How to Thrive in Love & Life at Midlife And Beyond
By Carina Crisostomo
All women will be dealing with menopause at one stage in their life. It is inevitable and nothing can stop it from happening. It affects women in different ways and it comes at different ages. No women are totally alike there are common symptoms but every experience differs according to a woman’s lifestyle, age and environment.
Menopause happens when a woman stops having her period. Commonly, menopause starts at the age of 45 and up, this happens because the ovaries of a woman have stopped producing hormones. If a year has gone by without getting a period then it is confirmed that a woman has reached menopause. Although, symptoms like changes in the period, hot flashes, sleeping troubles, vaginal dryness, mood swings, trouble in focusing, hair problems can start earlier.
“Early menopause is not a sign to halt your life. It is just another chapter all women need to go through. Yes, it is a challenge, but anyone can surpass it with flying colors.”
Typical menopause symptoms include:
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Difficulty sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings and even depression
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory problems
Prescription treatments are available for symptom relief, but some women may prefer to try a drug-free or natural route.
Early menopause can also happen with some women as early as 35 years old, and if this happens consult your doctor. Any cessation of menses before age forty is premature menopause that needs further work up and specialized care, because of its detrimental effects on women’s health. Signs of early menopause include absence of period for a full year, common symptoms such as hot flashes, headaches, weight gain, depression, insomnia, mood swings and fatigue. Once you address the hormonal imbalance you may find ways to relief yourself of physical and emotional symptoms. Causes of early menopause are unknown but there are factors that can trigger it. First factor is in the genes. A family member with a history of early menopause can increase your chances of also experiencing the same thing. Another thing is that when a woman’s ovaries produce small amounts of egg producing cells, which in turn shortens a woman’s reproductive lifespan. Other factors include poor nutrition and poverty, smoking, alcohol and medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.
Coping with early menopause is a matter of determination and acceptance. There are those who feel stressed and confused. Some may also suffer low self-esteem and confidence. Transitioning to this next phase of your life should be done slowly and surely.
- Be informed — research about early menopause and apply some useful information to yourself.
- If you are still trying to conceive, explore other options; there are ways and all you have to do is to talk to your doctor.
- One thing that is good for your emotional well-being is to talk with other people with similar experiences. In this way, you may feel relieved with the thought that you are not alone in this phase.
- Undergoing early menopause should never stop you from doing what you do, continue to enjoy life and explore.
- Lastly, continue to take care of yourself. Do whatever you feel like doing, pamper yourself and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.
Early menopause is not a sign to halt your life. Again see your gynecologist for the above reason! Its not something that you should just bear with this early. Early menopause means that you will be spending about half of the rest of your life (considering ave life expectancy for Filipinas is 75 y.o.) without estrogen, and that impacts your over-all health and quality of life both in short term and in the long run.
Remember, early menopause is just another chapter all women need to go through. Yes, it is a challenge, but anyone can surpass it with flying colors. Never keep it to yourself. Surround yourself with all possible positive energies and love. Don’t be afraid and embrace it.