As a woman ages, going through menopause is a very normal and natural process. It’s not uncommon for women to wonder how to manage menopause and look for menopause care that can make the transition into and through menopause easier to manage.
What is menopause?
Menopause is a very normal and natural condition that every woman will go through in later stages of their life. Menopause itself can be defined as changes a woman experiences before or after she stops menstruating, which will mean her reproductive period has ended.
What causes menopause?
When a woman is born, she only has a finite number of eggs stored in the ovaries. The ovaries are responsible for creating estrogen and progesterone, certain hormones that control ovulation and menstruation. When the ovaries stop releasing an egg every month, menstruation stops and menopause begins.
What are the stages of menopause?
Menopause that is of natural origin will not have been induced by medical or surgical treatment. While it’s possible to induce menopause intentionally through medicine or surgery, natural menopause will happen in three main stages.
- Perimenopause. This is the stage that happens prior to menopause. It commonly occurs at least many years before menopause is experienced. During perimenopause, a woman’s body will begin to make less estrogen over time. In the last year or two of perimenopause, the rate of estrogen production will drop rather quickly and many of the menopause symptoms will be more apparent. Perimenopause stops and moves into the next stage when the ovaries stop releasing eggs.
- Menopause. This stage officially begins when it’s been about a year since a woman had her last period of menstruation. During menopause, a woman’s ovaries will no longer release eggs and has stopped making the majority of estrogen for the body.
- Postmenopause. After menopause has passed, the years following is considered the stage of postmenopause. Certain symptoms related to menopause (like hot flashes) will have eased down and become more manageable. However, some health risks can become more apparent during this stage, especially as less estrogen is created during a woman’s aging process.
Managing Menopause Symptoms
Menopause itself is a natural part of the aging process for women and cannot be directly prevented. However, the severity of symptoms can be reduced or made more tolerable through certain medication and lifestyle changes.
Symptoms of Menopause
There are many symptoms associated with menopause and they all will depend on your age and the stage your menopause is currently in. Below are the common symptoms that may be experienced by a woman in the years or months leading up to menopause.
- Irregularity of periods.
- Night sweats.
- Drying of the skin.
- Difficulty sleeping or other sleep issues.
- Body odor changes.
- Experiencing depression or anxiety.
- Changes in mood.
- Overall fatigue.
- Lack of concentration.
- Lapses in memory.
- Loss of libido.
- Unexpected dizziness.
- Increased irritability.
- Vaginal dryness.
- Slowed metabolism and gaining weight.
- Hot flashes.
- Hair thinning.
- Loss of fullness in the breasts.
If you are experiencing symptoms of menopause, make sure to contact Banner Urgent Care to learn more about menopause and to determine whether or not you may be pregnant instead.
Managing the Symptoms
Visiting your doctor when you are starting your perimenopause or menopause stages can help with managing menopause and its symptoms. Knowing how to manage menopause will make symptoms more manageable and make it easier for you to prevent other related health conditions or concerns. Regular visits to the doctor is usually recommended to make sure you are properly managing menopause and to keep an eye on other issues that may arise.
Below are common recommendations for women going through menopause in order to help reduce the severity of symptoms.
- Maintaining a healthy weight. As menopause begins, metabolism and other changes in the body can make it more difficult to maintain a certain weight. However, it’s still important to make it a priority to stay within healthy weight ranges, as these can help to limit and reduce the symptoms experienced during menopause. Other suggestions below can make it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercising. Regular and consistent exercise makes it easier for your body to maintain a healthy weight, which is important during menopause as it gets harder to keep unwanted weight off. Regular exercise can also help with mood fluctuations and keep depression, stress and anxiety at bay.
- Better dieting. Eating healthier foods will help with weight regulation and can improve your overall mood.
- Avoiding certain foods. Some foods and beverages can increase the symptoms of menopause or make it harder to manage them. It’s recommended to avoid caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol and related foods or keep their consumption within moderation.
- Medication. When managing menopause symptoms gets too difficult, you can always consult with a medical professional at Banner Urgent Care to learn more about managing menopause through medication and other treatment options.
Are you currently going through menopause? Are you in a different stage of menopause (perimenopause or postmenopause)? Or do you need help preparing for menopause and its earliest symptoms before they arrive? Managing menopause on your own does not need to be difficult. Give us a call today at Banner Urgent Care to learn more about menopause or stop in at the most convenient time for you!
We will be happy to help you with all of your questions and concerns related to menopause and its symptoms.