Living With The Menopause

Menopause is defined as the last period or technically, a 12 or 24 month period of time after your last menstrual cycle, but for most women, it relates to a much longer time period than this; in most cases, women experience symptoms linked to the menopause for several years and this can be a very trying, upsetting and nervy time.

The effects of menopause

Menopause affects people in different ways; some women have very few problems and go through perimenopause and menopause without it really have a great effect on them, while others endure severe physical and mental symptoms and struggle with the upheaval of the process.

Often, symptoms of the menopause affect you on a regular basis and this can affect the way you live your life, a well as how you feel in terms of your wellbeing an your general health. Hot flushes may make you feel anxious and self-conscious in public place, night sweats may make you reticent to stay over with friends or go away for the weekend and anxiety and disrupted sleep may affect your mood, your concentration, your energy levels and your performance at work.

Menopause often affects the people around you, as well as yourself; the symptoms you experience can affect your mood, which may make relationships strained and partners and children may have limited understanding of what happens during the menopause and what your body and mind are going through.

Asking for help

Whether you are affected or not, it is always worth bearing in mind that help is available; whether you need advice about coping with hot flushes or dealing with anxiety, or you're worried about your periods, there are various people you can turn to, from your GP to charities, which deal specifically with the menopause. There are various treatments available, which can help to tackle symptoms and also some really useful self-help techniques, which can help you to deal with symptoms more effectively and feel more confident and comfortable.

Coming to terms with the menopause

Some women feel sad, helpless and scared when they start to go through stages of the menopause; this marks the end of a long period of time going through the menstrual cycle and some women feel somehow less womanly and also sad that their opportunity to conceive has gone, even if they already have children and they had no plans to have any more. It can be a difficult and complex set of circumstances to get your head around and it's perfectly understandable to feel a little confused and bereft. For many women, the menopause is also a reminder of their age and this can be scary.

Research is valuable if you going through perimenopause or you're approaching your mid-late 40's and you're thinking about the menopause; it's a good idea to find out what is going on in your body, what you can expect and what happens afterwards, so that you're mentally prepared and you have an understanding of the symptoms and why you are experiencing them. Again, it's also really important to know that you are not alone and there is help available; as well as accessing medical support through your GP, it may also be beneficial to chat to other women who are going through what you are, share your stories and provide support for each other. There are lots of online forums and websites you can join and there may also be local support groups and events and sessions run by charities.

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