From the onset of puberty, women know that they will one day face “the change.” Referred to as menopause, women dread this hormonal shift as the be all and end all of their sexual lives. However, how can we really know what to expect until we face it ourselves? Sure, we hear stories from our fellow females, but what exactly can we expect?
Contrary to popular belief, preparing for menopause does not need to be as complicated as it seems. Follow us as we discuss ways to prepare for menopause. We’ll cover the eight most common ways many women make that actually make menopause much worse.
1. There Is No Magical Number
One common misconception about menopause is that it hits at a particular age. However, similarly to menses for the first time, everyone’s body is on its own schedule. One woman may experience “the change” in her 40’s, whereas another may be a late bloomer in her late 50’s.
Many women assume that they will follow a similar cycle as the women in their families, yet this is not entirely true.
Just because your mother experienced menopause in her early 40’s does not mean that you can throw the tampons away when you turn 41.
Generally, one of the most prominent symptoms of menopause is the lack of menstruation for an entire year. Some women admit to feeling like the child in the back of the car begging, “Are we there yet?” So, please note that this change is not as drastic as we would hope.
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You may experience no menstruation for six months, only to all of a sudden have one cycle. Then, the twelve-month wait begins all over again, so prepare to wait.
There is no rush. As you will soon learn, menopause has many symptoms that are not worth rushing for, anyway.
2. Don’t Worry, You Aren’t Having A Heart Attack
Once you hit menopause, there are some symptoms you may misinterpret. One common symptom that women misinterpret are minor heart palpitations.
Due to the lowering of estrogen levels, many women experience a fluttering heart at the onset of any type of stress.
This stressor could be a perception of danger or excitement and not necessarily the stress we are accustomed to. The fluctuation of estrogen causes our bodies to misinterpret signals and therefore our hearts tend to race uncontrollably.
So, have no fear; chances are, you are not having a heart attack if you are experiencing menopause and heart palpitations at the same time. Still, if they are something new, be sure to have your doctor check you out thoroughly.
This is especially true if you have other heart attack symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pains and cold sweats. By all means, call a doctor.
3. Huh, What?
You may experience what you refer to as a “blonde moment” or brief memory lapse here or there, but just you wait until you hit menopause.
One common misconception is that this is simply a sign of aging, but there is actually a scientific explanation as to why menopause directly causes a loss in memory.
The estrogen drops are also a direct result of memory cells jumping ship. If you are thinking that this drop in estrogen is truly the real issue, then you are correct. The hormonal imbalance is what causes everything in our female bodies to go haywire.
If you would like to work out your memory cells before this grueling time, then there are home remedies that may help you. Some home remedies claim that eating certain foods can help improve memory functioning.
Foods rich in thiamine and vitamin E can help keep memory cells strong and working well, for example. These foods include wheat germ, herbal teas, eggs and pistachio nuts.
Other than eating your way to a healthier memory, there are also some “brain games” you can play by yourself to help improve cognitive memorization. Crossword puzzles are great practice and easy to complete alone, or you can have someone help you with the following game.
Clean your utensil drawer, or another drawer in which you frequently visit.
Ask a friend to remove two objects from the drawer at a time when you know you will not look in the drawer for a few hours, at bedtime, for example.
After a few hours, frequent the drawer and see if you can label the two items that have been removed.
Keeping your brain sharp and preparing for the memory loss that is ahead of you will keep you confidently moving through menopause. Remember that it is unavoidable. You will experience menopause. It is how you prepare for it that is entirely up to you.
4. Menopause Is Not the End Of Your Sex Life
In fact, many women beg to differ and claim that menopause reinvigorated their sex lives. Interesting, right?
Scientifically speaking, the lowering of estrogen hints at a lowering of libido; however, many women claim to experience a surge in sexual energy at the onset of their menopause.
It is important to remember that no two women experience the same menopause cycle, so some women may see a spike in their sexual desires, whereas other women find them steadily jumping ship.
Perhaps, then it is something else that causes a lack of intimacy during menopause. The biggest sex organ is the mind, so start there. Change your thinking, and you can change your life. Learn to accept your menopausal body. After all, it has served you well over the years.
5. Losing Weight Becomes More Difficult
Menopause, for many women, appears to be the distinct moment when the belly flab is difficult, if not virtually impossible, to lose. In addition to the loss of estrogen, other factors attribute to the easy weight gain after menopause: lack of exercise, physical injury, loss of muscle mass and lack of energy.
You may think it could be more difficult for a woman in her 50’s to get a job than a woman in her late 20’s.
However, older women are highly-skilled and more experienced, so they can compete for jobs. They’ve also raised their family, so maternity leave is not a problem.
Therefore, it is important to remain as physically fit as possible heading into menopause so that “the change” does not wreak havoc on your waistline. Other than physical activity, some other healthy alternatives include kicking sugar to the curb. No more desserts, sugary sweets, and sodas; instead, opt for fruit and natural sweets.
In addition to the weight gain, there is another symptom that is inevitably connected to menopause: the infamous hot flashes.
6. Menopause Is Not As Hot As You Think
Whenever someone hears menopause, they automatically think of hot flashes, and rightly so. Hot flashes are undeniably one facet of experiencing menopause, and many women commonly misunderstand the nuances behind hot flashes.
Hot flashes are not a flash. In fact, hot flashes can last for hours. Hot flashes are not simply feeling flushed or hot.
Hot flashes can include nausea, dizziness and a burning feeling. Immediately after the nausea and feelings of volcanic heat, come the rapid cold-flashes.
That’s right. You never hear about the cold-flashes, do you?
Well, they are very real. Hot flashes include three stages: nausea, a slow and steady flood of heat, and then a sudden cooling feeling. Now, repeat this multiple times a day for many days out of a year.
In fact, menopause can last years, so buckle up and prepare for the ride. Follow us as we discuss a few other things you can prepare for when experiencing menopause.
7. Say Goodbye To Regularity
You may have scoffed at your menstruation cycle as being irregular, but you truly do not know irregular until you begin menopause.
At one point in your life you experienced a regular menstruation cycle, but after the onset of menopause say goodbye to all regularity.
It is a misunderstanding to think that periods simply cease at menopause. Instead, you experience a rush of irregularity. You may have days where you have a “flow,” and you may have days when you cannot even leave the bathroom, only to find that the next day there is nothing.
This inconsistency is never really discussed, but it is inevitably going to happen; so be prepared for the irregular flow, even after menopause.
8. Menopause Brings A Few Friends Along
Due to the lack of estrogen, other health issues begin to arise. Issues such as high cholesterol, breast cancer, joint degeneration, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease begin to appear simultaneously with menopause.
As can be seen by the slew of other sections, the lack of estrogen is primarily at the helm of all of these issues.But did you know there is something you can do to help regulate the loss of hormones in your body during menopause?
It may seem inconceivable that you can control your hormones, but there are certain things you can do to help symptoms brought about by loss of estrogen.
Natural remedies include changing your diet to include more omega 3-fatty acids and less acidic foods, but that may not be enough to help balance your previous sex life.
Companies like Provestra have made it possible to restore your sexuality. With the click of a button, Provestra.com makes it possible to purchase a natural yet effective supplement that will help women sooth all symptoms brought about by the loss of estrogen.
Menopause may be unavoidable, but there are certain facets for which you can prepare. From the expected hot flashes to the unexpected visits from an old friend, prepare yourself for the change. At the end of the day, this is only just a new era of your life. Welcome it, and be sure to be fasten your seatbelt.