Less Intercourse Is Natural
Despite what the media and prescription drug commercials would have you believe, intercourse in later years often isnt as pleasurable for couples as it used to be. Thats because of bodily changes such as vaginal dryness and erectile dysfunction, says Kraft. Half of women in their 50s continue having intercourse, but by their 70s only 27 percent of women are doing it.
That doesnt mean that you cant be intimate with your partner whether youre having intercourse with the help of lubricants, vaginal moisturizers or prescription drugs, or choosing other ways of staying connected.
About a third of long-term couples dont have sex or have sex only occasionally. But they dont necessarily consider that a problem. Its just where their relationships have evolved, explains Kraft. They do other things that are intimate that they enjoy like cuddling, sharing a bed and laughing together. And theyre happy.
Menopause Might Not Be The Cause
Heres a curveball: Your symptoms may not be due to menopause at all. Dr. Evans says, Just like Freud blamed mothers for everything, we tend to blame our ovaries and uterus for everything. But menopause isnt always to blame.
Many symptoms mimic the signs of menopause but there might be other causes. In midlife, there are plenty of factors affecting womens physical and mental health. Some of those can mimic the signs of menopause.
For example, juggling work, kids and aging parents can contribute to anxiety and depression. Weight gain, which is often blamed on menopause, has more to do with an aging metabolism. Thyroid disorders can mimic menopause as well. And though its not the norm, pseudo-hot flashes have even been caused by chronic sinus infections, Dr. Evans says.
Bottom line: Dont write off discomfort as, Well, I guess this is my life now. You dont need to live with uncomfortable symptoms, whatever the cause. See your doctor to figure out whats going on and how best to manage it.
Change Your Lifestyle And Your Wardrobe
Cutting back on alcohol and caffeine can help, as well as avoiding spicy foods if youre having hot flushes.
Just think about your wardrobe too, says Dawn, natural fibres rather than man-made fibres are better if you’re struggling with hot flushes – and its all about the layers.
Jo McEwan from Hot Flush says it helps to exercise, which can ward off things like heart disease, osteoporosis, strokes and diabetes.
I made myself do a bit of boxing, and running if I can do it anyone can, because I dont like exercise!
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Imbalance Amplified By Poor Lifestyle Choices
I hit the books, starting with What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, by Dr. John Lee still the Holy Grail for women in menopause. A few pages in, I was in tearshe was speaking to ME! Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, weight gain, the dreaded belly fat, impatience, irritability, i.e. behaving like the wicked witch of the west to those you love best in all the world? I could blame it on my hormones!
As I drilled down into the physical, mental and emotional power of hormones, I learned that the extent to which I was out-of-sync with my moods, my sleep, my very sense of self, was all tied up with the extent to which my hormones were out of balance. Yes, I could expect my hormones to significantly shift as my ovaries started to wobble off in mid-life, but how steeply or severely that shift occurred was in large part down to lifestyle: how I chose to eat, drink, sleep, exercise, and handle stress or not. Through trial and error, I found out how to get off the rollercoaster. I found that I could stop the madness to find my way back to balance AND to my family, who were only too happy to have mom back.
When Youll Experience Menopause
Learning when your mom experienced menopause is an estimation of when youll experience it. However, there are more accurate ways to go about learning this information, like measuring your AMH levels. Science has a lot to say about both methods.
In 2004, researchers set out to to determine the heritability of age at menopause based on 164 mother-daughter pairs who had both already gone through menopause. Their findings, published in Fertility and Sterility, revealed a 44 percent menopause heritability rate within the group. Heres one way of interpreting these results: Of the 164 daughters in the sample, almost half experienced menopause around same age as their mother. On average, the daughters experienced menopause one year earlier than their mothers.
Other studies come to similar conclusions, like this 2014 study that observed 400 postmenopausal Iranian women. Information on their mothers age at menopause was collected through individual interviews. The authors write, …we showed an association between a mothers and a daughters age at menopause, as shown previously. This 1995 study, which observed 344 cases of early menopause , found that 37.5 percent reported a family history of early menopause 46 years in a mother, sister, aunt, or grandmother. The risk of early menopause was greatest for those who reported a sister or multiple relatives experienced it, or if a family member experienced it before the age of 40.
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What We Wish Our Mothers Had Told Us About Menopause
MenoLabs News | Mon, May 11, 2020
Historically speaking, very little has been discussed about the female body. As women, weve had to fight to get essential coverage of the menstrual cycle included in sex education in schools. If few women learn what they need to know about the menstrual cycle, how many women have learned what they need to know about menopause?
