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Can You Go Through Menopause While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Can Benefit Both Mothers And Babies

3 Tips To Heal Menopause Brain Fog – And Why It’s So Common

The findings of this study add to a growing body of evidence that suggests that having no completed pregnancies is associated with higher risk of early menopause, and factors such as pregnancy and breastfeeding may decrease the risk of early menopause.8 From a physiological standpoint, this association is thought to be due to the fact that exclusive breastfeeding suppresses ovulation, thereby slowing the rate of depletion of the ovarian reserve.1 By slowing the rate of oocyte depletion, the subsequent decrease in estrogen is delayed, thereby prolonging the beneficial effects of estrogen on bone density, metabolic functioning, and overall mortality risk.

This research is encouraging, as current World Health Organization recommendations advocate for exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first 6 months of life, consistent with the amount of time shown in this study to lower the risk of early menopause.9Previous research has suggested that suboptimal breastfeeding can harm both mother and baby, highlighting an association between suboptimal breastfeeding with increased risk of premature maternal and infant death, as well as with $2.2 billion of direct medical costs annually.10 Although breastfeeding is often thought to be of most benefit to infants, this study provides further evidence of its substantial health impacts for mothers, particularly on health later in life.

Postpartum Hot Flashes And Breastfeeding

During pregnancy, your body begins producing prolactin to stimulate the growth of mammary tissue in anticipation of breastfeeding. The progesterone and estrogen present during pregnancy suppress milk production, but as those hormone levels drop after childbirth, the body can begin producing milk.

When this happens, your body temperature increases by about half a degree, contributing to hot flashes. Lactation tends to delay the return to ovulation, explains Dr. Dweck. The longer the delay until ovulation and estrogen production, the longer hot flashes may last. “

Even if you are not breastfeeding, your body still produces prolactin. But prolactin levels are stimulated by suckling, so if you do not breastfeed, your levels will naturally drop.

As milk production reduces, your period will probably return within six to eight weeks, bringing you some relief from hot flashes. With the return of menses, hot flashes tend to subside, Dr. Dweck says.

Going Through Menopause In Your 20s And 30s Sucks

  • Snap

Im self-conscious of sweating. Now I have to think about what clothes Im going to wear. One day I thought Id be fine and I wore a pale grey T-shirt to work and that was a disaster. The hot flushes are crazythey come out of nowhere at any time and Im suddenly drenched in sweat.

Sophie is 31 years old. She works as a television producer at an advertising agency in England. Like many young professionals, her priorities include her career, a mortgage, maybe marriage. She didnt plan to add menopause to that list.

Read More: Living with PMS That Makes You Want to Die

The Londoner suffers from severe endometriosis. Her endometriumthe cells that line her wombhave migrated to other parts of her body. In Sophies case, that means her uterus and bowels. These cells follow her menstrual cycle, building and then breaking up and bleeding when she has her period. But unlike regular cells in the womb that are shed during menstruation, the excess blood has no way of being released and leads to chronic pain, heavy periods, inflammation, and the formation of scar tissue.

In order to prepare for an operation to have this excess endometrium cut out, Sophie was injected with Zoladex, a man-made hormone used to effectively switch off her period for three months. This will tame the endometrium, making it less bloody and easier to manage.

They did some blood tests and said, Right, youve just been through menopause. Thats it. We cant do anything about it. Off you go.

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Not Sure What To Do Next

If you are still concerned about your breastfeeding and periods, why not use healthdirects online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether its self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero .

Eat The Right Protein

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Protein is essential for building muscle after menopause. But its not just quantity that matters, the type of protein you eat is also important.

As you may know, getting all essential amino acids is important for optimal muscle growth. In fact, research shows that the amino acid leucine helps prevent muscle loss. In one study, researchers found that leucine helped promote protein synthesis in younger and older people.

Good sources of leucine include milk and dairy products, poultry, beef, fish, and eggs.

Increase protein intake, especially if youre doing strength training regularly. Other healthy protein sources include lentils, beans, whey protein, and yogurt.

Its worth mentioning that eating protein before and after workouts can help your muscles recover faster, according to research.

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Why Is Hormone Therapy So Important For Most Younger Women Who Go Through Menopause Early

We tend to think of ovarian function and menses as solely a reproductive issue, but reproduction is not the only function of the ovaries. They are also endocrine organs, and there are estrogen, progesterone, and androgen receptors throughout the entire female body.

This is why it is important to find a North American Menopause Society certified practitioner certified practitioner and start hormone therapy right away if you are in premature or early menopause and dont have contraindications.

Literally every part of a womans body is anticipating those hormones until the age of regular menopause, and losing them early can cause health risks that are normally associated with old age in womensuch as osteoporosis, heart disease, or dementiato arrive early if hormone levels are left unchecked. HT is the recommended course of treatment for all women without contraindications who go through menopause early or prematurely.

There are as many ways to take HT as there are for taking hormones for birth control, from a patch to a vaginal ring, to gels, creams, and pills. Your NAMS certified practitioner can help you find the right FDA-approved dosage, type, and delivery method for you.

