A Menopause Goddess Poem

White Ginger Blossoms © lynette sheppard

White Ginger Blossoms © lynette sheppard


Menopause Goddess and talented metalsmith artist and poet Nancy Lee shares this humorous vignette with us. Enjoy!

Over 50 Fan Club
By Nancy Lee

The molecules
in my room
are being whipped about
by a tiny small fan
for the pleasure
of my skin.
The insistent frequency
whispers its promises
and fools me
into a greater comfort
than this Lothario fan
can actually provide.
Yet, nightly, my sentinel
is faithfully summoned
to purr fake comfort
into my ear
and imperceptible coolness
onto my menopause skin.

Check out Nancy’s website – click here. Her tagline is Bringing Dreams to Life in Metal. Love that!

Comments { 3 }

Approaching Menopause – Help for the Journey

Setting Out © lynette sheppard

Setting Out © lynette sheppard

This latest guest post comes to us from a Menopause Goddess down under: Pamela Lund. Pamela is a Menopause coach – how wonderful that we can be accompanied on the Big M journey by a knowledgable guide. Enjoy her insights.

Approaching Menopause – Help for the Journey
My journey towards menopause was one of confusion, overwhelming tiredness, an emotional roller coaster and a feeling of being invisible. I had anxiety attacks and hot flushes. I had no idea what was happening to me. There was no information available that I could find. I thought I was having a ‘nervous breakdown’. It wasn’t until I saw three women interviewed on TV about what it felt like to turn 50 that I realised I was not alone.
This was 20 years ago and HRT was the latest and greatest invention. I tried it. It did not work for me, causing me massive headaches.

Eventually I found Lesley Kenton’s book “Passage to Power”. I was so excited – I wasn’t going mad! This was a time of real change; of reassessing my life. I set out on a ‘journey to myself’.

By now Gail Sheehy had written her book “New Passages” which I also found very helpful. I had re-read her original one “Passages” and realised that she was much younger than 50 when she had written it because I could not relate to it.

I decided to take some time out and sit in the sun and also found myself a good naturopath and a counsellor. I had no idea how I would survive financially but just trusted the universe and was able to house sit a friend’s house and rent mine out for 12 months.

During this time of introspection I realised that I wanted to help other women understand what was happening to them at this time. It took me two years before I felt able to begin training as a Life Coach and then a Counsellor.

Most women I have worked with over the last 14 years have no idea what is happening to them. It is different for every person but some of the things hundreds of women have said to me is that ‘they feel invisible’; they feel like they are on an ‘emotional roller coaster’; they feel past their ‘use by date’; and they feel angry for no particular reason. Some even feel depressed.

Peri-menopause is a journey; a time of change. Our mothers and grandmothers weren’t wrong when they called it ‘the change’. The time leading up to menopause, our last period, is the other side of puberty. Just as puberty is the journey into our womanhood, peri-menopause is the journey into our ‘second adulthood’, our authentic selves – a time to be who we truly are. However, before we can do that we have to let go of the past disappointments, resentments and pain which stop us moving forward.

As a coach specialising in this area, I work with women who feel overwhelmed and invisible: who feel like their emotions are all over the place and feel exhausted by their physical symptoms. My experience has shown that the more emotional baggage we carry, the worse our physical symptoms are. I help them see this time of change as a great opportunity to develop their self confidence, passion and a new direction in life: to not only feel great about themselves, but to have a renewed zest for life.
Menopause is not an illness that has to be endured. It is a time to discover more about who you are and what you want in your life.

I have a free giveaway on “Dealing with Change” on my website so if any of you ladies would like more information on dealing with change please visit my website and download it: Approachingmenopause.com

I also would appreciate any one who would like to help me out by filling out a questionnaire on my website. It shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes. Just go to Approachingmenopause.com and look for Questionnaire. It is to help with my market research.

This is such a great blog, very inspirational and informative, wish there had been something like this when I was going through it.
Pamela Lund

photopamela4

 

Comments { 1 }

Pretty in Pink

Menopause Goddesses Sleep in Pink

Menopause Goddesses Sleep in Pink

The Menopause Goddess annual gathering was (we think) the best one ever. None of us actually owned pink pj’s but we were so intrigued by Estroven’s offer to donate $250 to the Avon walk for breast cancer that we all went out and bought some. Rae and I even bought 2 sets so there would be extra’s in case a goddess forgot hers or didn’t have time to shop.

