In my previous articles, I’ve talked about the 2 stages of menopause- Perimenopause and Menopause accompanying its signs and symptoms in women reaching between the ages of 40s and 50s or even in 60s. I am 50 years old, a perimenopausal which I define as a preparation to menopausal. It is a normal stage every woman will go through. No escape! Not having a period for more than 12 consecutive months means a woman is officially in the 3rd stage of menopause which is the Postmenopause stage,for the rest of her life.Now, what do I know about postmenopause when I’m not yet there? Let’s just say that I’m not only interested because I would want to prepare for its coming soon but also, I would want to share some knowledge I’d acquire through my own way with women of age, in the best of my ability. So, give it a try to read this.
Seeing this through postmenopausal women
Growing up in extended family, I have lived in my bachelor days withsome postmenopausal women around me – my aunties, my sisters and of course, my mother. I’ve grown closed with my aunts in the mother side. They are aged between 56 to 70. I’ve seen them in their not-so-younger days while I was growing up. The once shaped bodies they have are now fat and aging, forgive my description, but then they look happy and somehow contented in their lives.I know I’ll be joining their club soon, so I had a chance to ask them what they’ve experienced during which. One said it past her gently but she gained a lot of weight which she has given up hopelosing it. The other experienced what it needs to go through and could hardly accept the fact. I actually observed one of my aunts having some loss of memory when we have some family gatherings,she would ask again what she’d already asked just a moment ago. Again, and again, until the time it sank in her mind, she’d stop.There were times that she totally forgot where she keeps things just a few seconds ago. Which is why some experts would call itbrain fogand after menopause transition is causing it.This may be interesting that I may tackle this topic in my succeeding articles.But this lady I last asked seemed to awaken again my reflex. She said I’m lucky since I’m in perimenopause, I still have time to change my lifestyle, that I still have the functionalities inside me to melt the weight. “Do it while you still can, because everything will be slower inside of you once you join the club,” she said.I should tell you that she’s, my mother.
Signs and Symptoms of perimenopause and menopause are the same as in postmenopause, only less frequent. These are:
- hot flushes
- weight gain
- night sweats
- vaginal dryness and itchiness
- mood swings which include irritability, depression and anxiety that lead to
- sleep difficulties
and in addition:
- common memory lapses
- mental clarity problems
- difficulty focusing
Each of us is unique. What one experiences during this stage my not be the same with the other one, such as,postmenopausal women may find it more interesting in sex, while some may end it because of the worsening effect of vaginal drynessexperienced in this stage. Others gain weight while there are others, I’ve met,get to have a thin body structure as they age. Still, some women may experience hot flushes and night sweats for months, while others have it for yeas even a decade.
The magic of estrogen hormones does in our body is truly amazing! From the growth of the pubic hair to the reproductive organ’s functionalities are wonders! At postmenopausal phase,ourestrogen level goes low and remains constantly low that makes us prone to the possible exposure of the 2 common illnesses-
- Osteoporosiswhich is the weakening of bone structure in the body. Bones get brittletherefore susceptible to fractures. This is said to be more common to women as they age. It is recommended taking calcium vitamins to help manage the condition.
- Heart disease. With the decline of estrogen produce in our body, a sudden change in cholesterol level accompanied by a change in blood pressure takes place. Body fats build up on the blood vessels forming blockages and making it hard for the smooth blood flow to the heart. Generally, we all know that exercise and proper dietplus a regular consultation with our doctors are the best shield and recommended by all.
It is important for us women, to be on top of what is going on in our bodies. I, for one, keep a journal in my perimenopause stage now, and I will be doing so until I reach postmenopause to be able to impart with you this phase of life that I, myself will be the witness as I go along. It is us that should control ourselves and not let the signs and symptoms take over our lives. There are “angels” around us like the Doctors, support groups, friends and families, husbands and partners that we can always talk with. With the vast range of information available around the internet,finding out about the benefits and risks of this stage is easy nowadays. There are treatment options such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and non-HRT to consider depending on the needs. It is always good, even before, to keep a healthy living from the food that we eat to maintaining a healthy body.
Like some relationship in a woman’s life that had helped her be a woman she can be but didn’t work in the end, just like perimenopause, menopause, postmenopause, they will all be soon a “thing of the past”. What is important is that we don’t stop doing positive activities, be healthy in the best way we can and to bear in mind that there is life after “…pauses”.