Menopause is a time of immense change, both emotionally and physically. Here are some tips to guide you through the process.
Menopause is one of the most important phases of the life cycle that a woman will experience. It is often associated with a shift in the perception of one’s self, as well as being host to a wide variety of physical and hormonal changes. And while it can be an emotional time for those going through the process, it is a perfectly natural and healthy part of life.
Characterized by the body’s reduction in the creation of the hormone estrogen, menopause can create a wide variety of physical ailments ranging from hot flashes to mood swings. Luckily, many of these signs of menopause can be treated with simple remedies and a trip to the doctor’s office. If you or a loved one are beginning to embark on this journey, here are some medicine cabinet essentials no woman entering menopause should be without.
1. Sleep Aids
Although menopause is often associated with physical symptoms such as hot flashes, many women also find an increasing inability to fall asleep. During the phase of menopause between peri-menopause and post-menopause, women may begin to notice a marked change in their sleep patterns.
Almost 61% of those going through menopause report symptoms of sleep deprivation or insomnia. This lack of sleep can also lead to anxiety and, sometimes, depression.
Getting a good night’s sleep is critical to maintaining a high quality of life. The proper use of over the counter sleep aids is an excellent way to ensure that you’re getting proper rest. Just be sure to follow labeled directions correctly in order to prevent any potential complications from arising.
The fluctuations in the body’s hormones can lead to a decrease in your body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals and can affect your bone density. For many women, osteoporosis is one of the many unavoidable side effects of going through menopause. As the bones become more and more brittle, they can be at a higher risk for fractures and injuries.
One osteoporosis treatment is the use of bisphosphonates to prevent the loss of bone mass over time. These drugs, though effective, have many side effects and should be discussed thoroughly with your Little Rock gynecologist before use.
3. Water-Based Lubricant
While you move through the process of menopause, you may begin to experiences a symptom that is all too common amongst aging women; vaginal dryness.
In fact, vaginal dryness is one of the earliest signs of menopause taking place. As the stages of menopause cause the body to produce less and less estrogen, vaginal dryness and discomfort may increase. This is the result of estrogen’s role in helping maintain the fluid levels within the vagina, and in turn its elasticity and lining.
Thankfully, these symptoms of dryness can be eased with an over the counter lubricant. Using a water based lubricant can alleviate any discomfort you may be feeling, and can make activities such as sex much more comfortable. There are even products that, when used properly, will help replenish some of the vagina’s lost moisture.
For additional information about menopause, or to set an appointment with a Little Rock gynecologist, contact The Woman’s Clinic at 501-664-4131.