopause can last for over 6 years, but 4 years is the average, and it usually ends after 12 months of no menstrual periods.

Osteoporosis

source common wickimedia
source common wickimedia

Violets

source flickr
source flickr

Herbs and Diet to Alleviate Symptoms

The western world average of menopause is 51 years of age. There is no relationship between a woman's first period and her last. The age of menopause is not related to race, height, number of children, or use of contraceptives. Many women pass through menopause without the need to see a doctor. Some women get prescription estrogen from their doctors but there are many natural ways to treat menopausal symptoms.

Approximately 38% of the women receiving prescriptions quit after 1 year due to side effects, such as; menstrual bleeding, bloating, premenstrual irritability, cramps, breast tenderness, depression and a few have headaches plus weight gain. You are also more prone to get gall bladder disease while on prescriptive estrogen.

There are some great herbal remedies that will ease menopausal symptoms:

  • Vitamin E helps improve the stability of blood vessels and wards off the erratic dilation of blood vessels which cause hot flashes. Normal dosage is 400 IU, but you can take up to 1200 IU after discussing it with your MD.
  • Black Cohosh (cimicifuga racemosa) is very effective. Start with 10 drops twice a day; increase 5 drops every other day until you get a satisfactory result. It takes about 4 weeks for the full effect.
  • Moutherwort Weed (leonurus cardiaca) is a good herbal ally for moderating symptoms. Dilute 5-15 drops of the tincture of moutherwort made from fresh flowering tops in water or tea. You can drink several cups a day.
  • Common Chickweed (stellaria meda) is another herb good for hot flashes. Use 25-40 drops of fresh plant tincture once or twice a day to reduce severity and frequency of hot flashes. You should see results in about 1-2 weeks
  • Elder Flower (sambucus Canadensis) resets the body’s thermostat treating hot flashes and night sweats. Use 25-50 drops of the elder blossom tincture several times daily and receive rapid results.
  • Violet (viola odorata) is used to cool those hot flashes. East leaves on a salad. Violets grow in many people’s lawns. You can also brew teas by steeping 1 ounce of dried violets in a quart of boiling water, letting in sit overnight, then strain and refrigerate. Drink it within 48 hours with just a cup a day. Some studies have shown that consuming these products twice a day can reduce the number of hot flashes.
  • Herbs containing phytoestrogens such as Red Clover have been used in Asia for thousands of years to treat a number of diseases, and recently have been shown to improve bone density and reduce the number of hot flashes.
  • Peruvian Maca is a root believed to work by stimulating glands in the body to produce their own estrogen and testosterone. It is cultivated in the Andes. It is claimed to reduce PMS symptoms, reduce depression, reduce mood swings, hot flashes, help with sleep disturbance and create a general feeling of well being.
  • Natural progesterone creams usually contain extracts from Mexican wild yam, which contains a substance similar to the progesterone produced in the body. The creams are applied to the parts of the body where the skin in thinner, such as between the breasts, inner thighs, inner forearms or stomach. Many woman claim they help with symptoms but there are no studies to back this up.
  • Chaste tree berry (Chasteberry or Vitex agnus castus) has been used since ancient Greek times to treat many ailments and it thought to stimulate progesterone production and alleviate severe PMS and a wide range of Menopausal symptoms.

Obviously this is a long list of herbs for treatment and you might want to investigate a little further with a good herbal book or talk to someone at a health food store to get further information

Benefits of Exercise and Yoga

The benefits of exercise for the Perimenopausal or Post Menopausal woman are numerous and very important to your overall health. They include preventing weight gain as your metabolism slows with age, helping to prevent lose of muscle mass, reducing the risk of breast cancer, reducing the risk of other diseases, and boosting your mood. Physical activity after menopause should improve your psychological health.

