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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 the 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. An acceptance and embracing of ageing and 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.

The Good News? Help is out there

Don’t feel you have to struggle on with the 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). Whilst 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. In South Africa, CBT is quite a new field so we suggest doing some research and ask your GP for recommendations. You can also find out more www.cognitive-behaviour-therapy.co.za
  • 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 pro’s and con’s 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 the menopause and help you cope post-menopause so don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help, we’ve all been there!

What’s next for me?

Don’t underestimate it, the 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!

Frequently Asked Question: Menopause

What should I use for really heavy periods?

Everyone is unique so here at Lil-Lets we have 6 absorbencies to cover every flow, even if you're really heavy. We'd recommend trying our Super Plus Extra or Ultra Non-Applicator tampons - lots of menopausal women say they're a life saver!

When will I start the menopause?

Just like starting your period, there's no definitive way of knowing when you'll start the menopause. Women are usually in their late 40's or early 50's when the transition starts but this could depend on genetics etc.

How do I prevent hot flushes?

Although there’s no magic formula for hot flushes, we do know that stress can be a trigger. It may also be an idea to cut down on your consumption of caffeine and alcohol, since they can make hot flushes worse.

Have more questions on menopause?

Got a question you’ve been too embarrassed to ask? Wondering if what you are experiencing in menopause is normal?

Join our Lil-Lets Talk community for empowering conversations for people with periods and everything inbetween.

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