Articles / Navigating the Menopause Maze

Navigating the Menopause Maze

18.10.2023 4 Minutes
Navigating the Menopause Maze

If you've ever wondered what's in store for you as you age gracefully, or not so gracefully (we’re not here to judge!) then you're in the right place. 

Periods can be rough for some and a breeze for others - and unfortunately menopause and perimenopause can be a bit similar. You don’t really know how it’s gonna hit you specifically until it starts to unfold. 

Also like periods, the whole subject hasn’t been talked about much until recently. For too long women have suffered in silence as they have navigate what many people describe in hushed tones as “The Change”. Cue foreboding music. 

What's Menopause All About?

Let's kick things off with the basics. Menopause is like that season finale in a TV show. It's the grand finale of your reproductive years, the moment when your ovaries decide they've had enough drama for one lifetime and start taking a well-deserved break. In simple terms, it's when you stop having periods for good.

Usually, menopause hits somewhere between your late 40s and early 50s, but it can happen earlier or later. So, what's going on behind the scenes? Your ovaries start playing hard to get, producing fewer hormones like oestrogen and progesterone. This hormonal rollercoaster can bring on a slew of symptoms, which we'll get to in a bit.

The Perimenopause Prelude

Before you hit the menopause stage, there's this thing called perimenopause. Think of it as the opening act before the main show. Perimenopause can start in your 30s or 40s, and it's like your body's way of saying, "Hey, change is coming!". Again, cue foreboding music. During this time, your hormone levels can be all over the show, leading to some pretty wacky symptoms.

Common signs of perimenopause include irregular periods (surprise!), mood swings that rival a soap opera, hot flashes (oh, the joys), and the occasional sleepless night. It's kinda like your body's way of testing your patience before the real deal.

How Can We Survive this Menopausal Marvel?

So, you might be thinking, "Okay, I've got this menopause and perimenopause stuff on my radar. Now what?" Well, fear not, because there are plenty of ways to make this transition a smoother ride. Let's break it down:

  1. Stay Active

Exercise isn't just for the young and spry. It's a magic potion that can help ease those pesky symptoms. Regular workouts boost your mood, maintain your weight, and even improve sleep quality. So, whether it's yoga, a brisk walk, or dancing like no one's watching, get moving!

  1. Watch Your Diet

What you put on your plate matters more than you might think. Load up on fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. Limit those sugary treats and caffeine if they make your symptoms worse. And don't forget the calcium-rich foods to keep your bones strong.

  1. Keep Your Cool

Hot flashes are no joke, but you can help keep them in check. Dress in layers, sip on ice water, and consider a portable fan for those unexpected heatwaves. Avoid spicy foods and caffeine, which can be hot flash triggers. And hey, don't be shy about asking for a fan in your office!

  1. Manage Stress

Stress and menopause go together like fries and salt (unfortunately). But there are ways to cope. Try meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to calm your nerves. And don't hesitate to lean on friends or a therapist for emotional support. You've got this!

  1. Hormone Therapy

If your symptoms are truly driving you bonkers, you might want to talk to your doctor about hormone therapy. It involves replacing the hormones your body's missing, like oestrogen and progesterone, to ease symptoms. It's not for everyone, though, so make sure to discuss the pros and cons with a healthcare pro.

  1. Herbal Remedies

Some people swear by herbal supplements like black cohosh or evening primrose oil to relieve menopausal symptoms. These aren't miracle cures, but they might provide some relief. Just be sure to consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your routine.

  1. Stay Informed

Knowledge is power, my friends. Keep educating yourself about menopause and perimenopause. The more you know, the better you can navigate this stage of life. Join support groups, read books, and talk to other women who've been there, done that.

  1. Get Regular Check-Ups

Don't ghost your doctor during this time. Regular check-ups can help catch any health issues early on. Plus, your doctor can offer personalised advice and treatments tailored to your unique needs.

  1. Embrace the Changes

Finally, and most importantly, embrace the changes. Menopause is just another chapter in your incredible life story. It's not an end but a new beginning. Celebrate the wisdom and freedom that come with it. You're a rockstar!

Closing Thoughts

So, there you have it, a crash course in preparing for the wild ride known as menopause. Remember, every woman's journey is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. The key is to stay open, stay informed, and stay fabulous as you navigate this incredible stage of life. Menopause is just another adventure in the book of life, and with a little know-how and a dash of humour, you've got this!