Menopause: What Are the Symptoms and How to Help

Menopause, oh menopause… it's not necessarily a fun venture, but yet all hunties have to go through it eventually. Lucky us, right? Ever ask yourself why we all have to endure this in the first place? Unfortunately, no matter what your stance is, it's inevitable and this “oh-so-fun” process just comes with the female territory.

But more importantly, maybe we should be asking ourselves what the signs and symptoms are, and how we should deal and cope with them. After all, if we understand menopause and how to deal with it, then maybe we can make life a little bit easier on ourselves.

Sounds like a plan, now doesn’t it? 

So, hunties, hang on! Let's take a deep dive together and figure out everything we need to know if we're living in this moment now or for when we are experiencing menopause in the near future.

Knowledge is power – so, there’s no better time to get started!

What is Menopause Exactly?

First, let's look at what menopause truly is and how it affects our bodies.

Menopause is actually the culmination of menstruation as you age. After you haven't started a period in 12 consecutive months and can no longer become pregnant, this actually shows that you are beginning the stages of menopause. You would think this could be a good thing, right? No longer having to deal with those pesky monthly cycles and buying endless feminine products? 

However, menopause is not the same experience for everybody. Some have it easier than others. And when we look at it, it’s usually because of the different symptoms that every woman experiences, which can range from barely noticeable to severe.

Typically, menopause actually starts between the ages of 45 and 50 years old, so it's actually about halfway through your life that you start to see a change in your body. A little sooner than you may have thought, right?

How Long Does Menopause Last?

Now for the real question! How long does menopause actually last?

The simple answer? It actually varies. While someone may only experience symptoms for a few months, others can experience symptoms for several years. Sounds like a fun ride, doesn’t it?

In fact, most women usually experience symptoms that last for about four years after their final period. However, there are a small number of women who have actually experienced menopause symptoms for nearly a decade and sometimes longer.

The Three Stages of Menopause

Believe it or not, there are actually three stages of menopause. As if one wasn't enough, we must have three!

So, hunties, the following are the stages we must all go through in this next chapter of life. 

Perimenopause

This is where it all begins! It starts with your menstrual periods starting to become irregular. They might be late, or you might just completely skip one or more periods.

Also, the period itself might even begin being heavier or lighter than normal.  

Menopause 

To know that the first stage has stopped, you won't get a period for at least one full year. This will determine that you're fully within the second stage, the menopause stage, where you’ll generally experience the most symptoms usually associated with menopause.

Postmenopause

And now, we make it to the final stage. After months or years of menopause, you're finally within the stage where everything has ended, and no symptoms are occurring anymore. Hooray!

Symptoms and Signs of Menopause

Ok, so now, let's move on and see what signs or symptoms are included with this new stage of our lives. When it comes to menopause, there are a lot of different symptoms that may occur; however, every woman’s experience will be different. But what makes this process tricky is no one goes through all of them or even in the same order, so every encounter with this new stage of life can be unique (and frustrating)! 

Below are all the different symptoms that you can expect when entering menopause:

  •       Less frequent menstruation
  •       Heavier or lighter periods than normal
  •       Weight gain
  •       Increased urination
  •       Breast tenderness
  •       Headaches
  •       Racing heart
  •       Hot flashes or night sweats
  •       Lack of sleep
  •       Vaginal dryness
  •       Depression or anxiety
  •       Difficulty concentrating
  •       Reduced bone mass
  •       Reduced muscle mass
  •       Hair loss
  •       Memory problems
  •       Dry mouth, skin, or eyes
  •       Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  •       Less full breasts
  •       Reduced sex drive
  •       Painful or stiff joints
  •       Hair growth on other areas of the body

It seems like a lot, but don’t worry, you aren’t likely to have all these symptoms, and we just want to make sure you’re informed and knowledgeable about possible if’s in the future! Have you already experienced any of the above symptoms or signs of menopause? If so, don’t worry! We’re here for you along your journey!

If you are beginning to experience any of these symptoms, never hesitate to partner with a medical professional to better diagnose your stages and get advice on the symptoms you may be experiencing. After all, health and safety come first, and it's best to know where any symptom originates.

