Most of us know what menopause is, or at least we know the stereotypes about it— it’s that time when women “get crazier” and “have lots of hot flashes.” However, medically speaking, menopause is diagnosed once a woman has gone 12 months without having a period, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The Mayo Clinic also reports that the average age for a woman to go through menopause in the US is 51. But it can start as early as our 40’s or as late as 60. Unfortunately, the uncomfortable symptoms can last anywhere from a few months to a few years.
It can be uncomfortable, emotional, and just all-around hard to deal with. Luckily, there are things we can do to make this inevitable transition a bit easier.
Check out some of these great options for dealing with “the change”:
Try adding a supplement
When menopause symptoms start, they can get uncomfortable and overwhelming fast. Before we know it, we will most likely be attempting to seek relief. One of the simplest things to try is a natural supplement. Supplements from MenoLabs can provide relief from menopausal symptoms as well as issues with weight gain and digestive issues.
Make sure we’re covered
Let’s be honest—with age comes an increase in the need for healthcare and healthcare really isn’t cheap (especially if we have no or poor health coverage already). Unfortunately, this becomes even more true with menopause. While it’s possible we could go through this transition with simple lifestyle changes to treat the symptoms, it’s also possible these symptoms could begin to need care. For example, if we experience severe anxiety or depression, we may need coverage to see a therapist and/or get a prescription for antidepressants. Or, if the symptoms become unbearable, we may desire to talk to our doctor about hormone therapy.
According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, in most cases, a person can become illegible for Medicare at the age of 65 or older. We can find out if we qualify online by checking out companies like Easy Medicare, who offer easy to use Medicare insurance quotes right on their website. Tools like this help us find the best plan for our health care needs.
Beat the heat (tips for coping with hot flashes)
According to the Office on Women’s Health, hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause affecting as many as 1 in 4 women. It’s probably the most uncomfortable symptom as well, which means that nearly every menopausal woman will be seeking relief. Here are a few tips from the Office of Women’s Health on coping with hot flashes:
· Stay cool with fans, layered clothing, cooling towels, and ice water.
· Lose weight (studies suggest this could help).
· Keep a journal to find triggers (potential triggers can include spicy food, caffeine, stress, or being in too warm of a place for too long).
· Take deep breaths when feeling a “flash” come on (this could shorten a hot flash)
Disclaimer: if none of the above suggestions are enough for relieving discomfort, seeing our doctor so they can prescribe hormone therapies and/or medications can relieve symptoms.
Take care of our emotional health
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the hormone changes that happen during perimenopause (the time leading up to menopause) or menopause can make a woman feel anxious or depressed. Also, there are a lot of negative feelings associated with this “change.” For example, the Cleveland Clinic notes how the loss of fertility and the changes in our bodies can contribute to feelings of sadness or depression (which can lead to loss of interest in sex). To combat these feelings, they suggest things like making sure we get a full 7-8 hours of sleep every night, get at least 30-minutes of daily exercise, lower stressors, and avoid alcohol.
Bonus tip: Consider asking your doctor about hormone therapy. Harvard Health Publishing reported on a study that found that women who were treated with hormones were less likely to experience symptoms of depression compared to the placebo group.
Adjust our lifestyle
According to the Mayo Clinic, menopause not only causes a handful of unfortunate symptoms, but it also causes other unfortunate changes in the body. For example, menopause can bring an increased risk of osteoporosis, urinary incontinence, an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and sexual dysfunction caused by vaginal dryness and a loss of vaginal elasticity. Fortunately, there are some simple lifestyle changes that can help with these issues. Examples include:
· An exercise routine (yoga or something gentle, but heart-healthy).
· A well balanced and healthy diet.
· Kegel exercises to tighten the pelvic floor to help with sex and incontinence.
· Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants to relieve vaginal dryness and help sex be more comfortable,
· A supportive partner to support us and help us get past sexual obstacles.