Read Also: How Long Between Periods During Menopause

Breastfeeding My Way Through Menopause

Local mom Amy Nielsen humorously recounts what it was like for her to experience menopause while simultaneously nursing her child.

Hi, my name is Amy. I am, uh, here because I am in menopause. Saying these words feels like an out of body experience.;

Welcome, Amy. They smile at me, revealing faint laugh lines brought on by years of giggling.

Im standing before a room filled with silver-haired beauties, grandma-types. Most are bundled up in layers of polyester and wool. I should be in spin class, not at a Golden Girls support group! Why am I here? I nervously tousle my freshly colored brunette hair, attempt to furrow my Botoxed-brow and rock awkwardly back and forth on my black Converse. I have a child in diapers! How can I be in menopause? I start to get more anxious. I dont belong here. I begin to feel heat radiating from my core and racing out to every nerve ending like a fast-spreading brush fire. My entire body is scorching and sticky. My skinny jeans feel like they are melting into my skin. Ive got to get out of here!;

The face of menopause isnt what it used to be. Because of advances in fertility medicine, more and more women are able to have children later in life. This means more and more mothers of young children find themselves just where I am, balancing life with a new baby AND menopause. What years ago may have been an unlikely duo is becoming a more common occurrence.;

Amy Nielsen

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Should I Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy

For those whose symptoms are next-level annoying, both Dr. Minkin and Dr. Seibel say hormone replacement therapy is certainly worth considering. Basically what this entails is taking medication that contains estrogen with or without progestin . Many women believe that estrogen causes breast cancer or heart disease, but this isnt true, Dr. Seibel says. He explains that the reason many believe this is because of a study that came out in 2002 that suggested this. But even though the study has been widely discredited, the myth lives on. For women who are truly suffering, theres no reason for it when there is safe medication that can help, Dr. Minkin says. Its something worth talking to your doctor about if youre struggling with symptoms.

General Recommendations For Ht

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Current guidelines support the use of HT for the treatment of severe hot flashes that do not respond to non-hormonal therapies. General recommendations include:

  • HT may be started in women who have recently entered menopause.
  • HT should not be used in women who have started menopause many years ago.
  • Women should not take HT if they have risks for stroke, heart disease, blood clots, and breast cancer.
  • Currently, there is no consensus on how long HT should be used or at what age it should be discontinued. Treatment should be individualized for a womans specific health profile.
  • HT should be used only for menopause symptom management, not for chronic disease prevention.

Initiating Therapy

Before starting HT, your doctor should give you a comprehensive physical exam and take your medical history to evaluate your risks for:

  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Breast cancer

While taking HT, you should have regular mammograms and pelvic exams and Pap smears. Current guidelines recommend that if HT is needed, it should be initiated around the time of menopause. Studies indicate that the risk of serious side effects is lower for women who use HT while in their 50s. Women who start HT past the age of 60 appear to have a higher risk for side effects such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or breast cancer. HT should be used with care in this age group.

Discontinuing Therapy

Women who should not take hormone therapy include those with the following conditions:

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Failing The Breastfeeding Diet

I had heard one of the fabulous advantages of breastfeeding is that the weight just falls off you. Id heard the Breastfeeding Diet is the best! That couldnt have been farther from the truth for me.

Not only was my waist extra wide from an unclosed diastsis but despite my efforts, I had a really hard time leaning up and dropping those last pounds especially from my belly which Id NEVER had a problem with before, always hips and thighs for me. I struggled with fat loss all throughout breastfeeding. When I stopped breastfeeding Lola at 16 months, 7 pounds just fell off in about 2 weeks with no extra effort. What gives?

Next week, Ill discuss how low estrogen and progesterone, often coupled with high cortisol from no sleep, make for a really tough weight loss battle for many breastfeeding mamas and what you can do about it.

Go Easy On The Cardio

Cardio is good for your heart but it isnt very effective at building muscle. Additionally, overdoing cardio after menopause can cause overuse injuries. These types of injuries are caused by doing the same exercises repeatedly. Theyre common among cyclists and runners.

High-intensity cardio isnt safe either because it puts pressure on the joints. The best training approach is to combine strength training with minimal low-intensity cardio.

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Can You Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding

Yes, it is possible to get pregnant while breastfeeding! However, it is less likely as most women experience a period of delayed fertility while nursing. This owes to irregular ovulation while breastfeeding.;

Not every woman ovulates regularly while breastfeeding, and many do not get a menstrual period. In fact, some may even use breastfeeding as a form of contraception, known as the Lactation Amenorrhea Method . However, LAM is not guaranteed and only effective for a maximum of six months following your babys birth. After six months, it becomes more likely that you will get pregnant.

There Are Ways To Overcome Bothersome Symptoms Like These Heres What You Can Do Right Now To Avoid Painful Intercourse Or Vaginal Irritation:

Breastfeeding Hormones: I Just Don
  • Tip #1: Use a lubricant during sexual intercourse. We recommend Pre-Seed as its non-toxic, safe with lots of research to back its claims.