Why didnt someone warn us that hot flashes would give us night sweats? How many women experience drastic changes to their sex lives? What can women do to get a good nights sleep when menopausal insomnia strikes? Its perfectly normal to feel frustrated about not knowing enough because, as a society, we dont talk about it enough.
Our founders, Vanessa Ford and Danielle Jacobs, thought long and hard about this before they started MenoLabs. They both expressed a great deal of frustration that they never got the chance to really talk about menopausal symptoms and health with their mothers.
My mothers menopause was brought on by a hysterectomy sometime during her thirties. She told me about the procedure, and that it meant she would stop having periods, but thats the only instance I can remember her talking about it, says Vanessa in a conversation about her journey in gaining knowledge about menopause.
Of the many changes that menopause brings, there are some common issues that menopausal women often have the most difficulty confronting.
Talk To Your Doctor About Supplements
Talk to your doctor if you are interested in taking nutritional supplements for menopause or for preventing the associated health risks. Some women use calcium or black cohosh, but these supplements arent right for everyone. Its crucial to speak with your doctor to learn more about the best options for your body.
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Can Menopause Cause Depression
The time leading up to menopause is a physical and emotional roller coaster for some women. The so-called change of life comes with a host of symptoms triggered by hormonal shifts hot flashes, insomnia, mood fluctuations and even depression.
When women go through sudden hormonal changes like those that come with perimenopause, puberty, postpartum and even their monthly cycle, theyre at a higher risk for depression, says Jennifer Payne, M.D., psychiatrist and director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins. In general, women are twice as likely as men to develop the condition.
Mental Health Issues Associated With Menopause
Mood swings are another common symptom of menopause. Low estrogen levels can lead to irritability, anxiety, and depression. Your moods can change quickly and vary greatly, from laughing to crying within minutes.
How are estrogen levels connected to your mood? Some studies point to the mood-enhancing effects of the hormone, which implies that lower levels of it may lead to feelings of depression. In fact, one study showed that women are two to four times more likely to experience a major depressive episode during menopause than at other times in their lives.
Menopause and low estrogen levels may also exacerbate existing mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
In addition to changing estrogen levels, sleepless nights can also contribute to mood changes. Night sweats, hot flashes, and heart palpitations at night can leave you feeling cranky, anxious, and irritable during the day.
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Hormone Replacement Therapy: It Can Bring Relief
If menopause symptoms are getting you down, medications can help. Talk to your doctor about low-dose birth control pills, which can regulate heavy or irregular periods during early perimenopause. Closer to menopause, hormone therapy can improve symptoms such as hot flashes.
Treatment is especially helpful if hot flashes are interfering with a good nights sleep, Dr. Evans adds. Often, women find that anxiety and depression ease once hot flashes and night sweats are no longer making them toss and turn all night.
At the end of the day, just remember: Menopause is a stage of life, not a disease in need of a cure. And you can continue to live your best life during these years.
If youre feeling some distress, touch base with a healthcare provider, Dr. Evans reassures. No matter what you are going through, we can help.
Stay Connected With Friends
Mood swings are common during menopause, and it helps to have friends around. Menopausal changes can feel frustrating and contribute to mood swings, but talking with friends can make the transition more bearable. You might find that friends going through the same changes feel very similar to you. Reaching out and connecting with friends is one of the best menopause care options for overall wellbeing.
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SPECIAL NOTE: If this important subject doesnt apply to you, please continue reading to learn ways you can help support the women in your life.
For many women in the U.S., menopause begins around age 52.1 But every woman is different, so this multiyear transition can begin much earlier. All women, however, deserve to be empowered with tips and tools to keep them comfortable at work and at home. Previous generations didnt talk openly about this subject, so some wives tales exist about this natural phase of life. In this blog well debunk some myths and share suggestions to help you feel your best throughout this process.
Myth #1: You know youre in menopause when you start having hot flashes. While symptoms such as night sweats and irregular periods are common signs of menopause, some women dont have symptoms, and some symptoms may be common with other conditions. If youve always been able to set your watch by your periods, you can start tracking them when they become irregular.
Myth #2: Theres no way to know when youre going to start menopause. Actually, talking with your mom about when it began for her is a helpful guideline. You will have to consider other factors too. For example, menopause may begin earlier for some women who have not had children.
Here are a few tricks, tips, and tools to help you get through this sometimes trying stage of life:
1U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
My Interest In Sex Is Completely Tanking Is There Anything I Can Do
You know how when you go through puberty, all the sudden sex is on your mind, like, constantly? Dr. Seibel says going through menopause is kind of like puberty in reverse, so it’s really common for interest in sex to decrease.
