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How To Delay Menopause With Yoga

Alleviating The Symptoms Of Menopause

Yoga for Menopause

Yoga instructor Patricia Walden, 57, knows firsthand how yoga can help temper menopausal complaints. Like many other womens symptoms, hers arrived like rain: first a sprinkle, then a full-fledged storm. Hot flashes came first, and thenfor the next yearshe suffered through constant fatigue and insomnia. She often awoke in the night and stayed awake for up to three hours.

On the days when Walden had intense symptoms, she found she needed to modify her yoga routine. She was accustomed to a vigorous daily practice but discovered that unsupported inversions, strenuous poses, and backbends sometimes made her symptoms worse. When that happened, she turned to supported and restorative poses to calm her nerves. She still did inversions, but instead of an unsupported Sirsasana , which sometimes brought on more hot flashes, she would do Setu Bandha Sarvangasana using bolsters or Salamba Sarvangasana with a chair. With these modifications, Walden was able to reap the benefits of inversionsrelief from anxiety and irritabilitywithout challenging or heating her body.

See also Yoga for Womens Health: The Best Type of Practice for Each Phase of Your Menstrual Cycle

Benefits Of Menopause Yoga

However, I am not the only one out there trying to help women embrace this new phase of their lives.

So far, the Menopause Yoga Teacher Training Program has seen over 300 graduates from around the world.

We have a directory where women globally can search for qualified Menopause Yoga Teachers in their area.

The biggest change I have seen in the women who come to my workshops are their willingness to embrace their transition into this new phase of life, and their willingness to talk about their journey through the menopause.

The more women that are willing to talk about the menopause, the more the population will see it as normal, and the less ashamed we will feel.

Menopause Yoga is not a cure-all for the more than 40 symptoms, although it is another tool to help.

Women who attend my workshops walk away with at least three techniques to help them.

Best of all, the yoga is gentle and easy enough for even beginners to try. One of my recent participants said, I like the sharing of experiences at the beginning and the restorative poses at the end which is something we can all easily work on at home.

How Can You Alleviate Perimenopausal Symptoms

Some women deal with the symptoms of perimenopause, and some women seek treatment for specific health concerns. Women with heavy bleeding, periods that last longer than seven days, spotting between periods or cycles that are less than 21 days should contact a doctor.

Typically, perimenopause is a gradual transition, and no particular test indicates what is happening to the body. Hormone therapy, vaginal estrogen treatments and antidepressants can help treat perimenopausal symptoms.

Start by identifying what’s bothering you most and then working with your doctor to address it. There are steps you can take to feel better. Lifestyle changes that can make a big impact in easing perimenopausal symptoms and improving your overall health include:

  • Yoga

Also Check: Causes Of Hot Flashes Besides Menopause

Other Drugs Used For Menopausal Symptoms

Despite its risks, hormone therapy appears to be the most effective treatment for hot flashes. There are, however, nonhormonal treatments for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.

Antidepressants

The antidepressants known as selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors are sometimes used for managing mood changes and hot flashes. A low-dose formulation of paroxetine is approved to treat moderate-to-severe hot flashes associated with menopause. Other SSRIs and similar antidepressant medicines are used “off-label” and may have some benefit too. They include fluoxetine , sertraline , venlafaxine , desvenlafaxine , paroxetine , and escitalopram .

Gabapentin

Several small studies have suggested that gabapentin , a drug used for seizures and nerve pain, may relieve hot flashes. This drug is sometimes prescribed “off-label” for treating hot flash symptoms. However, in 2013 the FDA decided against approving gabapentin for this indication because the drug demonstrated only modest benefit. Gabapentin may cause:

  • Drowsiness

Why Might Having More Sex Cause You To Go Through Menopause At A Later Age

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The study didnt explore this, but Arnot has some theories. It might be that women who are perimenopausal dont feel like having sex, she says. But, she adds, It might be that theres a trade-off between continued ovulation and stopping.” In other words, if youre not having sex, then youre not going to get pregnant, Arnot points out, so thered be little point in maintaining ovulatory function.

Ovulation also requires a lot of energy from the body, and that can lower immune function, says Arnot. So there may be a point in life where its better off to stop ovulating and invest your energy elsewhere if youre not going to have a baby , she says.

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Menopausal Symptoms And Treatments

There are a variety of symptoms that you might experience while going through a menopausal phase. At the initial stage, most symptoms revolve around changes in the pattern of your menstrual cycles. Women generally start having very heavy or very light periods. During this time, the frequency of the periods also might change. The menopausal phase lasts more than a couple of years, even eight years, for periods to completely cease. In addition to the above symptoms, you might also experience-

  • Dryness in the vagina
  • Reduced libido
  • Hot flashes

Since menopause is an entirely natural process, treatment is unnecessary. Mainly, women find lifestyle changes to suffice to adapt to the bodily changes. However, some women do want some relief from the symptoms. The available treatment is hormone replacement therapy, but these medications are found not to be too safe. They can add to the risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Its essential to consult with a doctor before taking these treatments.

