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Natural Menopause Relief Secrets » 2006 » December

Archive for December, 2006

Positive Aspects of Menopause?

Posted in Menopause on December 28th, 2006

Positive Aspects of Menopause?

Although vaginal dryness and other unpleasant symptoms are often part and parcel to menopause, and is not something a woman looks forward to, did you ever stop to think that maybe menopause isn’t such a bad thing?

Menopause is part of every woman’s natural aging process.  It is the time when the ovaries produce lower levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen.  Menopause is the end of menstruation and the end of a woman’s child bearing years.  It is unavoidable and is something every woman will have to deal with.  Thus, instead of dreading something you can’t change; why not look at menopause in a positive way.

Here are some ways you can positively deal with menopause:

So long reproduction - Since menopause shuts down your reproductive cycle, this means you are now menses free.  Rejoice! You no longer have to worry about being surprised by an irregular pesky period, or live by the rules of a 28 day calendar.  You can travel and swim any time of the year without having to think twice about “that time of the month”.

In addition, for many endometriosis sufferers, their symptoms tend to subside or disappear entirely.  Although menopause does not cure the disease, it appears to be a fantastic form of treatment due to the fact that estrogen levels drop.  Even though it is not known what causes endometriosis, it is evident that estrogen plays an important role in the manifestation of the disease.

Take control of your symptoms – Are you suffering from hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, anxiety, depression, fatigue, vaginal dryness, sore or stiff joints, weight gain, or any of the other symptoms caused by menopause?  If you are, have you done anything about the way you feel?  There are many treatments available to help you cope with the symptoms you are experiencing.   Don’t be afraid to research menopausal symptoms, talk to friends for coping advice- and above all - make sure you talk to your doctor before starting any treatment.

Take care of yourself – Did you know that a healthy diet, and engaging in regular exercise and relaxation techniques, can actually improve menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, pain, insomnia and PMS?  In addition, a healthy lifestyle will make you feel better about yourself because it reduces stress, and encourages positive thinking and creativity.  Therefore, you need to take time out of each day to focus on your own wellbeing.  Treat yourself to a warm bath, a cup of green tea and a good book.

Find support – There are millions of women all over the world who are experiencing the same change of life as you.  Why go it alone when you likely know someone who is perimenopausal, menopausal or postmenopausal.   Your mother, aunt, sister(s), in-laws, friends, co-worker, or neighbor(s) are all women you should be turning to when menopause is getting you down.

Change your attitude - You need to get on with your life, and shouldn’t use menopause as an excuse to slow you down.  Your body is changing, why not change the way you think with it. You’ll never be who you once were, and you can’t predict the future.  All you have left, and all that matters is your present.  Transforming the way you perceive yourself and the world around you with a positive attitude, will positively impact the way your body deals with menopause.

Getting older isn’t something you should dread.  It’s the time when you truly become wise, know what it means to be a woman, can be proud of your life and enjoy it to the fullest.

For more information to control and treat Menopause symptoms please visit Natural Menopause Relief Secrets or browse through the rest of the blog.



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Relieving Vaginal Dryness During Menopause

Posted in Menopause on December 21st, 2006

Unlike menstruation, menopause doesn’t start in one day, it is a drawn out process that slowly happens over the course of several years.  However, during perimenopause, menopause and even postmenopause a woman can experience various unpleasant symptoms including weight gain, joint pain, hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness.

Vaginal dryness, also known as vaginal atrophy, is experienced by over an estimated 80% of perimenopausal women; while as many as 50% of postmenopausal women suffer from the condition.  Furthermore, vaginal dryness primarily affects women between 40 – 65 years of age, but it can affect any woman regardless of her age.  

Why does vaginal dryness occur? Mucus membranes located at the mouth of the uterus keep a woman’s vagina moist.  The estrogen in a woman’s body helps the membranes generate lubrication which assists the vagina in staying moist, flexible and strong.  In addition, the lubricant contains a small level of acidity which works to protect the vagina from infection by stopping foreign bacteria from invading.

Due to the fact that estrogen plays a vital role in maintaining a moist and flexible vagina, the decrease in estrogen levels that occur during menopause means a decrease in lubrication production.  As a result, the vagina becomes thin and dry, and the vaginal walls become weaker and increasingly sensitive.  Moreover, with less lubrication, acid levels are virtually non-existent which can lead to a higher risk of infections such as yeast and urinary tract infections.

