Celebrating World Menopause Day October 18
Every year on October 18, the World Menopause Day is held. There are many events in different parts of the world, all of which aim to raise women’s awareness of their health. They also aim to help them manage their symptoms of menopause. With more knowledge, women feel more empowered. As a result, they become more ready to take on the challenges that menopause may bring with it.
Talking about menopause and its symptoms is still thought of as taboo in some parts of the world. Addressing menopause at the workplace, dealing with menopause at home, and speaking to your partner about menopause – all of these many women find it hard to approach. World Menopause Day is aimed at helping women address this transition from different topics each year. As a result, it broadens their view on what it is like to go through menopause.
Many women choose to ignore their symptoms of menopause, thinking that they are insignificant, and they will just pass. But others cannot have that luxury – their symptoms become so severe that they find it hard to manage their daily lives. Regardless of the case, you have to be aware of menopause and the changes in your body it brings. You should also find it in yourself to be able to speak about menopause with your doctor, your family, and your partner.
World Menopause Day: Facts about Menopause
Menopause is marked by the cessation of periods for at least 12 months in a row. On average, women enter this stage at the age of 51. Before you enter menopause, however, you will also experience perimenopause, where symptoms might be similar or perhaps even more severe. It may last several months or for some women even several years before eventually transitioning into menopause. You should know as much as you can about menopause so you can recognize its signs, know how it affects your health, and how you can manage it.
Signs and Symptoms
There is rarely a woman who would not notice her menopause. Some clear signs and symptoms are typical at this stage of life, and they only vary by severity. One study (1) divides these symptoms into four groups: mood, insomnia, vaginal, and vasomotor. Vasomotor symptoms are such bothersome events as hot flashes and night sweats.
Vaginal symptoms include vaginal dryness, but a woman can also experience frequent vaginal infections and UTIs. Insomnia is rather self-explanatory, leaving you stressed and anxious during the day because of poor sleep. And mood swings are very difficult to handle because you can have a lack of focus, depression, anxiety, and irritability issues all at the same time.
Menopause and Your Health
Signs and symptoms of menopause can go beyond the ones mentioned above. Some of them you cannot even notice without having specific tests. One of the things menopause does to you is it increases your risk for osteoporosis. As estrogen lowers, it can also impact calcium in your bones. With age, your bone density decreases, and you are at a higher risk for falls, which translates into a higher risk for fractures. Especially at the beginning stages of menopause, you may have faster bone loss than at later stages. To make sure you protect your bone health, you can take supplements with calcium and vitamin D, eat a lot of calcium-rich foods, and avoid smoking and alcohol.
Another serious risk that appears with menopause is the risk of heart disease. It looks like estrogen decline is still to blame here, but this is also a part of getting older. With age, you may develop other problems like high cholesterol or high blood pressure, which put you at a higher risk for heart disease. But do not worry and get regular check-ups to support your heart health. Apart from that, practice healthy habits. Adjust your diet to fit more fruit and veggies, exercise more often, and manage stress with practices like yoga and meditation.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
When you speak to your doctor about your symptoms of menopause, especially if they are severe, he or she can recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT involves taking progestin and estrogen in the form of creams, pills, vaginal tablets, or skin patches. This therapy has shown some excellent results over the years for relieving symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and brain fog.
However, HRT is not favored anymore because of risks and side effects associated with it. For example, it could cause headaches, nausea, mood changes, bloating, bleeding, and breast tenderness (2). Apart from that, HRT could increase your risk for blood clots, breast and endometrial cancers, and stroke. You should always speak to your doctor openly about treatment options for your symptoms. Only start the HRT after you know about all the benefits and side effects of the therapy.
Managing Your Symptoms Beyond World Menopause Day
Menopause is not a condition that goes away after you treat it for a few months. You need to manage it on an ongoing basis. The thing is, your symptoms are treatable; you just need to approach them the right way. Many women who choose not to do HRT look for natural remedies for their symptoms. As a result, studies appear on the benefits of plant remedies like red clover and soy for symptom relief as well as prevention of heart disease and osteoporosis (3).
Apart from plant remedies, probiotics seem to offer a helpful solution for many hormone-related symptoms of menopause. With this in mind, MenoLabs has created a line of probiotic supplements to meet the specific needs of women in menopause. By taking probiotics every day, you will help restore the balance in your digestive system, thus boosting your overall health. You will also find relief from hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia, low libido, and vaginal health problems. Feel better and live happier in menopause.
(1) Nanette Santoro et al. “Menopausal Symptoms and Their Management.”
(2) National Institutes of Health. “Facts about Menopausal Hormone Therapy.”
(3) Sukhwinder Kaur Bajwa. “Nutritional facts and menopausal symptomatology: The role of nutraceuticals.”