When dealing with menopause it’s important to know what to expect and what you can do to lessen the impact of the symptoms. Below is a list of five very common, normal menopausal symptoms, and some solutions to help you find relief. Remember to always consult a doctor before making any major lifestyle changes that could affect you and your health.
1. Hot flushes
Hot flushes occur for a variety of reasons and can often be very uncomfortable. There are a few ways a hot flush can make itself known, for example:
- You may get a sudden feeling of heat all over or in a part of your upper body
- Your face and neck may flush a red colour
- You may find red blotches appearing on your chest, back, and arms
- You may experience heavy sweating and cold shivers, much like a temporary fever.
There is no one course of action to treat all these types of hot flushes, so it’s best to try out a variety of methods and see what works best. Remember that these flushes happen to everyone, so don’t stress out! Here are a few suggested methods to help you with hot flushes:
- Avoid whatever is triggering the flash i.e. spicy food, alcohol, caffeine, stress, or even a hot place,
- Use a fan, or put some cold water on your wrists to cool down,
- Practice deep, slow breathing as in meditation.
2. Sleeping troubles
Unfortunately, menopause will affect nearly every aspect of your life, including sleep. Again, it’s important to avoid feeling stressed as that can often make it all much worse. You may experience:
- Heavy night-time sweating
- Irregular sleeping patterns, i.e. waking up periodically throughout the night
To help ease some of these symptoms, try the following solutions:
- Be more active! Go for a walk, run, or do some exercise during the day. Be sure not to exercise right before you go to sleep, however, as that may cause more restlessness,
- Avoid drinking caffeine after noon,
- Read for thirty minutes before you go to sleep, and
- Avoid large meals before bed.
3. Vaginal and urinary problems
A lot goes on in your body during menopause, so it’s important to keep track of how everything is going. You’re likely to notice a difference with your vagina, however this is normal. Here are a few symptoms you experience:
- Dry or thinning vaginal tissue causing pain during intercourse,
- A higher number of vaginal infections,
- A higher number of urinary tract infections, and
- A weaker bladder and the inability to fully hold it before reaching a bathroom.
Due to the sensitive nature of a lot of the above problems, it’s advised that you seek medical advice.
4. Mood changes
This is another difficult symptom that you may experience during menopause. Remember that it’s completely normal and just a side effect of what your body is going through. You may find yourself:
- Experiencing mood swings,
- Crying easier or more often, and
- Being more irritable.
Due to the mental health nature of these symptoms, if you have any concerns that you may be depressed, please seek the guidance and advice of the doctor. Otherwise try some of the following:
- Try to get more sleep at night,
- Talk to the doctor, therapist, or friends, or
- Go to a support group.
Remember to communicate to your loved ones exactly what you’re going through, so they can better understand why you’re feeling the way you are. This can avoid a lot of confrontation and help your family and friends to be more supportive during this difficult transition.
5. Change in opinion of sex
During menopause you may find that you lose interest in or suddenly become more uncomfortable with your sexuality. Again, this is very normal and there’s no need to worry. The only solution here is to talk to your partner and communicate what’s going on. It may also help to talk about your newfound, or newly lost, libido with the doctor.