What Women Can Do To Delay Menopause

Its something that impacts every older woman but isnt often talked about in public. Now a Sydney doctor wants to break the taboo.

Covid can spread to heart, lungs in days

Welcome to Ask Doctor Zac, a weekly column from news.com.au. This week Dr Zac delves into menopause.

Question: Recently I watched a powerful story about menopause on 60 Minutes. It was a real eye opener as it rarely gets talked about in the media, and yet every woman will go through it eventually.

The story by Liz Hayes did wonders to break down stigma. Im only 32 so I hope I have some years ahead before menopause will pop up in my life, but Im curious to know if theres certain things I can do now so it happens as late as possible? Or even lessen the impact when

it finally comes my turn? Wendy, 32, Qld

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Answer: Hi Wendy, menopause has always been a secret womens business so Im really glad youve asked this question. Tackling topics by talking and discussing them makes them less of a taboo and means more people can think and help to improve their symptoms.

Im sure you arent surprised by this Wendy, but most men dont have a clue what menopause actually is. Men need to educate themselves, or ask their partners, mums or sisters to let them know. This will eradicate the stigma, and women will be able to freely ask questions whenever they want!

What is menopause?

How to ease symptoms of menopause

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What Are The Stages Leading Up To Menopause

After puberty, there are three other phases of female fertility:

  • Pre-menopause: Women have full ovarian function, regularly produce estrogen and ovulate.
  • Perimenopause: The ovaries begin to fluctuate in their ovulation and production of estrogen, which can result in unpredictable menstrual cycles and symptoms.
  • Menopause: When the ovaries have shut down. Someone would be in menopause after 12 months without menses.

A Neurosteroid For Depression

Can you prevent menopause symptoms?

Neurosteroids are steroids that can enter the brain and affect brain function. Pregnenolone is a neurosteroid with antidepressant effects, and it is also a precursor for the production of estrogen and other hormones. Pregnenolone has been used as a medication and is sold as a dietary supplement. Sherwood Brown, MD, PhD, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and Marlene Freeman, MD, at Massachusetts General Hospital are recruiting peri- and postmenopausal women with depression for a sixteen-week trial comparing pregnenolone to a placebo. Questionnaires will be used to determine benefits for mood and quality of life.

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Lidocaine For Painful Intercourse

An estimated one quarter to one half of menopausal women experience pain before, during, or after intercourse. Painful intercourse is called dyspareunia. And vulvodynia refers to pain localized to the part of the vulva opening into the vaginathe vulvar vestibule. Lidocaine, an anesthetic drug, may be used a few minutes before intercourse to prevent pain. In one trial, women were able to prevent pain by applying a lidocaine gel to the most sensitive part of the vulvar vestibule. The efficacy of the treatment was assessed by asking the women about pain experienced during intercourse or upon inserting a tampon. However, in another study, a lidocaine cream was no more effective than a placebo cream. There are many reasons for discrepancies from one study to another, such as different selection criteria for participants and differences in treatments or ways of assessing outcomes. Harvard Health Publishing lists lidocaine as a possible option for painful intercourse but cautions that the numbing action may affect your partner also .

Menopause Symptom: Hot Flashes

Hot flashes, also called hot flushes, are the most common menopause symptom. As many as three out of four women experience hot flashes. Some women begin having hot flashes before menopause, when they are still getting a period.2

Hot flashes are a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part of your body. Your face and neck may become red. Red blotches may appear on your chest, back, and arms. You may also get heavy sweating during hot flashes or cold chills after the hot flashes. Some women get more cold chills than hot flashes.

Hot flashes are most common in women in the year before their period stops and in the year after their period stops. However, recent studies show that hot flashes can continue for up to 14 years after menopause.1,3 Doctors and researchers do not know why hot flashes are so common during menopause. There are medicines that can prevent some hot flashes, and there are ways you can try to manage hot flashes when they do happen.

Also Check: What Helps With Dizziness During Menopause

Can Yoga Cause A Delay In Your Period

An irregular period can often indicate something is wrong, especially if you’ve been consistent in the past. Consider natural causes, such as pregnancy, as a possible reason. If you know that’s out of the question, you might examine your lifestyle for answers.

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Intense exercise may cause delayed or erratic periods. Female athletes who exercise a lot will sometimes skip or delay their menstrual cycle, especially if they also participate in disordered eating in an attempt to achieve a lower weight. As a result, women can fall victim to this female athlete triad, which also means low bone mass.

Yoga isn’t generally considered a competitive sport that inspires the type of intensity that delays your period. However, if you practice zealously and seriously restrict your eating habits, you might point to yoga as a potential cause.

So Can Having More Sex Stave Off Menopause

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Not necessarily. Study co-author Ruth Mace, a professor of evolutionary anthropology at University College London, is quick to point out that this is a linknot proof that having sex in your forties and fifties will push back menopause. We controlled for a wide range of variables, including estrogen hormone levels, smoking, and BMI, and the association remains, but that does not mean that sexual behavior necessarily delays menopause, she tells Health.

