Menopause is the phase in women’s life when their menstrual cycle (periods) eventually ceases and their body’s reproductive function comes to a stop, following a series of hormonal changes. In other words, post-menopausal women cannot become pregnant. Menopause typically occurs when women are between the ages of 45 to 55. Medically speaking, it happens when women’s ovaries stop producing hormones like estrogen and progesterone.
MENOPAUSE AND PAKISTANI WOMEN
A study about menopause in Pakistani women indicates that the onset of menopausal symptoms adversely affects their life expectancy and quality of life. Moreover, with illiteracy being rampant in our society, there is a general lack of awareness that can lead to further complications in women passing through this sensitive stage of their lives.
To make matters worse, women who do have knowledge about menopause and its impact generally tend to ignore the warning signs. Consequently, the series of hormonal and physiological changes they have to go through becomes an even bigger nightmare for them.
WARNING SIGNS OF MENOPAUSE
Signs that their menopausal stage is near may start becoming apparent well before women reach their menopause. Typical menopause symptoms include:
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Shorter or longer periods than usual
- Lighter or heavier periods than usual
- Vaginal dryness
- Drastic mood swings
- Trouble in focusing
- Development of facial hair
- Rapid heart beat
- Urinary frequency and urgency
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Memory loss
- Decreased libido
MANAGING THE ONSET OF MENOPAUSE
If managed by a physician or a gynecologist, the challenges associated with menopause can be minimized. Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most commonly prescribed methods of managing menopausal issues. It is, however, essential for women to understand both the pros and cons of this treatment as it also entails a number of side-effects.
Women who do not want to rely on medication can try different home remedies, which can help subside the symptoms if properly implemented. Just like the wrinkling of skin, graying hair and aching joints indicate aging, menopause presents the physiological side of aging.
By engaging into the following self-help methods and keeping up with them religiously, women can successfully tackle the often troublesome signs of menopause:
WEAR CLOTHES THAT BREATHE
Since there is no way to predict when a hot flash episode may occur, It is best to wear natural fibers and cottons. The effect of hot flashes can be compounded by the hot weather that women have to brave for most part of the year.
In order to deal with night sweats and hot flashes, women’s bedding, sleeping suits and everyday work clothes should allow ventilation to avoid sweating and facilitate the absorption of moisture on their skin. Drinking plenty cold water and avoiding hot beverages like tea and coffee can also help take care of the situation.
MAINTAIN A BALANCED DIET
A healthy balanced diet is always beneficial especially during the peri-menopausal phase. Exercise is also an important addition to reduce the hot flushes. Consuming the daily recommended requirement of calcium and vitamin D through their diet and dietary supplements is also highly recommended for menopausal females.
KEEP A POSITIVE FRAME OF MIND
Although achieving a positive frame of mind is easier said than done for women going through menopause, it is a known elixir for the emotional hurdles this phase of life brings with it. Support and understanding coming from family members as well as close friends is key to handling the menopausal traumas women go through. Moreover, regular exercise and getting fresh air outside can also help women combat their depressive state of mind.
LOAD UP ON ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS
Experts suggest that primrose oil and vitamin E are helpful in preventing hot flashes, while consuming omega-3 fatty acids through diets and supplements assists in maintaining mental and physical health. For this reason, these important nutrients should essentially be taken right from the time women start experiencing menopausal symptoms.
Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and should be made a staple part of diet by menopausal women.