There were even some pink pom poms and sparkly cat’s ears spread about. By the way, Estroven’s offer is still open – $250 donation for a photo uploaded of your own Sleep Pink party by Oct 31. And if a party isn’t in the cards? You can upload a selfie in your pink pj’s and they will donate $100.

Visit SleepPink.com for more info on hosting a sleep pink party and to upload your photo. I’m beginning to like the color pink, just sayin’.

Comments { 2 }

The Right Yoga For Menopause

Buddha sparkled

The right yoga for you? Part 2 of a guest blog series by yoga therapist Allannah Law.

In the last post, I talked about how yoga can ease the symptoms of both perimenopause and menopause and I mentioned that not all yogas are created equal when it comes to this time in our life. This fact sparked quite a bit of interest and many questions, so I thought I’d explain about the different types of yoga we can practise in the west and exactly who these yogas are beneficial for and why.

When it comes to yoga we are now, in the cities of the Western world, presented with a dizzying array of options. Bikram, hot yoga, Dynamic Flow, Astanga, Anusara, Hatha, Integral, the list goes on and on and well…on. You could be forgiven if you are feeling a bit flummoxed by choice, so here is some background to help you make a considered and informed decision.  The word Yoga means to unite. You can add your own interpretation, but the accepted Western premise is that yoga means to unite body and mind. Thus, the prevalence of Hatha yoga. Hatha means sun – Ha and moon – tha, literally uniting night and day, masculine and feminine, yin and yang.

Hatha yoga is the predominant yoga taught in the West. The Asanas – postures- are there to bring you to a point of balance in the body and mind. That’s why hatha yoga is considered good for disease in the body or anxiety and depression. So hatha yoga includes all of the aforementioned yogas including Bikram etc. However, Hatha Yoga  has come to mean a gentle form of yoga, a yoga with a lot of restorative poses that are held for some time along with meditation and pranayama (yogic breath).

Bikram/Hot yoga is a hot form of yoga, practised in a heated room to simulate the conditions of practising in India. Bikram has a set sequence of postures- which are now patented and you are placed in the class according to your ability. It is categorically not suited for women experiencing symptoms of peri or menopause such as anxiety or hot flashes. This is because both anxiety and hot flushes are aggravated by…heat. Meaning that the practise of Bikram may lead a woman with these conditions into a far worse state. This is a yoga where you need to be mindful of overstretching and blood pressure issues. This type of yoga is also not suitable for fertility issues or pregnancy.

Astanga Yoga  is based on a sequence of postures given to Sri Patabi Jois by his teacher Krishnamacharya. It is dynamic in nature and you flow from one posture to another. It has several levels which you advance through. Bear in mind that these postures were given to Jois in his youth, so Astanga is not appropriate for everyone. Its dynamic nature can mean that if you are a competitive or anxious personality, it can exacerbate your state of mind ( this has been my personal experience). Therefore, this another form of yoga that may be inappropriate for women in peri/menopause. However, if you are a dancer or you suffer from depression, you may get a lot out of this form of yoga.  Dynamic Flow or Vinyasa Yoga are similar to Astanga, in that they flow from pose to pose, but without the same sequence.

Iyengar is again based on a practice given to BKS Iyengar by Krishnamacharya. It was again a practice given to Iyengar as a very young man and will not suit everyone. However, Iyengar yoga uses a lot of props to support the postures and is very focused on technique, making it an excellent yoga for beginners, as well as athletes and those people with injuries and illness. Iyengar teachers are also very well trained and some are very competent at dealing with issues of peri/menopause. Caution is advised here though, as many of the poses are held for a very long length of time and can be aggravating to the mind/body.

Integral, Satchynanda and Shadow Yoga all hail from the Sivananda lineage. These yogas have varying degrees of difficulty but they also have a large focus on meditation, chanting and pranayama   They are all very beautiful practices which will take you to a different level of yoga. They are all excellent yogas for women in this phase of their life – with the exception of shadow yoga- which is a very strong practice. They are great if you are searching for the spiritual context of yoga and also if you suffer from anxiety, as they encourage you to look within.