Dr. Phillips urges people experiencing this not to feel shy about bringing it up to their doctor because this is also a symptom that has solutions, which could include medication or working with a sex therapist. “It’s also important to talk to your partner to they can help address your emotional, physical, and psychological needs,” she says.
Going through menopause can, at times, be frustrating, but something it shouldn’t be is a guessing game. Armed with the facts about menopause make it easier to navigate because you’ll know what to expect and how to manage the symptoms better. And that’s exactly why it’s worth talking about more.
What Are The Earliest Symptoms Of Menopause
Part of the reason some in their 30s and 40s don’t realize they’re starting to go through menopause is because they don’t know what the earliest signs are. Besides disruptions in your menstrual cycle, moodiness, hot flashes, trouble sleeping, vaginal dryness, skin dryness, inability to lose weight, and brain fog are all classic menopause symptoms. “These symptoms are all caused by an imbalance in hormones, primarily estrogen and progesterone,” Dr. Seibel explains.
Dr. Minkin says trouble sleeping is another big one. “It’s not uncommon to be able to fall asleep, but then wake up in the middle of the night with a hot flash, then you fall back asleep and wake up a couple hours later with another one,” she says. Not being able to get a good night’s sleep can of course lead to feeling moody or experiencing brain fog the next day.
Dr. Minkin also emphasizes that different people have different experiences of going through menopause. For example, she says 20 percent of people won’t experience any symptoms at all, other than not getting their period anymore. It’s another reason why there’s so many misconceptions that surround this life stage.
Menopause Moms Are On The Rise
The fact is that being a menopause mom has much to recommend it. In her book, Ready: Why Women Are Embracing the New Later Motherhood,Elizabeth Gregory, director of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Houston discovered that older mothers are usually more emotionally ready to cope with parenting. Gregory says that “many older mothers have met their career and personal goals so they can and want to focus on family.”
In fact, over the past three decades, skyrocketing numbers of women have chosen to start their families in their late thirties and early forties. In 2005, ten times as many women had their first child between the ages of 35 and 39 as in 1975, and thirteen times as many had their first between 40 and 44. But with that comes the challenge of moving into menopause just about the time your children are hitting their tweens or like me, getting their period the day you turn 50!
If like me, you had your children later in life and never again want to see that scared or perplexed look on their face when you’re in a menopausal meltdown, read on for the answers you need to feel like yourself again.
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How well I remember the dismaying shock of menopause storming into my life…I was in my late 40s then and had just moved back to the States from England a culture clash and-a-half. My daughters were still pretty young, 9 and 6 years old, and having a hard time adjusting to new schools on top of coping with an older mom whose hormones were suddenly in full revolt.
As I recall, Christmas was fast approaching but with hot flashes hitting me every 20 minutes, and mood swings in between, no amount of holiday cheer could cheer this mama up. In the dead of winter I kept cranking the windows wide open, and Gawd help anyone who complained of frostbite. Try putting on another sweater, Id bark at my husband and shivering little ones. Needless to say, my family was beginning to hate me.
Will You Have Your Mother’s Menopause
Sandra Gordon is dreading menopause. The 46-year-old from Weston, Conn., watched her mother’s memory falter in her mid-50s, due to changing hormone levels. “Every time I get my period I say to myself, Yes! I’m so relieved!'” says Gordon. She’s not alone. Many women recall their mothers’hot flashes, sleepless nights, or unexpected mood swings, not to mention thinning hair, sagging skin, and wrinkles, with apprehension.
But hearing your mother’s account of menopause can create a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, says women’s health expert Christiane Northrup, MD, the author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause. “One of my patients said to me, My mother always told me the best years of her life started after menopause and therefore I looked forward to it and never had a single problem.’ Another told me, My mother told me this is the worst thing that can ever happen to you and I’m terrified,'” she says.
Either way, your mother’s menopause isn’t always a predictor of what your experience will be. It’s not all hereditary, and there are a few things you can do to make your own transition easier.
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Menopause Symptoms At Age 40
For the vast majority of women, menopause symptoms dont start this early. If menopause happens before age 40, its called premature menopause. If it happens between age 40 and age 45, its known as early menopause. Fewer than 10 percent of women experience premature or early menopause.
But if youre in your early 40s and are regularly experiencing symptoms such as changes to your periods timing or flow, hot flashes, mood changes or sleep problems, dont ignore them. Talk with a womens health specialist.
A specialist like an OB-GYN or certified nurse-midwife can work with you to determine whether your symptoms are related to menopause, or another reason such as hormonal disorders or other health conditions.