  • Tip #2: Talk to your OB provider about starting a topical estrogen cream. Its entirely safe to use while breastfeeding.

  • Tip #3: Stay hydrated! Drink 2 liters of water/day.

  • Tip #4: Use a vaginal moisturizer. There are a few that are safe to use and wont disrupt your vaginal flora; we like Bee-Friendly Organic Vaginal Moisturizer and Lubricant.

  • Tip #5: Avoid douching or hygiene sprays. They only make you more dry and irritated.;

  • Tip #6: Eat a diet high in phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are a natural compound found in plant-based foods and help balance estrogen and boost your milk supply!

;Tip #6 brings us to our next topic: how can nutrition be leveraged to optimize breastmilk supply while also maintaining hormonal balance?

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What You Need To Know About Postpartum Hot Flashes

After having a baby, your body goes through many postpartum changes as it adjusts back to pre-pregnancy levels. Post-pregnancy recovery can come with a variety of symptoms, all dependant on you and your experience. Generally, you can expect fatigue, mood changes, hair loss, and moreincluding hot flashesas your hormones change and fluctuate.

Many people associate hot flashes with menopause, but they can also occur during other times of hormonal fluctuations, such as pregnancy or postpartum.

So, do not be alarmed if you are suddenly feeling hot or are breaking out in a sweat after having a baby! Research has found that 35% of women experience hot flashes during pregnancy, while 29% of women experience hot flashes after delivery. If you one of those, here is what you need to know.

You Start Leaking At The Worst Times

Youve left baby asleep with Dad and made it out of the house for a quick whizz round to the corner shop, hands free. It feels oddly like a treat to go and get the essential supplies without a baby superglued to you.

But then, just like that, your top is soaked through with two tell-tale patches. Its bad enough when youre a few minutes from home, but its mortification levels x 1,000 when youre having dinner with your in-laws or at a friends wedding. Arm yourself with breast pads to help minimise the damage to your outfit and your dignity. Disposable ones come in megapacks so you can always have some handy or try washable bamboo inserts, which are super absorbent too.

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Do Phytoestrogen Treatments Reduce The Number And Severity Of Hot Flushes And Are They Safe And Acceptable

Cochrane evidenceCochrane Reviews are systematic reviews. In systematic reviews we search for and summarize studies that answer a specific research question . The studies are identified, assessed, and summarized by using a systematic and predefined approach. They inform recommendations for healthcare and research. More: A Cochrane review includes 43 randomisedRandomization is the process of randomly dividing into groups the people taking part in a trial. One group will be given the intervention being tested and compared with a group which does not receive the intervention . ;Morecontrolled trialsA trial in which a group is given a intervention being tested is compared with a group which does not receive the intervention . More with over 4000 women, but many were small, brief and poor quality, and looked at many different types of phytoestrogens.

There is no conclusive evidence to show that phytoestrogen supplements effectively reduce the frequency or severity of hot flushes and night sweats in perimenopausal or postmenopausal women.

Treatment For Early Or Premature Menopause

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There is no treatment available to make the ovaries start working again.

Rarely, the ovaries may spontaneously start working again, for reasons unknown. According to some studies, about one in 10 women who are diagnosed with premature ovarian insufficiency get pregnant, for reasons that are not yet clear.

Women with early menopause have a long period of postmenopausal life, which means they are at increased risk of health problems such as early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease. For this reason, it is recommended that they take some form of hormone therapy until they reach the typical age of menopause . This may be the combined oestrogen and progestogen oral contraceptive pill, or menopausal hormone therapy .

Either option treats menopausal symptoms and reduces the risk of early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease.

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Psychological Wellbeing & Emotions

The diagnosis of a premature or early menopause can bring many changes and challenges: when menopause does not come at the age and stage of life you expected it to, it can have a major impact on your wellbeing. Women who experience premature or early menopause can be at greater risk of depression, anxiety and mood changes.

It can be very upsetting for some women to experience menopause in their 20s or 30s when they expected it to happen in their late 40s or 50s. Often this is a time of feelings of loss, sadness and grief. These feelings are very common, along with the feelings of losing your body image, fertility, femininity and sexuality, and feeling old before your time.

It can take some time to diagnose a premature or early menopause. Not knowing what is wrong, having no control over symptoms and not knowing what the future holds can be frightening. Some women with early menopause talk of ‘loss of womanhood’ and ‘loss of dreams’.

Associated illnesses, such as cancer and chemotherapy or surgery to remove ovaries, may also alter the course of your life. Plans, dreams and expectations must be re-thought and that can be very challenging and distressing.

During this time, women can experience a sense of loss of control, loss of ability to plan and loss of self-image, but often there is no one with whom to share the grief. Girlfriends might not understand because they are not yet experiencing menopause, and, for some, mothers haven’t yet reached menopause either.


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