Viniyoga is a form of yoga developed by Mohan, another student of Krishnamacharya. This yoga is based on the principles of Yoga therapy, which Krishnamacharya moved towards in the later years of his life- believing that yoga should be taught one on one. This is a deeper practice with many repetitions, excellent for those with mental or physical illness or disease and wonderful for those who suffer from high stress. The yoga of Desikachar  Krishnamachrya’s son, is sometimes also called Viniyoga, but this is incorrect , as Desikachar refers to it as Agama yoga. Desikachar studied with his father for over 30 years and is probably best placed to pass on the many wonderful teachers of the great Hatha yoga sage.  Both these yogas were developed by teaching students one on one and are very appropriate for women in peri/menopause as they take into account the woman’s personal state.

Restorative yogas, such as yin yoga are ideal for menopausal women. Cooling, relaxing poses are practiced which are conducive to soothing the mind, body and spirit. These yogas are about putting something back, rather than challenging yourself. (Menopause may well be challenging enough!)

So there you have it! there are many worthy yogas I haven’t been able to cover –  Dru Yoga, Oki Do Yoga  yoga of the seasons), Yin yoga, Kundalini etc – but I hope it gives you a brief, basic insight into the sometimes confusing yogic world.  Of course the best form of hatha yoga for a woman at our stage is a yoga developed purely for perimenopause and menopause. One that encourages strength building for healthy bones and blood pressure; one that seeks to balances unruly hormones (such as excessive or diminished oestrogen) and one that encourages the restoration of the body and the quieting of anxious, busy minds. With that in mind I have included a link to a free video of a relaxation technique I swear by, to use when you feel like you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re exhausted, or you want to crawl out of your skin. Enjoy!

Namaste
Allannah

P.s. There are other forms of yoga besides Hatha, if you interested ask me a question and I will  do my best to fill you in on the other forms.

Comments { 1 }

Is Pink the New Black?

Pink Roses © lynette sheppard

Pink Roses © lynette sheppard

Pink will be the new black at our annual menopause goddess gathering this year. Estroven (makers of Estroven Menopause remedy) will donate $250 to the Avon walk for breast cancer when we host a Sleep Pink party and upload the photo of us all dressed in our pink jammies.

Since we already have an agenda and activities, it’s a no brainer for the Goddesses. However, it’s easy for any group of women to host their own Sleep Pink party. Invites and suggestions for decor, food, and party favors can be downloaded at Sleeppink.com. All you need to do is set a date to get your women friends together for a fun evening. What could be simpler? And we all need more girlfriend time, just sayin’. (Note: the deadline for submitting photos is October 31.)

Look for our photo here on the blog, too after our meeting the first weekend in October. Pink might just be my new favorite color.

 

Comments { 0 }

Oh Man, Oh Man, This Menopause!

Daisies © lynette sheppard

Daisies © lynette sheppard

When I read Anne Bardsley’s guest post, I laughed so hard I peed. Which happens much less often since I started doing my Kegels. What I’m saying is that she takes a hilarious look at Menopause and aging – I can’t wait to read her new book. Thankfully, it’s available now so I won’t have to wait long. I’m sure you’ll agree. Oh, and go to the bathroom before you read any further. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Oh Man, Oh Man, This Menopause!

In my thirties, I never thought about aging. I took for granted that I’d be youthful, toned, and moist my entire life. Before I officially entered menopause, I thought the most I had to look forward to was vaginal dryness. That’s enough to cheer up any gal! Little did I know, the other symptoms would be life-altering, to say the least.

My mother never complained about menopause. She also had a child on Halloween and went back to work ten days later. We hadn’t even eaten all of our Halloween candy! I come from strong and crazy stock. I’m not one of those women who suffer in silence. I’ve been known to yell “Hot Flash!” the very moment I start to swelter. This could be at work, church, or grocery shopping. I have fanned myself with gossip magazines, church bulletins, and ads for the Big Blue pill. If it’s nearby, I will confiscate it and turn it into a fan.