Additionally, the more a woman’s estrogen levels decrease, the less blood will circulate to the pelvis tissues which will cause the vagina to become thin and droop.  Eventually, the vulva and vagina will likely look different because the fat and tissue around the vaginal area will start to vanish.

What does a woman experience with vaginal dryness?

Itching – Just as itching is a symptom of dry skin, so is it a symptom of vaginal dryness.  Itching is a result of tightening in the vaginal area from lack of moisture.  It can be very irritable.

Pain during sexual intercourse - The vagina becomes extremely dry and fragile without normal mucus production.  Therefore, it can no longer take rough penetration.  Menopausal women who experience pain during intercourse often have vaginal bleeding or spotting after having sex.  Bleeding results from a tear in the vaginal wall from forceful entry.  Many women who suffer from vaginal dryness tend to avoid sex as they find it too painful and receive no enjoyment from it.

Urinary incontinence and infections – Urinary incontinence (UI) is when the body accidentally leaks urine.  The decrease in estrogen levels causes weakness in the vaginal walls, which reduces a woman’s ability to control urine from escaping unwillingly. About 40% or more of menopausal women experience UI.  Also, as was previously mentioned, vaginal dryness increases a woman’s chance of developing yeast infections and urinary track infections.

How can vaginal dryness be treated?  There are different treatment options to help women increase the moisture in their vaginal region.  One of the most common treatments is using lubricants during sex to allow for a more enjoyable experience.  Topical creams and moisturizers can be purchased over-the-counter and often provide 24 hour relief from itching.

Many doctors actually recommend that women with vaginal dryness engage in more sexual activity.  This may sound like a bizarre treatment, but intercourse actually stimulates the mucus glands and helps to make the vagina moist.  In many cases, women who abstain from sex find that their dryness becomes worse.

Finally, if a woman has constant vaginal dryness, her doctor may recommend oral or topical prescription estrogen therapy.

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The Trouble with Sleeping During Menopause

Posted in Menopause on December 14th, 2006

Going through menopause is difficult, and unfortunately, many of the problems that begin during perimenopause lead to one major problem—lack of sleep. Although you may not at first realize the connection, sleep deprivation, insomnia, and other night time troubles commonly begin with women in their forties and fifties, even when then have previously not suffered from sleeping problems. Many forces come together for menopausal women to make sleep difficult, so it is important to understand your symptoms so that you can treat them efficiently and get a better night’s sleep.

Night sweats are one of the most common causes of sleeping problems. The night-time version of hot flashes, night sweats can cause you to have trouble falling asleep or can wake you up while you are already sleeping. Restless leg syndrome is another common menopausal experience. This urge to move your legs comes with feelings of itchy, crawling, tugging sensations on your skin, which can make sleeping difficult for both you and your partner. Restless leg syndrome has roots in neurological problems. Mentally, another condition caused by changing hormone levels in your body is depression. This is especially true for women who are experiencing early menopause or surgically induced menopause.

The most serious sleep-related condition, however, is sleep apnea. While the symptoms of sleep apnea—such as snoring—may seem harmless, this problem effects your breathing and actually causes you to lapse into periods where you do not breath. There is a definite link between sleep apnea and menopause, so if you are told by your partner that you have recently begun to snore, it is a possibility that you suffer from this condition and you should immediately speak with your doctor. Sleep apnea can result in death due to heart attack or stroke.

If you suffer from sleep apnea, medication and surgery are the two best options to clear this problem. However, if you suffer from other menopausal conditions (i.e., night sweats, restless leg syndrome, and depression), there are many natural treatment options you can try before beginning a traditional medical treatment. Speak with your doctor, as always, to be sure these lifestyle changes are healthy for your body.

First and foremost, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. Dietary changes alone can improve your mood and cause other sleep problems to clear up, especially if you consider supplements of natural herbs. Continue your health-conscious changes by quitting bad habits, such as smoking and consuming excess amounts of alcohol. This will promote a healthier body overall. For depression, you may wish to speak with a professional therapist—depression could be caused by menopause, or you may have underlying problems that won’t be cleared up when your body adjusts to the hormonal changes. Also begin to de-stress your life. By relaxing during the day, you will find that you can rest better at night. And a no-brainer solution to night sweats? Sleep with a window open, put a fan on or an air conditioner.

If these natural changes do not help, or if your problems persist for more than a year, speak with your doctor, as these could be side effects of a more serious condition. Menopause is challenging, but it should not make your life unliveable—if you have problems sleeping at night, you will suffer twice as much from problems during the day, as you will be more tired and your immune system will be weakened. Get the help you need when you need it to make this transition in life as smooth as possible.

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