Menopause - not the end!
The beginning of a new phase
Going through the menopause is not the end of the world, it's actually the start of a new phase of our lives. I'm a 44yr old woman and like most women my age or older, I'm aware that the menopause is not so far around the corner, so to speak. However, unlike alot of women the thought of this does not fill me with dread or feelings of despair. On the contrary, I'm actually quite looking forward to it! For me the mere thought of no more 'monthlys' will suit me fine thankyou very much. I've never wanted children and therefore the inconvenience of this part of my womanhood has been nothing less than a pain! I didn't even benefit from skipping sport at school as I loved it so much, whereas the other girls would constantly use this as an excuse not to participate in activities. My only consolation was the day my teacher announced to the class that it wasn't natural to menstruate once a week and those that were should be seeking urgent medical attention! You can imagine the little grin on my face as I looked on at the gloom around me.
Take a positive approach - Decide to take control
If you feel that the menopause is something that is going to 'happen' to you then you will most likely be in conflict with it. Instead choose to work with it and see the whole process as a natural part of the woman you are and the person you have become. I take this approach while having menstruation! This will enable you to take control and hopefully feel much better.
Turn everything to your advantage
Instead of beating yourself up, accept things as they are and look for the positives. Focus more on things that please you and get more involved. Pampering is a great way to give yourself a boost. Acknowledge the things that you've achieved and done well in your life, and be proud of them. Keep yourself informed so you can deal with changes effectively and as they may occur.
What is the menopause?
Officially the menopause is the day your menstrual cycle stops. However, you can't be sure you've passed the menopause until roughly a year goes by without menstruation or two years if you're under fifty.
The menopause also has other meanings too;
- A time when hormones settle into a different balance. The production of oestrogen declines and other hormones also change.
- The risk of certain health conditions increases.
- A transition. The hormonal changes that characterize the menopause last for a few years most and afterwards the body settles into stability.
The menopause is not;
- It does not have to be an ideal.
- It is not the end of femininity.
- It does not mean ill-health
- It is not a pit of depression
- It does not mean you have to slow down
- It is certainly not the beginning of the end!
What are the symptoms of the menopause
There can be a variety of symptoms of the menopause, due to the changing levels of hormones. The most common is hot flushes but other symptoms may include;
- breast lumpiness and pain
- mood swings
- joint pains
- fluid retention
This looks like a daunting list, but most women will only experience a few of these symptoms. It is important to remember that what ever you experience you're not falling apart mentally or physically!
Remedies and Treatments
There are a variety of treatments available depending on how this time in your life is effecting you;
- HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). This should be researched before committing, as it is not the right choice for everyone. HRT does exactly what it suggests, replaces the levels of hormones that reduce during the menopause.
- Complimentary therapies; These therapies take a holistic approach and look at the whole person to bring the body into balance. Variations in this approach are;
- Medical Herbalism
- Chinese Herbal Medicine
Of course a healthy diet goes without saying. The better you eat the more healthier you're likely to feel.
Not the end - Instead - The Beginning
Try to begin a creative endeavour as the menopause can bring so much energy that could be channelled into something really positive. Do something to soak up the world around you and see the world anew through menopausal eyes.