The memory loss has been the most debilitating for me. I now carry a notebook in my bra to write things down. It works well unless I have a hot flash. Then I end up with a bunch of smeared papers and blue ink on my breasts.

I have no memory of a single important fact. I can, however, tell you that peanut butter is on sale, and I know the names of my dogs. Last week my husband walked in and I told him he looked vaguely familiar. He offered to re-introduce himself to me. I told him I didn’t like fresh men. He said, “Oh yes, you do!” But I couldn’t remember. He did have a nice smile though.

Passwords are also a nightmare. I have to get very basic, yet creative.
My bank account is now: “Where’s my damn money?”
My pin number for my debit card is 5678 because it sounds like a dance routine. I even do a little disco when I punch in 5678. If you snap your fingers it has a real nice beat to it.
I use code for my doctors, too!
My physician’s office is: “Eat More. Be Happy.”
The gynecologist: “Get out of there NOW.”

Sleeping is a challenge. I sleep under a ceiling fan with the A/C cranked extremely low. At precisely 2 a.m. my husband rolls over yelling, “For the love! You’re burning my skin again.” Big sissy.

At precisely 2:30 a.m. I go into a deep chill freeze. I have condensation all over this poor body of mine. With all the shivering, you’d think I’d shake off a few pounds. That has yet to happen, but I am ever hopeful.

This brings me to my biggest malady. Where did this belly come from? I never had a belly. I had hip bones that stuck out like fish bones. Now it looks like I swallowed a fishing boat.

I’ve tried being nice to it, “Good morning, Big Belly. I love you.”  I do some effleurage and stroke it calmly. It knows I’m lying. It seems I have a big intelligent belly with a high emotional IQ. She weeps until I feed her cinnamon buns. Poor Belly!

I’m convinced there will be a new miracle treatment for women in this stage soon. I suggest it be in the form of a chocolate martini with some gingko sprinkled on top, a splash of fiber, and a mild sedative. I want to keep my emotionally intelligent belly sedated for as long as possible.

Happy Hot Flashes!

anne2

Anne Bardsley is a humor writer, blogger, and author of How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood, and Menopause. Over the years, her work has appeared in several publications. More would be available if she was not so busy pondering ways to firm her thighs. This uses a huge amount of her already limited brain cells. She barely survived raising five kids. They were all worth the labor pains in the long run and have given her wonderful grandchildren. Anne currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her husband of thirty-five years and two spoiled cockapoos.

Comments { 3 }

A Natural Program for Vaginal Health

Anthurium © lynette sheppard

Anthurium © lynette sheppard

A Woman’s Touch Sexuality Resource Center based in Madison, Wisconsin, offers an alternative approach for sexual health and education. Many of their clients are menopausal and post menopausal women who suffer pain, dryness, and dysfunction. Their non-pharmaceutical program involves internal and external moisturizing combined with massage to recondition the tissues of the vulva and vagina.

To really understand the benefits and how-to’s of the program, download their pdf brochure here. On the one hand, it is fascinating. On the other hand, I had to say “Duh! Of course this makes all the sense in the world.” We often think of lubrication but rarely of reconditioning and renewing our vagina.

Owned and operated by two women; Ellen Barnard, MSSW and Myrtle Wilhite, MD, MS, A Woman’s Touch center is passionate about vaginal health and rejuvenation. They are in the process of making their own massage wands for the program, so women have a safe, affordable tool for rehabilitation. Check out their Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign here.

And this video illuminates the project:

 

Whether or not you use hormone therapy, this program can be a pathway to better vaginal health. Physical intimacy is an integral part of life and we shouldn’t have to forego an active, healthy sex life because of pain or dryness. I am very excited about this program and ready to try it myself. While my vaginal health is pretty good now, massage has never been a component. And as a nurse, hello, I know that increasing circulation to any tissue results in healing and renewal. Who’s with me?

Comments { 0 }

Taking the Softer Path after the Pause: How to Manage Healthy Weight and Feel Great Naturally Over 40

Butterfly Dream © lynette sheppard

Butterfly Dream © lynette sheppard

This guest post by Lynn Louise Wonders suggests we tap into the wisdom of our own bodies during this transition (and after.) Read it carefully – it’s so good that I wish I’d written it! Enjoy!

