How Menopause Can Affect Your Everyday Life

How Menopause Can Affect Your Everyday Life

Woman suffering from menopause - How Menopause Can Affect Your Everyday Life

Menopause is a normal process that a female’s body goes through when they reach middle age. Although expected, that doesn’t mean that it is not difficult or doesn’t cause some discomfort in your life. Certain life experiences can increase the likelihood that menopause may arrive earlier for some women. Here we will discuss how menopause can affect your everyday life, why, and what you can do to help manage your symptoms.

What the Body Does During Menopause 

As your body ages, it will naturally stop having as many periods or menstrual cycles as usual. The perimenopause phase occurs before you hit menopause and can happen up to ten years before menopause. This is when estrogen begins to drop in the body, which is the primary hormone produced in the ovaries. In the perimenopause phase, you may miss occasional periods or have other changes in your cycle. It is still possible to get pregnant during this phase, and it can last for up to four years. In the menopause phase, your cycle will completely stop, and your body will no longer produce eggs and will not ovulate, resulting in lower levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Menopause Symptoms and Effects 

Although it may be a pleasant change to no longer have your monthly cycle, there are other symptoms that menopause can produce that can negatively affect your daily life. Every woman is different and will have different experiences. Some tend to not notice much during this stage of their life, while others struggle with symptom management. Below are the most common symptoms:

Mood Swings

Since the body is changing hormone production, many females find themselves going through mood changes. This can include increased irritability, agitation, anxiety, exhaustion, and feeling positive one day and the opposite the following day. Menopause can also trigger depression, so if you feel as though you have been down for an extended amount of time, talk to your physician. 

Night Sweats 

Also referred to as hot flashes, these are instigated by the drop in estrogen. You may find yourself getting hot and uncomfortable quickly during the night. This typically affects the upper half of the body and can even change the color of your skin, as though you had a rash. This is a common symptom, with about 75 percent of women experiencing it, and may affect your sleep.

Incontinence

Incontinence is when the body has difficulty controlling when it needs to use the bathroom to excrete fluids. This may mean that the body will drip out urine, or you may feel the need to use the bathroom much more urgently than normal.

Vaginal Dryness

Since the body is no longer creating the same levels of hormones to prepare for a cycle, you will notice that fluids are not being generated the same way. There will be no cervical mucus that typically comes with ovulation. For some women, this results in dryness, which can be uncomfortable.

Osteoporosis 

With menopause, the body will no longer be as dense as before, putting women at risk for osteoporosis. The change in estrogen can affect the calcium that is used to strengthen the bones. This may also mean you lose muscle mass more quickly, and your joints may feel less limber than before.

Some other symptoms you may experience include:

  • Sexual discomfort
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Palpitations
  • Weight gain

Managing Symptoms

If you are experiencing intense menopause symptoms, there are things you can do to manage them. While it is sometimes an uncomfortable experience, many have traveled this path before and have found ways to make them less intense.

Relaxation Techniques: 

If you have had unstable moods, finding out which relaxation techniques work best for you can be critical for achieving a higher quality of life. Some ideas for techniques include self-care strategies like going out and getting a massage, coloring, painting, deep breathing, or meditation.

Physical Activity 

Exercising is a good strategy for helping balance out the body’s hormones. It can also help you sleep better at night and keep stress at bay. If your body is achy or feels weak, you can try low-impact activities like yoga, which can also increase mindfulness.

Dietary Changes

If sleep continues to be an issue, try to avoid any highly acidic foods or caffeinated beverages before sleeping. You can also try to drink teas that are known to relax the body, such as chamomile or lavender, which can be found at most grocery stores. Milk and peanuts have also been known to aid with sleep, as they contain the ingredient tryptophan.

Lubricants or Moisturizers

If you find that you are dry, there are plenty of over-the-counter lubricants you can use to be more comfortable. This can help during intercourse. This helps the body maintain moisture and can help with the elasticity of the vagina, which often changes during menopause. This also helps with the pH levels of the vagina, which is great for female health.

Kegel Exercises 

Kegel exercises are vaginal exercises that improve muscles. If you find you are having issues with urinary incontinence, this may be a great option for you. There are many you can find online, or you can speak to your physician about how to strengthen muscles that target your pelvic floor.

Some others may need prescriptions to help manage symptoms. This may be the case if you find your anxiety or depression is getting intense, if your sleep habits are unmanageable, or if you are experiencing intense amounts of pain. If you feel you are having a difficult time with menopause, speak to your doctor about ways to minimize your symptoms. Nore Women’s Health can help you in your menopause journey with our team of specialists and staff who focus on women’s reproductive health and wellness. To schedule your appointment, or inquire about services, contact us today!

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