Yoga stretches can benefit both the body and the mind, bringing energy and balance. This is something you can do without any negative side effects. It causes you to listen more carefully to your body and you will benefit from the awareness of the moment. For example, maybe your shoulders are tensed; then, you stop and consciously relax you shoulders. Your posture will improve and you will be more capable of releasing anger, instead of letting it build up. You will receive more self confidence and it will help treat depression. You will find your rest better at night.

Yoga Video

Yoga Exercise with Props

source yogafitness
source yogafitness

More about Yoga

Yoga will reduce menopausal symptoms be balancing the endocrine system. It helps smooth out the hormonal and glandular changes that take place at this time of life. Regularly practice all of the categories of poses to stimulate the organs and tissues. The poses are standing, sitting, lying down, backbends, forward bends, twists, and inverted (upside down) poses.

The inverted poses are particularly important as they have a powerful effect on the neuroendocrine system, allowing fresh oxygenated blood to flow to the glands in the head and neck. The body is quite capable of adjusting to menopause as the ovaries slow down if the other organs are functioning well and they will continue to produce all the hormones a woman needs for the rest of her life.

Some of the more important Yoga poses for menopausal women include; the supported lying down pose called “The Goddess Pose”, The Dog Pose”, The “Menopausal Bridge Pos” and “The Great Rejuvenator.”

It is most important to practice Yoga’s restorative poses which are passive poses where the body is completely supported by Yoga props. Props help you stay in poses for a longer period of time and they conserve energy, allowing the nervous system to relax. A Yoga bolster provides a firm support for the entire length of your spinal column from your head to your lower back when lying down. This is just one of the available props.

Joint flexibility is important as well and will improve range of motion. Gentle exercises that promote mobility, flexibility and relaxation while decreasing stiffness and soreness often help the menopausal woman. Other helpful tips are to use stairs when possible. Daily walking is also some of the best exercise.

Deep breathing exercise is very effective at creating a calm, peaceful mind. You sit comfortably and close your eyes while relaxing your muscles. Slowly breathe in and out through the nose becoming aware of each breath. Try to disregard all distractions. Meditation is extremely useful done regularly.

In Summary

As women we all have to go through menopause there are some natural remedies that are available which your doctor should be able to help you with as well as, prescription medicine as necessary. It doesn't have to be an awful time but it is more difficult for some women than others. Treat yourself well, eat healthy and exercise to lessen symptoms. Talk to your girlfriends in do some things that are fine which will help your overall attitude.

© 2010 Pamela Oglesby

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Comments 59 comments

Cheri Schultz profile image

Cheri Schultz 6 years ago from Midwest

Thank for this great hub - I am very close to menopause and went through the hot flashes and night sweats but they are subsiding considerably and I relate it to Yoga. I do Yoga regularly and I swear it has helped immensely and I would recommend it for any women going through peri menoupause - and keep active it is imperative because you can eat the same amount of food and still gain weight.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Cheri, You are fast as I just posted this. In all my research the Yoga seemed to be the most important element to alleviate symptoms. Thank you for your comments.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

This is an incredibly informative hub, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, Pamela.

Thanks so much,

Laurel


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Very informative hub.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Lotlie & Sandy, Thanks you so much for your comments.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

It's interesting to see Maca used for this.. men use it to counter age related reduced testosterone levels. Great hub!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Carlina, Thanks for the comment. I noticed thy mentioned testosterone for maca bu I guess they use it for more than we knew.


RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

Pam, thank goodness I am one of those women who sailed through this time with few discomforts.

This hub provides good information to share with friends. Thanks.

Forever His,


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Rev Lady, You were blessed. I had my ovaries surgically removed but I never experienced menopause with but saw my mother have many problems.

It seems each person has a different story but it is nice that there are some things you can do to help yourself.

Thanks for your comment,


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I wish I had you advice. I bled ten days and like opening a water tub. I still can't believe how my body could stand it Thank you for writing such a well researched hub.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Hello, I hope that you are doing better and have found some ways to ease through menopause without anything so dramatic happening. Thanks for sharing your experience.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Terrific and important hub, Pamela. Personally, I think this is a very liberating stage of life.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

BPOP, Great attitude and that takes you a long way. Thank you for your comment.


