4 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Menopause

When it comes to menopause, 65 percent of women say they feel unprepared for what it may bring, according to a study in the journal Maturitas. But unlike other hormonally tumultuous times like puberty and pregnancy, you’ve actually got a lot more control over how you weather this one. The facts and the tips that follow will help you feel ready and empowered to deal with menopause — and make these years your best yet.

Symptoms could last for 7+ years:
You officially reach the big M after 12 months without a period, a milestone most women hit around age 51. The median length of menopause, as marked by hot flash symptoms, is 7.4 years total (roughly 3 before your last period and 4.5 after). In those years before menopause, your cycle can get erratic, your periods may grow heavier or lighter, and you might experience classic symptoms like hot flashes, sleep problems, brain fog, and mood swings. After menopause, symptoms linger as your body adjusts.

No, hot flashes aren't random:
Up to 80 percent of pre-menopausal women and 65 percent of post-menopausal women experience this trademark symptom. And while you may not be able to entirely avoid hot flashes, there are ways to minimize their impact. Triggers such as stress, hot drinks, caffeine, and sleep deprivation can start hot flashes and make them worse and more frequent. Spicy foods, hot rooms, and tight clothing also turn up the heat. So avoid those things, and swap them for more sleep, healthy foods, and plenty of exercise.

You can still have sex — and enjoy it:
A lot of women feel like sex won’t be as enjoyable after menopause or that it will be painful. And sure, waning hormones can leave the vagina naturally drier and less elastic, but you don’t have to live with it or let it kill your sex life any more than you have to live with a headache in the age of ibuprofen. Vaginal estrogen inserts and lubricants can all help improve the health of your vagina and maintain your sex life. Surprisingly, while 50 percent of women experience vaginal dryness and painful sex, as many as 90 percent don’t seek help from their healthcare provider.

Your mental health might take a hit:
Taking care of your mental health should near the top of your health priority check-list. Women already have twice the risk of depression and anxiety as men, and that can escalate during the menopause transition. You already know it feels good to vent or laugh your way through the tough parts of life, but research suggests positive social support can increase longevity in post-menopausal women, too.

Managing Menopause? Trust in the Top Rated Providers at Bella Women's Care to help you navigate your menopausal journey. Call or visit our website to schedule today!
(602) 240-2401 www.BellaWomensCare.com


Bella Women's Care Blogger

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