How does menopause affect my life?

You are in your 40s or 50s.
You start to notice worrying changes in your menstrual periods. 
You slowly become aware of changes in your moods.

You might be headed for menopause and fret not, it is normal.

WHEN DOES MENOPAUSE HAPPEN?

Menopause is part of a natural aging process for women. If you have missed your period for 12 months straight and it is not due to pregnancy or illnesses, it is most likely menopause.

Typically during your 40s or 50s, your female hormone levels will naturally be reduced as you age and your ovaries will, in due course, stop releasing eggs. You will no longer have periods or be able to conceive.

Of course, this age varies. While the average age for menopause is about 52, some women who have removed their uterus or ovaries, or are having some specific cancer treatments, may experience menopause much earlier.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M HEADED FOR MENOPAUSE?

Several months or years before menopause, you may experience bodily changes like irregular periods and hot flashes. This stage is called perimenopause.

Like many other natural fertility cycles, experiences vary greatly from one woman to another. Some women suffer from intense night sweats that prevents them from sleeping well, while some never have to endure them. Some women have symptoms that last minutes or hours, others weeks or months. Some women even experience symptoms for years or decades after they’ve stopped their periods – this stage is called postmenopause. 

If you have similar symptoms but you are not sure if it is related to menopause, it is best to speak with your doctor. There are medical conditions or medications that can bring about similar symptoms.

WHAT CAUSES MISCARRIAGE?

Fatal genetic problems of the unborn baby are one of the most common causes of miscarriages and are often unassociated with the mother.

Other common reasons for a miscarriages includes:

  • Infections
  • Hormonal imbalances or disruption
  • Uterine abnormalities
  • Immune system responses
  • Medical conditions from the mother, such as diabetes or thyroid 
  • Abnormal physical conditions from the mother
  • Cervical insufficiency

These are some other factors that can also increase the risk of a miscarriage:

  • The mother is over the age of 35
  • Has had three or more miscarriages

SO, WHAT ARE THESE SYMPTOMS THAT I NEED TO LOOK OUT FOR?

Menopause will affect a woman’s life both physically and mentally. Being informed about what may happen can help to manage confusion and panic over this time of change. 

  1. You have trouble sleeping

Night sweats are hot flashes during your sleep that may cause a lack of a good night’s rest. If you keep waking up during the night or have trouble going to sleep, and you don’t usually have any problems sleeping, it may be a sign of menopause.

  1. You experience mood swings

A woman experiences several mood changes throughout her life. Menopause impacts hormonal balances which can worsen existing anxiety or depression. If you have been feeling down for more than a few weeks, it is time to reach out to your doctor. There are treatment options to make this journey less frustrating for you. 

  1. Your memory has worsened

Maybe you’ve forgotten where you’ve placed your keys, or left the stove on while you’re out. You might think it’s no big deal. Menopause, while is not the only reason why forgetfulness can worsen, can be a key factor. 

  1. You feel differently about sex

Some may experience troubles getting aroused while others may enjoy sex more. During menopause, the skin around your vagina may also become drier than before. There are options that can help soothe such changes, such as gel lubricants. Reach out to your doctor for advice that will suit your needs more accurately.

  1. You see and feel bodily changes

You may experience weight gain or drier skin and hair. You may notice muscle loss and suffer from stiff joints. You may feel like you need to work harder to keep your strength and to stay in shape. These are all normal as you approach menopause.

Menopause, sometimes known as the change of life, marks the end of a woman’s reproductive life and it can be a period of frustration when dealing with the unknown.

BUT this does not mean that life has taken a turn for the worse. 

Menopause can be seen as a new beginning – a time to reassess your lifestyle, health and wellness goals. 

It is the time for you to spend time on you. It is a normal part of aging and with your fertility specialist and doctor, you can create a journey that is a little less frustrating and a little more forgiving.