Menopause – Various symptoms and how to deal with them

As mentioned in previous blog post ‘Menopause – What is HRT?’, menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her period stops because her ovaries have stopped working and she will no longer be able to have children.

Below are some of the problems many women face when going through the menopause and a brief list on how to deal with these symptoms.

Memory and concentration problems.

A common condition termed as ‘brain fog’ by many people is to describe the forgetfulness during menopause that many women face. You\’re not on your own. A recent study shows that memory loss, the ability to take in new information and manipulate it and trying to stay focused proved difficult for most women going through menopause. There are some simple tips you can take that will make menopause easier on yourself, doing things such as turning the tv off before bed to quiet your mind from racing thoughts, joining a gym or exercise regularly to avoid feeling wired at night and making a habit of doing word puzzles like Sudoku throughout the day. Limit your caffeine intake also.

Mood swings and depression.
‘The blues’ are very common during menopause. This can involve laughing one minute and crying the next. These feelings can be extremely overwhelming, and many women choose to make lifestyle changes before turning to medications. Using stress-control methods like getting regular sleep and exercise can really help and prescription antidepressants can up your serotonin levels. Along with memory difficulties, other women report symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as problems with sleep and sex. Perhaps learn a new language or learn to do something new on the computer. The idea is to challenge your brain in new ways.

Disrupted sleep and insomnia.
Hot flashes can wake many women up during the night and cause sleep disturbances. Medications are available for temporary treatment of insomnia, looking at herbal remedies can help too. Talk to your doctor about the best way to tackle insomnia.

Low sexual desire.
A low sex drive can be caused by diminished estrogen that may reduce blood flow to the genitals and cause a decrease in sensation. Vaginal dryness from menopause can make intercourse painful and women with difficulty sleeping can be too tired to have any sexual desire. The most important sex organ is the brain. Talk to a sex therapist if you find talking to your partner about these issues too difficult.

Weight Gain. This could also be due to a slow-down in metabolism with age, it is not necessarily just down to menopause. Measure your waistline regularly and try to prevent any increase. Eat healthily and enjoy fruit and vegetables rather than snacking on junk food.

Urinary incontinence.
This is the more frequent need to urinate or the unwanted leakage of urine. Eliminate tea, coffee or citrus juice drinks and try to stick to water when you are thirsty. Exercises such as contracting and releasing the pelvic floor muscles can train your body to face this problem. Ask your GP for more information on this.

Dry skin and dry hair.
An inexpensive generic brand of moisturiser will work just as well as the more expensive brands and petroleum jelly such as vaseline is highly affordable and effective.

Take these tips on board and check out the Femplus blog post on ‘Menopause – What is HRT?’ for information on other methods to treat menopause.

Author Rita Galimberti Femplus Clinic

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