Because menstruation can be so unpleasant, many women think that menopause will be a relief. However, the symptoms of menopause can often be as difficult to handle – or more so – than the pain and discomfort of having your period.
Because menopause is a stage of life and not a disease, there is no avoiding it. There is no cure – the only way out of menopause is through it. There are treatments available to ease the symptoms, but some of them have side effects that can make the process even more difficult. Luckily, there are alternatives – but first, let’s talk about the process and symptoms of menopause
What Is Menopause?
The first step to understanding the natural things you can do to help ease the symptoms of menopause is to understand what it is. Women of child-bearing age produce eggs in their ovaries. Once a month, an egg is released into the Fallopian tubes. A protective lining builds up inside the uterus. In the even the released egg is fertilized, the lining will become the placenta that will nourish the growing baby. If the egg is not fertilized, the body sheds the lining once a month during menstruation.
When a woman goes through menstruation, it means that her body is slowing or stopping its production of eggs. In addition, her body will produce less estrogen. The reduction in estrogen can cause various symptoms. Some women will experience all of these, while other may experience only a few:
- Hot flashes (a quick feeling of being overheated that may be accompanied by flushed skin and perspiration)
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Pain during intercourse due to vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
Sometimes a woman may stop menstruating but still produce an egg or two. More than one woman has been surprised by a late pregnancy because she thought it was safe not to use birth control. Generally, women are considered to be done with menopause if they go without getting a period for a year. Common treatments for menopause include estrogen replacement therapy.
Easy Tips to Help You Live Easier with Menopause
While many doctors prescribe estrogen to women who are going through menopause, there can be some unpleasant side effects associated with this treatment. Some examples include:
- Vaginal discharge
- Weight gain
- Fluid retention
- Tenderness of breasts
- Spotting or darkening of the skin, especially on the face
Fortunately, there are some very easy things you can do to make the process less troublesome. Let’s take a look:
In addition to the remedies listed above, it is also important to be mindful of your overall health. Make sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet, exercise, and get enough sleep. You can also do things to minimize the stress associated with menopause, such as meditating. Meditation has been shown to be very helpful in relieving stress and anxiety, and many women find it to be helpful in terms of managing the emotional component of going through menopause. It may also help to share your experience with other women who are experiencing the same thing. Many areas have support groups – or you may simply want to talk to friends close to your age to see if they are willing to share their experiences with menopause.