Female menopause happens naturally around the age of 50 for most women but it does vary. If the woman has a hysterectomy or other medical treatment (such as some cancer treatments) then menopause can be triggered and this can be harder to handle than natural menopause because it is more sudden.
Most women will notice some changes around menopause. How soon/long they last and how severe they are does vary massively and many lucky ladies experience hardly any discomfort.
This is the period before menopause and can start years before periods actually stop. There may be changes to the period frequency and also the heaviness, or lightness, of them.
The hormonal changes can trigger mood alterations as well as the good old hot flushes so many speak of.
Perimenopause is the time to start taking action
If you aren’t a picture of health and/or haven’t dealt with all the emotional baggage you have then now is the time to get that sorted.
It is worth putting in some effort. Get yourself healthy in mind and body (if you aren’t already) during this period. Give yourself a good chance of easing menopausal symptoms themselves and having a spring in your step as you move into the next stage of your life.
Physical health can be improved by taking better care of yourself, a healthy diet, moderation of alcohol consumption, exercise that keeps you fit and supple, and so on. This is very obvious but are you doing it? Investing in changes now will set your future on a better path.
Look at any emotional issues that you might not have fully dealt with, that might be bottled up within you. Sometimes we have to bottle things up for a while in order to cope with life but it isn’t healthy for us.
There is a good chance that something unexpected will pop up out of the blue to be dealt with anyway. Letting go and clearing those that you know about gives you a head start!
This is the point at which your periods actually stop. It can be a while before you are sure they have stopped (sometimes a period can happen months after you thought they had stopped).
There are a variety of physical symptoms that might appear (some of us sail through it with no problems):
Note: Check with your medical adviser first if you have any health issues/concerns. This does not replace medical advice.
Hot flushes and/or night sweats
The hot sweats are something many ladies speak about. They can vary from feeling slightly warm to extreme sweating and the need to change clothes and bedding. They can last for just a few months, or continue on for many years.
The liver is the main organ in our body that creates heat so sometimes doing something to gently support the liver (such as taking Milk Thistle or Taraxacum tinctures, or appropriate homeopathic remedies) may ease symptoms.
Some ladies choose to do a liver cleanse and say it works wonders. However, a liver cleanse can be quite a big commitment and often needs to be repeated so I have not taken that approach myself.
If the hot sweats are keeping you awake then see the section above.
Sleep is important to allow our bodies to refresh and renew. Get into a routine of going to bed before 11 pm and making sure you are in a calm relaxed state, well hydrated. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants during the evening.
If an active mind is keeping you from sleeping, or you wake in the night worrying, then try listening to something that will distract you such as guided meditations (through earplugs if you share your bedroom!).
Sex life changes
Reduced libido and/or vaginal dryness with itching or pain during sex can happen for some ladies.
The vaginal dryness can be addressed using a (natural organic version preferably) vaginal lubricant. (Avoid oil-based ones if you are using condoms). There are a wide variety of different options available so do some research and you will find something that suits you.
The reduced libido can be more complex to deal with because it can occur for many reasons. It is best to consult with a therapist who can help get you back into balance again. I appreciate it is not the easiest thing to discuss.
Some ladies report this. The joke about walking into a room and not remembering why you went there can be something you start to relate to!
If you have concerns about this then it is worth getting some support. Nutrition is also important so make sure you are getting a healthy diet.
Emotional – Mood swings, anxiety, low mood
The menopause is not just about chemical changes within the body. It is a big change emotionally and old issues that haven’t been dealt with since puberty can unexpectedly crop up to be dealt with again.
The menopause is also the end of a woman’s childbearing years and a step into a new phase of life. This can trigger a lot of emotions, until we get comfortable with it and recognise the freedom that it also brings.
I wrote about this in my blog – “menopause – a mind/body revolution“
Be prepared to give yourself some time out to get back into balance and to get used to the new person you are becoming. If the issues are proving hard to deal with then it is worth getting support.
Joints – pain/stiffness/aches, reduced muscle mass
The chemical changes in your body will mean that you need to take more care of yourself and perhaps eat differently and/or take some supplements. It is by no means ineviable that you are going to get arthritis or other joint problems.
Urinary tract infections – some get these more frequently
Good hygiene, diet and adequate water intake are important. There are ways to holistically support the urinary system and kidneys. Always consult a medic if the problem is severe or recurrent.
There are a number of natural remedies, homeopathy and other therapies that can gradually reduce or remove your susceptibility to these issues. Sometimes there are emotional issues triggering them (cystitis is well known for being linked to a woman feeling erm pxxxd off about something!)
Palpitations – more frequent heart beat
I’ve had a couple of ladies report this and bio-resonance and homeopathy have been able to ease the symptoms. Again, the causes can be very varied and it is important to be checked out medically in case there is something serious going on.
The menopause can also trigger the invisible condition called osteoporosis. This makes bones more brittle, again due to the hormonal changes. It isn’t a problem for everyone, family history and diet can make a big difference.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Some ladies choose to go on this, it is a matter of personal choice.
There are, as with any drugs, sometimes side effects. It is interfering with your body’s own natural processes so it is worth considering carefully whether it is right for you.
Step into the next phase of life – with my support
Please look at this as a big opportunity in your life, rather than doom and gloom! I’ve supported a good number of ladies through their menopause and out the other side. It really is a delight to be part of the process as ladies take this as a prompt to lift their lives on a new level. The clock is ticking and life needs to be enjoyed.
The menopause affects each of us differently. Holistic therapies are ideal therefore because they are individualised and a superb way to take things forwards.
I provide remote consultations so can be your ‘secret helper’ working in the background to help you through this, and confidentiality and sensitivity to some of the issues that might come up is key, of course.
My shamanic training has given me the ability to tune in and sense what you need at the time we speak so there is a lot more going on when we speak than just the words exchanged.