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Menopause is just another stage of life a woman goes through as her childbearing years end. Menopause is defined as 12 months in a row without a menstrual period. During menopause, your estrogen and progesterone hormones are waning and this causes changes throughout your body. You are losing your ability to reproduce. The fertility cycle shuts down. You may no longer have your menstrual cycles or they may be irregular, and your physical feminine qualities from estrogen may fade. You may start to grow facial hair and your voice may lower. These effects are from testosterone becoming stronger as you lose estrogen.
These effects mean you are approaching the golden years: the markers to the “change of life” you, and thousands of women before you, have endured. Some women deny them and try to cover up, but others welcome the next stage of life with open arms. How you react can help you take menopause in stride.
Some women experience depression around the time of perimenopause, partly because of the hormonal changes and partly by the events that can happen in midlife, such as kids moving out, divorce, menopausal weight gain, difficulties with their sex life, and stress over missed periods early on, and so on.
Estrogen withdrawal causes the physical and mental changes you are going through. There are hormone replacement therapies you can take, creams you can use, and nutritional supplements and herbs that have been historically taken during this time of life. I talk about it here:
Having a trusted doctor or herbalist can greatly smooth the way for you. It’s ok to ask for recommendations from friends about healthcare professionals. Some days you may feel crazy and some days you may “feel like yourself again”, so do not take this stage of life too seriously. Many jokes about menopause point out the absurdities you feel and make you want to laugh. In fact, laughing is just what you need to get you through a bad day. In addition, a good support group, having friends going through that same thing you are will greatly benefit you. We have an awesome support group in the Menopause Movement Facebook group… Join here https://www.facebook.com/groups/menopausemovement. Be sure to answer the questions completely to be admitted into the group.
During and after menopause, you are at a higher risk for osteoporosis and heart disease. You can fracture your bones easier and are at risk for blood clots. Make sure to check with your doctor and get tested. Start eating a healthy diet, taking vitamin D3, and exercising daily. Click here to watch my video on weight loss during menopause. https://www.facebook.com/DrMichelleGordon/videos/1548581168537924/ Walking is the best, but you also need to lift some weights regularly to keep up your muscle tone and build bones. Again, a group will help you stick with it and have fun while exercising.
The most important thing to remember is menopause is not the end, it is just a part of aging and you still have the rest of your life to look forward to. Menopause is just a point in midlife. If you reframe your thinking, you can embrace the changes it brings! As you become an empty nester and have more time, use it to rediscover yourself. Take time for you… find things you enjoy. This is the best time of your life.