We are getting a lot of queries from women who have gone through the menopause but are still wondering what’s going on now they’re out the other side. So I thought I would write a few pointers from our most common questions.
You are officially considered to be through the menopause after not having had any periods for two years. If you are without periods for 15 months then get one you have to go right back to the beginning again! It’s like snakes and ladders – just when you are nearly at the Finish you land on that snake…
Why am I getting symptoms as my periods stopped years ago and I thought I was through the menopause?
The myth is that once your two years are up all your symptoms suddenly stop. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Your hormones can continue to fluctuate for a while but often these symptoms are due to adrenal stress rather than your hormones. Adrenal stress can cause fatigue, loss of libido, weight gain, thinning skin, clouded thinking and forgetfulness: sound familiar?
So, you need to do plenty of restorative work on the body, eat good food, maybe take some supplements, herbs and, guess what? RELAXATION! Be aware, though, that all these symptoms can also be a sign of low iron or low thyroid function, so if your symptoms have been going on for a while do see your doctor.
Is it just downhill after the menopause?
No, not at all! Taking care of yourself is the important thing here, and I have found that not having the monthly round of periods, with emotional ups and downs, is so liberating. I have more energy, feel fitter and healthier than I did 10 years ago!
Will my sex life suffer after the menopause?
No, it shouldn’t do. I know a lot of women do suffer from symptoms such as low libido and vaginal dryness but these can be remedied with herbs and supplements and you can even get natural lubricants from your health shop. Acupuncture can often work really well for this, too. Some women find that, much to their partner’s surprise, their libido goes up! Many women find it liberating not to have to worry about pregnancy any longer.
The condition of my skin, hair and nails has got worse: what can I do?
Unfortunately, our digestion and therefore absorption of nutrients does slow down as we age, and these symptoms are more to do with that rather than the menopause. You need to make sure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to keep your outer layers in good condition.
Again it is to do with good nutrition, stress reduction and making sure that you follow the good digestion rules: chew thoroughly; sit up when you eat (not slumped in front of the telly or at your desk!); don’t jump up after a meal; relax for a little while to allow your digestive system to do its job properly (if you jump up and busy yourself your digestion can stop mid-track, hampering absorption); and make sure that your bowels work daily.
Once through the menopause there is no reason why you cannot have a happy, energetic, full life, but as I have said before in previous blogs you do have to work at your health but it is so worth it!
You won’t get the menopause the minute you turn 50! The average starting age is actually between 45 and 55 and it can often depend on a number of factors including hereditary, weight and health, however every single woman will have an individual menopause.