"Quill" 6 years ago

Great Hub...men should be reading this...maybe give them some insight...smiles

Blessings


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Quill, Thank you for your comment. I think it would be very good for men to understand the changes that are happening to their wives. Men has some physiological changes also but I think they end up with little red sports cars. (ha-ha)


She-rah profile image

She-rah 6 years ago from Springfield, IL

Hi Pamela, Great hub! I have researched most of the herbs you have on here, very informative list. My hormonal cream that I developed can be used for menopause also. If I could only get my hub done on it. You might find it pretty interesting! I will link this hub to mine when I get it published.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

She-rah, Thank you for the comment and that is interesting that you have developed your own cream. I appreciate you linking my hub. Thanks so much.


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Those were the hottest years of my life. LOL I lived up in the rockie mountains and when I would get too hot I would go outside in sit in the snow. HA, the doc told me it really never end, it comes and goes throughtout our lifes. Great hub, I enjoy it, thanks


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Darlene, Thank you for your comments. Maybe some yoga or herbs would help decrease your hot flashes.


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 6 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

OUTSTANDING HUB my dear!!!!!! WONDERFUL!!!! Blessings!!! Love the Herbal remedies!!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Drpastorcarlotta, Thank you so much for your comment.


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

Pam - A great job on this hub. I sure wish I had this when I was going through menopause. You have offered a lot of great suggestions. I love the herbal remedies.

I guess I was the exception to rule as I was completely through menopause at the age 50.

Great Job,

Sage


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Sage, Everyone is different with their menopausal age. Maybe finishing younger is a good thing. Thank you for your compliment of my hub. I hope some of these remedies will help some people experiencing problems.


nancy_30 profile image

nancy_30 6 years ago from Georgia

Thank you for this very informative hub. I'm not quite old enough for menopause yet, but I enjoyed reading this. My mom didn't have that many problems when she went through it, so i'm hoping I'll be the same way when my time comes.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Great info! I'm 51 and so glad to be done with the monthly mess!!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Nancy and Habee, Thank you for your comments. I understand your thoughts Habee as that is one of the perks!


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 6 years ago from Northam Western Australia

Pamela, this is a truly great hub, I got to the stage as a courier driver if I bent over there would be a flood and my male boss was the one who made me go back to my doctor and insist on sending me to a specialist. The doctor just kept telling me oh you'll be right its part of life.

Anyway I went to specialist and I was anaemic they raced me off and I had a historectomy within a few days had to have iron injections and drip. So you just cannot trust doctors sometimes. Had tubes tied at 28. Told I may flood but you know you dont really understand.

Anyway I was 40 then and have not looked back wish I'd had it done 20 years earlier. After 2 days in hospital and stitched from top to bottom (you know what I mean)Went home cooked roast and was back on courier van within 6 weeks. Some people play on it for years. But you just have to think positive and get on with life.

Thanks for this truly great and informative hub.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Eileen, My story is almost identical to yours. I had a hysterectomy including ovaries when I was 40 also and those few years before the surgery were miserable. Freedom reigned following the surgery in my opinion. I was severely anemic also but my mother and sister didn't have those problems at all, so even families aren't always the same. Thanks for telling of your experiences and stopping by my hub.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

yoga and exercise! thats good, NOw I know what I am up to years from now, good and positive things about menopause -- enjoy it and take care of yourself, Maita


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Maita, Thank you for your comment. I love the sound of your name, very pretty, as are you


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 6 years ago from Michigan

Wow, very informative hub. I love that you list so many natural alternatives. I'm into finding any natural remedy which I believe God provides .. we just have to find it.. Thanks for helping me find some new to me. I get natural hormones through Women's International Pharmacy in Wisconsin. Progesterone made with Yams and Soybeans. This formulation works GREAT for low progesterone. Great Writing lady .. Keep it up! Blessings


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Mekenzie, Thank you so much for your comment.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

Pamela- I fight reading articles on Menopause.I think it is my denial that it wont happen!!! But just the title of your Hub brought me in. Great Hub and well well needed info. Thanks for sharing this one. I will be back as I think this is a great hub to refer back to especially when the hormones start raging and I need a little balance put back in my thoughts!!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Wavegirl, I'm glad you found some things that will help you and thanks for your comment.


Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 6 years ago from Texas, USA

Very well written and researched article; I will have to bookmark this one - thank you for this hub


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Coolmon, Thank you for your comment.


TnFlash profile image

TnFlash 6 years ago from Tampa, Florida

Great Hub! But the term "mood changes" is an understatement.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Jack, I appreciate your comment and my sister is an example of one who gets the more intense mood change. The point of the article is to soften all those bad side effects by using supplements, etc. Only thing I can say, is keep smiling!


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Some great advice Pamela. I enjoy yoga almost every day, wish I could do more but time, you know. Anyway will try some of those herbs, but luckily I'm ok at the moment, just having trouble losing weight and the odd missed period. BTW thanks for following me and all your lovely comments.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

MGP, Thank for you your comment. It's good you do yoga so often. I have not been that disciplined.


Support Med. profile image

Support Med. 6 years ago from Michigan

Good hub! Love the yoga video. I used to do yoga everyday. Now I may do it once a week, but I'll keep working on it! Thanks for the info.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Support Med, Thanks for your comment and I hope you will be able to get back into your routine.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

Very informative, Pamela. Posted on my FB account.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

msorensson, Thanks for your comment.


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago

Not there yet but I appreciate not only the warning of things to expect but also the potential remedies. I've tried yoga in the past and find some poses brutal. I need to start again though if only to master them for when I need them. Thanks for the heads up.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Bail up, Good luck with your yoga. Thanks for your comments.


deedeelaw profile image

deedeelaw 5 years ago from Deborah's Musings

Thanks Pamela, this was a very useful hub.I've only had this problem for a few months now,so your information is very helpful to me. Great Job and thanks again.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

deedeelaw, I'm glad to know this hub was helpful to you and I appreciate your comments.


adrienne2 profile image

adrienne2 5 years ago from Atlanta

Oh my Pamela I wish this article was around when I started Perimenopause I thought the world was coming to an end. It was like I was sleep walking all the time from the restless nights of not being able to sleep. But now that I am going through post-menopause as my doctor puts it, it is like flying a kite. Thanks for sharing all this wonderful information.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

adrienne, I'm glad you are doing better now. I appreciate your comments.


adrienne2 profile image

adrienne2 5 years ago from Atlanta

You are most welcome!


susan54 profile image

susan54 5 years ago

Pamela99, What a great hub. As you may, or may not know menopause is one of the reasons why I got my flattop haircut, and It was my 50th birthday. I had major hot flashes,my pillow was wet every night.my hair was a mess, I looked like a wet dog.Lol It just made me made plus I started yoga around the same time to change my life and now I am doing p90x. I am one crazy old lady. super hub! I wish I could write like you.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

susan, I didn't know that was why you got the flattop cut but it obviously is perfect for you. I have some health problems and was having night sweats for a while, so I know what you mean about the wet pillow and matted hair. Fortunately, I don't have them anymore. I appreciate your comments and I don't think you're crazy, just cool.


Emilin 4 years ago

Nice! this hub is genuine, very well written too..I enjoyed your hub for sure, and will be reading many more in due time..Thanks a lot for sharing..:)

Visit:http://fullthrottleondemand.com/blog/2012/05/16/va...


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Emilin, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.


geetarao04 3 years ago

Highly informative thanks 4 the share.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States Author

geetarao, Thank you for your comments and I'm glad you liked the hub.


erorantes profile image

erorantes 2 years ago from Miami Florida

Miss Pamela, thank you for the wonderful hub. Menopause the best years of your life.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States Author

erorantes, I am so glad you enjoyed the hub, and I appreciate your comments.

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