Monthly Archives - Mar 2020

MAKING THE MOST OF MENOPAUSE

YES, YOU CAN!!! There is no getting away from the fact that most women will experience menopause during their lives. Some earlier than later, and a few lucky ones who escape it completely, like the “one that got away”. There has always been much negativity around this maturing phase, and understandably when calling to mind an array of unwelcome symptoms, amongst others:
  • Hot flushes
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbance
  • Thinning hair
The disheartening list is long but believe it or not, menopause can also have a positive impact on one’s life. Not all physical changes caused by the reduction of female hormones are negative.  Many of the emotional and social changes can be quite uplifting. Mommy Wellness thought it would be a refreshing approach to look at just some of the positives of one of life’s natural transitions. Let’s start with the obvious one first: GOODBYE MONTHLYS – and not a month too soon either! Marking the end of the menstrual cycle is a cause for celebration for many women in itself.  No more last-minute tampon or pad shopping, no more leaks and the end of menstrual cramps. The cessation of periods also puts an end to the guessing game of when your period will start and stop and for those women who are often restricted to their homes on ‘heavy’ days, it is liberating. And don’t forget, now being able to safely wear white again too! DID YOU MENTION PMS? Isn’t it amazing how unpopular we seem to become a week or two before a period is due to start?  Suddenly everyone seems to start hating us and we seem to start hating everyone just as much, if not more! PMS is very common and most irritating both for the sufferer and for those who suffer around the sufferer. As oestrogen levels rise and fall, PMS causes a host of physical and emotional symptoms, which include breast tenderness, headaches, food cravings and irritability. The good news is that PMS disappears after Menopause. KISSES AND CUDDLES:  NUDGE-NUDGE, WINK-WINK Well we know where this often leads and believe it or not, during menopause, women tend to be able to enjoy intimacy far more than before, without the obvious fear of having to think about a possible pregnancy. This makes a vast difference, according to a multisite, longitudinal study of the physical and psychosocial changes which women experience in midlife, including menopause.  Hooray! NO MORE HORMONAL HEADACHES – NO MORE EXCUSES Another study shows that women are affected by migraines three times more often than men.  About 70 percent of these women were found to suffer from menstrual migraines, which coincide with ovulation and menstruation. These headaches, like normal headaches, can cause a throbbing pain on one side of the head and are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and light or sound sensitivity.  During normal menstrual cycles, the migraines can be triggered by fluctuating levels of oestrogen and progesterone. After menopause, the two levels fall, and therefore, usually hormonal headaches decline too. Another positive for sufferers to look forward to, once on the other side of the menopausal transition. EVEN UTERINE FIBROIDS SHRINK A lot of women approaching their 50 ‘s develop uterine tumours.  They are almost always benign and usually grow when oestrogen levels are high, and during pregnancy, when oestrogen and progesterone levels increase.  They also present themselves sometimes during perimenopause, when oestrogen levels swing from low to high. Depending on whether fibroid symptoms present heavy menstrual bleeding, or if pressure on the bladder is severe, surgery may be recommended.  Luckily, fibroids usually stop growing or shrink considerably when menopause arrives, and when oestrogen levels decline. For those who have monitored fibroid growth trying to avoid surgery, or for those who have heavy periods due to fibroids, menopause is a welcome arrival and provides a much-needed break. PERFECT TIMING FOR A FRESH START After menopause women experience a rush of physical and psychological energy. This sudden burst encourages many women to take a look at their lives.  Many decide to take a fresh approach, looking into their relationships, their professions and their health. It could be interpreted as a ‘wakeup call’, inspiring women to grab a new lease on life with both hands and finding new ways of expending new-found energy. It allows women to re-assess themselves and make sure that they put their best foot forward, heading in the direction they wish to go, both personally and professionally. Spending meaningful time on one’s self is very important. A NEW YOU IS ON THE HORIZON Feeling even more empowered is not uncommon for postmenopausal women.  This is partly because of the biological changes which take place during menopause and partly because of the stage of life at which menopause takes place. The relief of not having your ‘monthlys’, no risk of pregnancy, mood swings and all that goes with PMS symptoms, are all factors which rejuvenate post-menopausal women. In the meantime, children are maturing, and this in itself allows a feeling of more freedom and provides more time to pursue professional and personal goals. Life experience after 50-plus years has included all sorts of ups and downs, from child-rearing, relationships, careers and the like. This is the perfect time for women to get out there and pursue what they want with an amazing sense of new confidence, and with no qualms about kicking butt on their new journey.
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