Menopause 101 – Understanding the Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms that come with menopause can be challenging. While some women have few symptoms, other experience a number of changes. Here are some changes that may occur with menopause:
You could experience fatigue, anxiety, irritability and crying spells around the time of menopause. Deep-breathing exercises, good nutrition and daily exercise may help with your mood swings. Over-the-counter medications like St. John’s wort of vitamin B6 have also been known to treat menopause symptoms. Talk to you doctor to see if your emotions are an indication of menopause or if they are a sign of depression.
Urinary and Vaginal Problems
Incontinence is an unwelcome symptom of menopause. Because your body is producing lower levels of estrogen, your vaginal walls may get more thin and dry. Drinking plenty of water can help keep your urine diluted. Also try to avoid foods that have a high acid content, which can irritate the lining of the bladder. These include grapefruit, oranges, tomatoes, coffee and other caffeinated drinks.
Hot flashes that occur during sleep can make getting a good night’s sleep almost impossible. To find relief, try dressing in light clothing and keep a frozen cold pack on your feet. An electric fan can help you cool down, as can sipping cool water throughout the night.
It may be difficult for you to sleep through the night. To help you rest easier, establish a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends. Reading a book or taking a bath before bed can also help you relax and unwind. It’s also a good idea to avoid caffeine or alcohol late in the day.
Sex may also become less comfortable due to your diminished estrogen levels. Tissues of the vulva and the lining of the vagina become less lubricated, thin and dry with estrogen loss. Look for vaginal lubricants that are water-soluble to counteract this condition. Examples include Replens and K-Y Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer.
Changes to your body due to menopause can be unwanted and inconvenient, but having the right tools to treat your symptoms can mean that mid-life can be anything but a crisis.
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