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How To Cope Post-Menopause

Reaching post-menopause should be a liberating experience. No more having to think about periods or even contraception! 

Even though you might still feel a little low, we hope you’re over the worst of those perimenopausal symptoms – what a nightmare that was! Still, it can be a little hard to see the wood for the trees after the huge drop in hormone levels, so here’s what we think you need to know post-menopause.

Dispel the menopause myth

First off, your life is most certainly not over, you’re just entering another phase of womanhood and a pretty empowering one too. We like the Chinese approach as they refer to menopause as “a second spring” to celebrate a woman’s midlife wisdom, confidence and enlightenment. A belief that with age comes a naturally-earned respect based on life experiences, knowledge, and a more surefooted approach to the everyday. Managing menopause is all about acceptance and embracing change.

What happens to my body post-menopause?

Looking after yourself is key to coping post-menopause. To help your body redress the balance resulting from the drop in those hormone levels, it’s really important to be mindful of your overall health. There can be some long-term health issues associated with post-menopause and while you may not suffer from them, it’s important to be aware of them.

The two main issues are:

  • Osteoporosis – the decrease in oestrogen can lead to thinning bones more susceptible to breaking.
  • Heart disease – fatty deposits of cholesterol in blood vessels increase, which can cause heart attacks and strokes.

However, both can be alleviated by some simple lifestyle adjustments, such as undertaking regular exercise and maintaining a well-balanced diet. Unfortunately, ‘lifestyle adjustments’ does include limiting alcohol intake and smoking but remember to take it one step at a time… no-one’s expecting you to become a saint overnight!

Should you be concerned about any of the above or experience any discomfort, pain, swelling or bleeding after the menopause, please do make sure you make an appointment to see your doctor straight away.

Post-menopause treatments

Don’t feel you have to struggle on with menopause. There is help available and getting the right treatment could transform your menopause experience from miserable into manageable. Here’s some helpful tips to get you through:

  • Try improving your bone health with regular exercise; walking, running, cycling or even a Zumba class. Gentle, regular impact on the skeleton can stimulate the bone cells.
  • Take a look at your eating habits. Are there changes you could make to your lifestyle? Is yours a healthy, well-balanced diet?
  • Maybe it’s time to talk HRT? (Hormone Replacement Therapy). While there has been scaremongering, there’s lots of good news too. HRT includes many options and forms like tablets, gels, lubricants, and patches.
  • There are some non-hormonal treatments that can help alleviate hot flushes, night sweats, low mood, and vaginal dryness.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is something more and more women are trialling to help them cope with negative thoughts and mood changes. The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies has a list of accredited CBT therapists.
  • There are many supplements, alternative, and complementary therapies available.

With all of the above, remember to check with your doctor before trying something new, they may help you balance out the pros and cons or even give you some other recommendations.

Remember you’re unique but not alone. It’s important to talk and not suffer in silence. There are treatments, advice and support groups available to help alleviate the symptoms of menopause and help you cope post-menopause, so don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help.

What's next when coping with menopause?

Don’t underestimate it — menopause can be a turbulent time as you navigate this emotional, mental, and physical transition. As a marker of the end of your childbearing years, whether you’ve had children or not, it can be a time to grieve.

But it’s important to see it as a time of opportunity and empowerment, the beginning of the next life-stage. After all, no one knows you better than you! Why not take up new interests, be interested and interesting, enlightened and full of purpose. Ready to take on the next challenge. You’ve got this!

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