Menopausing And Loving it - Yes, It Can Be Done
Menopause Can Have A Positive Impact On The Overal Quality Of Life
The thought of menopause usually calls to mind an array of unwelcome symptoms — hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, thinning hair, and sleep disturbances. The list is long and disheartening. But menopause can have a positive impact on your life as well; for one thing, not all physical changes caused by reduced female hormone levels are negative. For another, many of the emotional and social changes can actually be energizing. Read on to find out what many women have already discovered: In many ways, menopause can be a welcome change.
A Hurdle Every Woman Must Pass At Some Point In Their Lifetime
While every woman goes through menopause at some point in her life, the symptoms and timing can differ — often significantly — from woman to woman.
Midlife can be a wonderful time for women, but there also are challenges in maintaining health as a woman’s body changes.
For many in the medical establishment, menopause is simply a physical process that a woman’s body goes through that marks the end of her reproductive years.
But any woman who has been through it knows that there’s much more to it. Menopause – or, more accurately, perimenopause, the 4-10 years leading up to the end of menstruation – is a time of great changes not only to the body but to the mind and spirit as well.
Menopause Brings About Many Changes, Not Only Physically
Women experience menopause between 40 and 58 years of age, the median age being 51 years. Menopause is also a time of life with many symptoms and poor health status, which affect the quality of life. Menopause is also associated with a number of physical, psychological, and social changes.
On the other hand, there are also study results indicating that well-being is not associated with menopausal status per se but is associated with current health status.
The transition through menopause is a life event that can profoundly affect the quality of life. More than 80% of women report physical and psychological symptoms that commonly accompany menopause, with varying degrees of severity and life disruption. The aim of this study was to assess menopausal-related symptoms and their impact on women’s quality of life.
Menopause And The Changes To The Body
These are the symptoms that are widely documented, discussed, and treated, the ones that affect a woman’s physical well-being. Common symptoms of peri/menopause include:
- Irregular periods
- Hot flashes
- Increase in urinary tract infections
- Breast tenderness
- Vaginal dryness
- Painful intercourse
- Decreased libido
Symptoms of menopause can be dealt with systemically, with hormone replacement therapy, or one by one, depending on the severity of the issue (and whether HRT is right for you).
Menopause And The Inner Balance
I like to say that the real work during this time is spiritual, by which I mean the work of understanding the meaning and purpose of your life.
Menopause occurs around midlife, an ideal time to stop and look at our lives and ask some tough questions. Am I happy with the decisions I’ve made? Am I happy with who I am? It’s an opportunity to look at regrets, heartaches, and dreams deferred, as well as dreams realized, great loves, and incredible accomplishments.
We may not be happy with all the answers to these questions but in being honest, we find the freedom to accept the past for what it is and the ability to focus our attention on shaping the future.
Though there’s still stigma and embarrassment around menopause, it’s important to know that you’re not alone and there’s support out there.
Try to be open about your symptoms with your partner, family, and friends – it can help them to understand what you’re going through and could reduce any embarrassment about symptoms.
Sharing experiences with other women going through the same thing could be reassuring. There are many websites, blogs, and videos online where women have shared their stories of menopause.