Table of Contents
What is Menopause?
Natural menopause is caused by aging, while medical and cold turkey have to do with medical procedures and hormonal therapy. Women who go through medical menopause are those who have had hysterectomies or chemotherapy. There are many symptoms and side effects that woman need to be aware of and learn about before the age of menopause sets in on them.
According to studies, the average age that menopause sets in is approximately fifty one years, however, women who smoke can have a shift in the age as much as a year and a half ea
rly. Many women think, “Menopause is going to be painful and depressing, right?” The answer is no, it doesn’t have to be. While there are the many negatives to menopause and menopausal shift, there are some positives as well. A recent medical study showed that approximately ten percent of women cease menstruation immediately, good news for those who go through painful menstrual cycles.
However, once menopause starts, life seems to go downhill for a lot of women but there is good news. There are ways that will help lessen the discomfort, pain, and depression that women go through while their bodies are going through one of the biggest changes of their lives. There are herbal remedies to exercises for the body and mind to acupuncture, all of which will help a woman going through menopause or post menopause.
The statistics about menopause are startling, to say the least. It is calculated that 1.1 billion women will have menopause and menopausal symptoms in the year 2025. Now, that sounds like a long way off, but in reality it isn’t that far, less than twenty years off. According to a medical study done in 2002, one out of eight women end up with breast cancer and one out of three contract heart disease. While those numbers may seem small, the reality is that heart disease is the leading cause of death for woman who are sixty-five years of age and over and only a third of women that contract heart disease die before the age of sixty five.
According to the same study, thirty percent of women die from heart disease, three percent from complications caused by osteoporosis and only three percent die from breast cancer. Women who go through breast cancer and the chemotherapy that comes with it at an early age will go through menopause at an earlier age. This is due to the stopping of hormonal therapy after they are in remission.
While every woman knows about the menopausal symptom of hot flashes and lowered sex drive, there are several more that women may not know about. The lowered sex drive is just a broad approach to the many symptoms that contribute to a decreased libido. Vaginal dryness and yeast infections are the major causes of decreased libidos, largely in part because they make sex painful and uncomfortable for the woman.
Also, many women will notice normal vaginal discharge that can be a bit off color and make them conscientious about sexual intercourse. The most common treatment for vaginal dryness is to use a personal lubricant during sex and use feminine lotions that won’t cause irritation or pain. There are many yeast infection creams that are medicated and usually take between three and seven days to clear up a yeast infection. Estrogen cream that is directly applied to the vaginal walls can help lessen the dryness and discharge and may help to increase libido. There is also another type of treatment called the Estring, a ring that contains estrogen cream that is directly inserted into the vagina, much like a diaphragm.
Depression is a huge symptom of menopause. Menopause symbolizes the end of the child bearing age and for the women who never had children this can be a very emotionally painful time in their lives. Suicide is not common for women going through menopause; however, many women go to therapists and counselors for suicidal thoughts. There are many types of treatment for women going through menopausal depression.
Dealing with Symptoms
There are the usual prescribed antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Lexapro but those can have their side effects like problems sleeping, dry mouth, nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea. Behavioral counseling may help but then again the woman must want to be there in order to help herself get through menopausal depression. The last kind of treatment is herbal remedies. Using herbs and spices to treat and cure illness and depression is an old, time honored tradition that people have been using for years.
Feverfew is an example of an herbal remedy for pain and depression relief as well as primrose oil, sage leaf extract, and dried rosemary. While dried herbs are good to use, many herbal specialists will advise you to use a tincture, a capsule filled with a liquid extract, instead of the dried form of the herbs because they tend to start working a bit faster. It is always recommended that you speak with your doctor and an herbal specialist before you start any kind of herbal remedy routine. This is for your general knowledge and overall safety. Natural, herbal products such as oils, dried herbs, and candles can be purchased for as little as five dollars and the specialist at the shop will be able to help you out in your selection.
Of course, the most widely known symptom of menopause is hot flashes. Hot flashes are caused by the fluctuations of hormones once menopause has set in. There are many triggers that will cause you to be uncomfortable. A few of these are alcohol, a hot bed, caffeine, smoking, and the spicy foods that you love. While you will be uncomfortable during these flashes of heat, there are some ways to survive their sudden onset.