Menopause is something that’s so rarely talked about. We think it’s ages away and something that we don’t need to worry about for a long time. Some of us even look forward to a time where we don’t have to worry about birth control or periods.
I’ve been pretty lucky on that front, to be honest. I have never struggled to conceive, my periods have never been particularly bad, I don’t have any at all now with an IUD, and aside from an incident where my birth control fell out which resulted in a Bobsy (happy accident!) I’ve never had any major birth control issues or side effects. I mean, I’d like to put my massive weight gain over the last two years at my coils door, but I suspect it’s actually all of the cake. But, I’ve got lichen sclerosis, which usually affects post-menopausal women, rarely anyone of my age and can be bloody horrible. So, I deserve good periods! However, having lichen sclerosis at my age is a reminder that things that we think of as happening when we get older, don’t always. While I hope the menopause is still a long way off for me, for many women, it isn’t.
Women as young as 30 face the menopause, often with illness and treatments as a trigger. In fact, it’s thought that 1 in every 100 women will face menopausal symptoms before they hit 40. Which frankly, is not as far away as I’d like it to be. So, how do these women cope?
The menopause is something that near enough all women go through eventually. It’s not something to feel embarrassed about or ashamed of, and it’s certainly not something that you need to avoid talking about.
Help comes from a variety of sources. Your partner can offer their support and care, there are plenty of support groups out there, you can turn to pharmaceutical help with a form of hormone replacement therapy for menopause to ease your symptoms and there’s plenty of advice online. If you are worried about your symptoms, at any age, you should see your doctor for further help and advice. Especially if you aren’t yet 40, as your menopausal symptoms could actually be a sign of something else.
Look After Yourself
The best way to cope is to keep looking after yourself. As well as visiting a doctor and taking supplements, you should continue to take care of your body and mind. Eat a balanced diet, get plenty of exercise, get as much sleep as you can, and take time off to rest when your body is calling out for it.
Hot flushes are for many women one of the most unbearable symptoms that they have to cope with. Unfortunately, there is only so much that you can do. Wear light layers, that are easy to remove and add, carry a fan and a bottle of cold water and sit down to take a break when you need to, no matter what you are doing.
Looking after yourself isn’t just about eating well and exercising. It’s about giving your mind and body what it needs. During the menopause, it needs more. Meditation could help to relieve stress and help you sleep, a long hot bath could ease any aches and pains, and an afternoon away from everything, shopping or reading a book could help you to feel more yourself. This, more than ever is the time to do things that make you feel good.
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