Given that sex can change hormone levels, its possible that this is the case, she says. Or, she adds, it could be a third variable, like other hormone levels that we did not have data on.

But Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale University Medical School , says she has great doubts biologically that having sex regularly would push back menopause. The best correlation I know is family historyif mom and sisters went through menopause later, you will likely go through menopause later, she tells Health.

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A Supplement For Thinning Hair

The Ablon Skin Institute Research Center is recruiting peri- and postmenopausal participants with thinning hair to test a dietary supplement designed to support healthy hair. Nutrafol Womens Balance capsules contain nutrients and botanicals including ashwagandha, curcumin, astaxanthin, capsaicin, biotin, zinc, iodine, selenium, and vitamins A, C, and D. In addition to self-assessment, the growth and quality of hair will be quantitated by measuring hair number, thickness, and strength. The first six months of the study will be double-blinded, and the supplement will be compared to placebo capsules. After six months, all participants will receive the daily supplement for an additional six months.

Can Menopause Be Delayed And Is It Good

For some women, the process of going through all of the menopausal symptoms could get problematic. It might even pose a problem if a woman is planning to conceive in her later years.

There are a lot of ways that you can delay your menopause. Both artificial and natural procedures are available. Recently, a new medical procedure has come up which claims to delay menopause for almost 20 years. Some added benefits of delayed menopause include a reduced risk of fractures and osteoporosis, a longer span for reproduction and reduced cause for mortality, and a lesser risk of morbidities and mortality from cardiovascular or heart diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, and ischemic heart disease.

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Your Skin And Menopause

Menopause causes many changes to your skin. Your body stops making as much collagen. You lose some fat under your skin and your skin’s elasticity drops. That, combined with dryness caused by hormonal changes, can cause sagging — especially around the neck, jawline, and cheeks — and fine lines and wrinkles. The lines and wrinkles you get with menopause are often crow’s feet and lines above the upper lip.

Referral To A Consultant

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If your GP thinks a medical condition might have caused your periods to stop, they may refer you to a consultant who specialises in the condition.

Depending on what your GP suspects is causing the problem, you may be referred to:

  • a gynaecologist a specialist in treating conditions that affect the female reproductive system
  • an endocrinologist a specialist in treating hormonal conditions

You may have a full gynaecological examination and various tests, including:

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Choosing The Right Hrt For You

It is important to find the correct HRT to help your symptoms.

A low dose of HRT hormones is usually prescribed to begin with. If you need to, you can increase your dose at a later stage.

Once you’ve started HRT, it’s best to take it for a few months to see if it works well for you. If not, you can try a different type or increase the dose. It’s really important that you talk to your GP if you have any problems with HRT.

Working With Traditional Medicine Herbalists And Holistic Healers

Holistic approaches often require dedication, guidance, and close consultation with an experienced practitioner. Functional, holistic-minded practitioners may use herbs, nutrition, meditation, mindfulness practices, and exercise to support the entire body and its ability to heal itself.

Traditional Chinese medicine degrees include LAc , OMD , and DipCH . Traditional Ayurvedic medicine from India is accredited in the United States by the American Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America and the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. There are several certifications that designate an herbalist. The American Herbalists Guild provides a listing of registered herbalists, whose certification is designated as RH .

Read Also: What Causes Hot Flashes Besides Menopause

Menopause Symptoms And Relief

During the transition to menopause, changing hormone levels can affect your menstrual cycle and cause symptoms like hot flashes and problems sleeping. As you get closer to menopause, you may notice other symptoms, such as pain during sex, urinary problems, and irregular periods. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your symptoms. Medicines and other treatments can help relieve your symptoms.

Menopause Symptom: Mood Changes

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You might feel irritable or have crying spells. If you had mood changes with your monthly periods or depression after giving birth, you may be more likely to have mood changes with menopause, too.13 Even if you never experienced mood changes during your monthly periods or after giving birth, you may still get mood changes during menopause. Mood changes at this time also could be from stress, family changes, or feeling tired. Mood changes are not the same as depression.

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Eat More Foods That Are High In Phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant compounds that can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.

Therefore, they may help balance hormones.

The high intake of phytoestrogens in Asian countries such as Japan is thought to be the reason why menopausal women in these places rarely experience hot flashes.

Foods rich in phytoestrogens include soybeans and soy products, tofu, tempeh, flaxseeds, linseeds, sesame seeds and beans. However, the phytoestrogen content in foods varies depending on processing methods.

One study found that diets high in soy were associated with reduced cholesterol levels, blood pressure and reduced severity of hot flashes and night sweats among women who were starting to enter menopause .

However, the debate continues over whether soy products are good or bad for you.

Evidence suggests that real food sources of phytoestrogens are better than supplements or processed foods with added soy protein (

20 ).

Drinking 17 oz of water, 30 minutes before a meal may lead you to consume 13% fewer calories during the meal .

Bottom Line:

Drinking enough water may help prevent weight gain, aid in weight loss and reduce symptoms of dryness.

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