Menopause can seem like a far off – and inconceivable – life transition, especially when you are still in the middle of your child rearing year. However, symptoms of perimenopause can begin as early as your mid-30s and early 40s, which means that even new mothers can begin menopause sooner than they may have anticipated. The more prepared you are, the better.
Your physical health is never more important than during menopause, when disrupted sleep patterns, decreased bone density, and increased risk of heart disease can take their toll on your overall well-being. Make sure to discuss your lifestyle honestly and openly with your OB/GYN so she can recommend lifestyle, dietary, and/or supplementary changes that will enhance your health.
4 Little-Known Facts About Menopause to Help Ease Your Transition
In the meantime, here are some little known facts about menopause that we thought you should know.
- It’s never been more important to quit smoking!Not only does the combination of smoking and menopause increase your risk of heart disease and other respiratory ailments significantly higher than normal, studies have shown smoking causes early menopause. Sure, there’s the benefit of no more periods (once you reach menopause), but you also experience negative side effects like insomnia, hot flashes, weight gain, loss of libido, etc. sooner. And, in fact, for white women – menopause may begin as many as nine years sooner than it would have otherwise. Consider that bone density also decreases after menopause, and you are putting yourself at even higher risk for long-term osteoporosis, hip and knee replacements, etc. Moral of the story: Please speak with your healthcare provider about smoking cessation options and make this the year you say goodbye to cigarettes once and for all!
- Not all women get menopause symptoms. Hurray! We think this is an important thing to note since the mind is a very powerful organ. No need to bring on something psychosomatically that you wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. It turns out that while there is a laundry list of symptoms related to menopause, only about 40% of women experience significant symptoms of menopause. That means the remaining 60% will only experience mild to no symptoms, and 80% of women have reported that menopause had zero negative effects on their quality of life. If you think you’re starting menopause, make an appointment with your OB/GYN so you can discuss your symptoms and determine the best course of action to provide relief.
- Depression and anxiety sometimes occur Studies have shown that women will sometimes cite depression and anxiety as a menopause-related side effect. If you are experiencing unusual anxiety and/or depression, confide in your healthcare provider and/or seek the support of friends, a support group, or a mental health professional to help facilitate and process your feelings.
- Sex can be better than ever. Menopause does notmean the end of your sex life. In fact, many women say post-menopausal sex is better than ever. There’s no more birth control to worry about, monogamous relationships mean you don’t have to worry about STDs, and a general contentedness with life can mean you are finally embracing your body and yourself, which means a less inhibited sexual self between the sheets. If you experience lack of lubrication, discomfort during intercourse, etc., there are both natural and medical treatments that can help.
Use these facts to help you embrace the next phase in life. A positive relationship with your gynecologist is a healthy first-step in menopause preparedness. Contact Overlake OB/GYN today!
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