The word "menopause" makes many women feel like the end of the world. Instantly in the imagination there are stories heard from someone about headaches and joint pains, pressure surges and a decrease in sexual activity. But do not lose your composure - this period of life does not mean a high-speed descent from the mountain into the abyss.
Your fears will be allayed when you learn the truth about this stage of a woman's life, which usually occurs around 52 years old, when the ovaries stop producing estrogen. But sometimes menopause comes earlier (after age 45) or later (after age 55).
1. You may have to change your training system
"Many women who are actively involved in fitness come to me complaining that they are starting to get fat in the waist, and can not understand why they can not cope with it. says Keri Peterson, MD, physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. - When the hormonal background changes as radically as it happens during menopause, the body also changes - therefore, fitness habits need to be changed. So if you've always been a cardio queen and avoided lifting weights, it's time to change your load. Do more exercises with dumbbells. This will not only help slim down your waist, but also strengthen bone mass, which becomes increasingly fragile in women as they age.
2. Your sexuality will not wane
This is a common menopausal complaint. But don't worry, your ability to enjoy sexual pleasure isn't doomed to die. Yes, it is possible that sex will become painful because during menopause, estrogen levels plummet and less lubrication is released. But here's the good news: if a woman has an active sex life at this age, the body stimulates the production of vaginal lubrication to protect the vagina. However, if you are having sex regularly without long breaks and are still experiencing pain, you should see a gynecologist for an additional dose of estrogen (in the form of suppositories or ointment) to solve this problem.
3. You can still get pregnant
One thing is good, you think that during this period it is impossible to get pregnant, so you don’t need to protect yourself. Unfortunately, you are wrong. At the beginning of menopause, this is quite possible. You can technically go off protection only after you have not had a period for 12 months, which means the end of your fertile period. But during premenopause, when periods come and go, pregnancy is possible.
4. You will become more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
During menopause, many women stop using any form of protection, believing they can no longer get pregnant. But this can be a fatal mistake if both you and your partner are not in a serious relationship. Remember that susceptibility to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) does not end during this period, but increases, and the chance of getting infected if you had unprotected sex with someone you don't know very well is high. Conclusion: at any age, a woman should not forget about safe sex!
5. Your hair will become thinner
If you are a woman with thick hair who has always dreamed of lighter hair, then your dream will come true. The hairline on the head and on the body will noticeably thin out. This is because your body is now producing extra androgen, a hormone that plays an important role in male reproductive activity. Since you can't influence androgen production - it's a genetic thing - you'd better talk to your doctor about taking supplemental estrogen to balance your hormone production to the level you're used to.
6. You may have trouble sleeping
During this period, you should go to bed earlier. Between 32 and 40% of women in the early stages of menopause suffered from sleep disturbances. This number rises to 46% of women in advanced stages. This typical side effect is often due to night sweats in women. Night sweats cause simple flushes, and because sweat disturbs and wakes you up, it makes you feel sluggish the next morning.
This can lead to new problems such as irritability, fuzzy memory, restlessness. You will begin to feel as if you have forgotten something, and perhaps even feel some sadness. Prevent them from developing, take a preemptive strike against these symptoms: go to bed earlier so that you have enough time for quality sleep, even if nighttime flushes wake you up. And sleep longer if your sleep is interrupted at night.
7. You may feel unwell
Unfortunately, various symptoms of physical pain can appear at the onset of menopause. Studies show that 50 to 60% of menopausal women experience joint pain as estrogen levels drop. Other studies show that those who suffered from chronic migraines before menopause often experience an exacerbation of these symptoms during menopause. But not everything is so bad, there is good news: if you used to suffer from headaches episodically, then during menopause your condition may improve, and the pain completely disappears. More good news: if your joints are suffering, an estrogen medication from your doctor will help.
8. You may not experience any side effects
This news deserves the highest score! At least one third of women experience no menopausal symptoms at all. Many women literally fly through this period. The only thing women notice is the cessation of menstruation.
If you're not one of those lucky 33% of women who go through menopause easily, don't worry - it's not a fact that you're doomed to suffer. In this case, you should definitely visit a gynecologist to find out by what means you can get some relief. There are many of them, the main thing is to choose what suits you.