Menopause is a natural, universal stage of life for women.
Unfortunately, many find that symptoms of menopause not only disrupt their daily life but their emotional well-being.
During perimenopause, women can experience several symptoms of menopause ranging in severity. While these symptoms are not dangerous, some women suffer enough to seek medical treatment.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is the cessation of menstruation, the end of fertility, and marks several hormone changes for women. Menopause is official when a year has passed without menses (and there is no pregnancy or lactation). Once menopause is official, pregnancy prevention is no longer a concern.
What Is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause refers to the years before and after the final menses (menopause) when several symptoms of menopause are present due to hormone fluctuations and changes.
Symptoms Of Menopause
Although menopause usually occurs in the 40s or 50s, some (usually unnoticed) symptoms of menopause may begin as early as the late 30s. Smoking, having a heavier weight, or being of certain race/ethnicities may cause earlier symptoms of menopause.
The first sign of menopause is irregular menstrual cycles. Missed periods, missed ovulation, or more frequent periods may occur, and vary from light to heavy.
Usually symptoms of menopause come on gradually, although different women will have different experiences. Not everyone has every symptom of menopause or equal severity.
- Irregular Menses
- Hot Flashes/Night Sweats
- Sensations on the Skin such as: Itchiness, Crawling, or Tingling
- Dry Skin
- Tender Breasts
- Atrophy of Genital Tissue
- Vaginal Dryness
- Sexual Difficulty (Low Libido & Difficulty Achieving Orgasm)
- Immediate Urge To Urinate
- Increased Risk for Heart Disease
- Increased Risk for Osteoporosis
Emotional/Mental Symptoms of Menopause:
- Increased Stress
- Mood Swings
- Depression (Usually related to the significance of infertility and aging)
Spotting after menopause is cause for a trip to the doctor.
Some symptoms, like vaginal dryness, may be permanent along with the hormone changes of menopause. Others, like mood swings and hot flashes will cease when hormone levels stop fluctuating.
While some may consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to address symptoms affected by changing hormones, others may want to consider natural remedies, which involve addressing each symptom.
Addressing Symptoms Of Menopause Naturally:
Menopause is marked by changing hormone levels; the reproductive organs stop producing estrogen and progesterone. This affects not just the reproductive system but other organs and tissues.
Some estrogen is still produced in other parts of the endocrine system, including by the adrenal glands. Supporting these tissues, as well as other systems that may be impacted can help improve symptoms and health (i.e., exercise and maintain a healthy weight to support your cardiovascular system; take a calcium-magnesium supplement to support healthy bones, etc.).
Other alternative remedies are supported by some studies, but refuted by others. Acupressure or acupuncture may help, as well as traditional herbal supplements. For some symptoms of menopause, it may be easier to address them directly, for example wearing layers that can be removed during hot flashes and drinking ice water.
Alternative Supplements That May Help with menopause:
- Evening Primrose Oil has been traditionally used to treat symptoms of menopause.
- Melatonin may help with insomnia as well as depression.
- For extra help with depression and emotional symptoms, supporting neurological health with a targeted multivitamin may help.
- Colloidal gold may help support memory and focus.
- Urinary tract infections and vaginal yeast infections become more likely during menopause, taking a probiotic as well as supporting the immune system can help the body prevent infection.
- Bone, joint, and muscle pain may be common. Heat and Ice packs, as well as targeted supplements may help.
- Skin loses elasticity, which copper may help support
Others may benefit from support groups where they can talk about the changes they are going through with others who are sharing the experiences.