Complications That Can Stem from Menopause

Not only are different symptoms involved in each stage of menopause, but there can also be complications that come with each new stage as well.

Although they're not necessarily common, these things can happen. Again, don’t panic--we just want to give you the information you need to be prepared. Being prepared is key! It's always best to know what the complications are and what you could be dealing with versus getting hit with something out of nowhere. 

During menopause, you may experience:

  •       Vulvovaginal atrophy
  •       Painful intercourse
  •       Slower metabolism
  •       Osteoporosis
  •       Mood swings or emotional changes
  •       Cataracts
  •       Periodontal disease
  •       Urinary incontinence
  •       Heart disease

Again, always make sure to partner with your doctor if you believe you are experiencing one or more of these complications due to menopause. You never know what could be causing any of these issues, and it may not be causally linked to menopause.

We want to keep you healthy, safe, and secure, so it's best to always bring awareness to any of these potentially harmful medical situations.  

Am I In Menopause? There’s a Test You Can Take

Did you know there is, in fact, a test you can take for menopause?

That's right! If you don't want to necessarily wait for a doctor’s test results and want answers sooner, this type of test can actually give you a fairly accurate indication, which can lead to quicker answers.  

There are kits that you can purchase to test your urine for the presence of any FSH, which is follicle stimulating hormone.

However, it should be known that this particular test isn't necessarily always 100% accurate. So, it's best to always make sure you consult with a medical professional to make sure they can confirm the results of this test.

To put it bluntly, as a result of menopause, your ovaries are shutting down, but there's no clear indication of what begins this process. So, it’s all one big ride for us!

Isn't that interesting? Science still has a long way to go before they truly understand it all.  

Are There Any Remedies Available to Make Me More Comfortable? 

Over the years, a ton of different remedies have actually been proven to help with some of the symptoms of menopause. However, it's best to find out which one works for you, as not everyone experiences the same symptoms or seeks the same relief. 

By taking a look at some of the following remedies, you may be able to find one that best suits you.

  •     Hormone therapy
  •       Vaginal estrogen
  •       Low dose antidepressants
  •       Other prescribed medications
  •       Supplements to help strengthen weakened parts of your body

Of course, while it is your choice, all of the above is best recommended by your trusted doctor! 

It should also be known that menopause doesn’t necessarily require any medical treatment. Although it's not ideal, it is a natural process within our beautiful bodies that happens in our later years of life. So, there’s no need to fight it!

What About Natural Remedies?

On the other hand, there are also some amazing natural remedies that can be used to help strengthen your body during this time. A lot of soothing power can be found in different herbs or spices and can be added to your daily self-care routine or even to your grocery shopping list.

From different services to food items, the following have been proven to help relieve some of the symptoms we face as we go through the blessings of menopause.

  •       Yoni Steaming
  •       Yoni Pearls
  •       Black cohosh 
  •       Red clover
  •       Dong quai
  •       Ginseng
  •       Kava
  •       Evening primrose oil

Are any of the above natural remedies a part of your self-care routines already?

Want to experiment with remedies such as the ginseng or red clover? Awesome! These can easily be added to a grocery shopping list and added into your favorite recipe or cup of tea for the day.

On the other hand, all-natural services such as the Yoni Steaming or Yoni Pearls, can be added to your feminine self-care regimen to look forward to on a regular basis as well.    

Our Final Thoughts

So, hunties, how do we feel about menopause and its effects on us?

We know that this isn't necessarily an easy process to go through in the later stages of life. But by knowing what possible symptoms are and how to combat them, it makes for a much smoother transition!

And of course, there are curveballs to be thrown, especially when not all symptoms or their duration will be the same for everyone. So, expect them. 

Think about it - it's better to know and understand this ahead of time, as well as when you're going through it, in order to take on this new chapter of your life with some poise, determination, and pizzazz!  We’ve got this! We’re all in it together!

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20353397

https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353401

https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/natural-remedies-for-hot-flashes

https://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/home-menopause-testing-kits

https://medlineplus.gov/menopause.html#:~:text=Menopause%20is%20the%20time%20in,a%20period%20for%20one%20year

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