By the time we hit the age of menopause, we start to realize that the body seems to have a mind of its own.

We can no longer bake in the sun working for that golden tan without paying the steep price of leathered skin.

Gone are the days of noshing on an entire bag of chips and bouncing to the gym the next day to work it off easy-peasy.

The upside of this slippery slope is that we can begin to realize and REVERE the fact that this body has not only a mind of its own but a wisdom. An intelligence.

With hormones gone awry, metabolism halting with a screech and a growing desire to be deeply connected and respectful of what our bodies are trying to tell us, many of us middle aged women are seeking a holistic weight loss solution.

We don’t want the stimulant diet pills or the plans where we eat only pickles for weeks where we lose a lot of weight only to gain it all back later.

We don’t want to spend hours daily pumping iron and racing on the treadmill (okay, some of us love that! but many of us don’t, right?).

We are seeking a softer path.

A path that is easier on the joints and meanders flexibly within our very full lives.

We have teenagers, careers, community projects, meaningful hobbies, relationships to nurture.

We want to FEEL good in our bodies.

We want our eyes to shine and our skin to be clear with a glow from the inside that comes from leading a healthy, well-balanced life.

There are so many lifestyle changes that can be made in order to observe a holistic plan for wellness and weight loss. It all begins, though, with learning to mind the body. Want to give this a try?

Sit where you are. Look up from your computer or device and gaze around you. Try to just notice. Pay close attention to the objects and sounds in and around the room you’re in without labeling anything. Without analyzing. Without judging anything as good, bad, pretty, ugly. Just notice it.

Now, close your eyes. Feel the seat underneath you, the floor under your feet. Allow your body to sink into the support there.

Notice sounds in and around the room. Don’t react. Just notice.
Begin to notice your breath. Notice how it comes in and out of the body on its own accord. Feel the sensation.

When you practice this non-judgmental noticing with a healthy dose of deep reverence for the wisdom your body is eager to share with you, you will begin to hear guiding messages from your body.

If you eat something… say… a big hunk of bread… and you notice 10 minutes later your belly is really bloated… there might be some information to notice there.

If you notice your lips are cracked and dry no matter how much moisturizer you put on them… there is likely a message there to uncover.

Many times we need a health practitioner to help us figure out what messages our body is sending us. Sometimes we need supplementation of particular vitamins or minerals.  And sometimes if we listen, pay close enough attention without giving way to frustration with the messages (a.k.a. symptoms) we might just feel our way to a new direction.

If our bodies feel stiff and tight from sitting all day, some stretching and moving is in order. But how often do we continue to sit and sit and sit because we have a work deadline or we just ignore the body’s signals?

Same thing with releasing excess weight for women over 40.

If we are carrying excess weight the body has some information for us. In order to release that excess weight we have to tune in to what the body needs first and foremost.

Holistic weight loss for women over 40 begins with a profound choice to slow down, tune in, breathe deeply and mind your body. Listen…. really listen. Look for the softer path…
Along my own personal  journey and in my coaching programs with women over 40, I see that when we are at the great pause in life, our bodies and perhaps even our spirits are calling us to do this differently. With mindfulness we are able to make different choices.

Here are 7 ways you can create a softer path after the pause to support healthy weight release:

Begin a daily practice of mindfulness as described above. Sit for 10 minutes each day. Leave the eyes open for the first minute and then close the eyes.  Observe, notice sensations, sounds, smells without judging or evaluating. Bring this mindfulness practice into daily life – grocery shopping, driving, meal preparation and especially at meal time.

Seek out the dark leafy greens, fiber-rich fruits and veggies as central to your meals.

Step away from sugar, wine and white flour.

Get a dose of Omega 3 at each meal to ease inflammation in the body (wild caught salmon, walnuts, flax-seed)

Create a healthy sleep regimen – 8 hours of slumber in a cool, cotton nightie and a dark cool room each night. Remove all electronics from the bedroom.

Take a brisk walk 20 minutes every day. Make this a standing date with yourself. Look up at the tree tops, swing your arms, smile as you savor your aliveness.

Learn to relax and respond rather than react. Number 1 and 2 are a start for cultivating this practice. Add in purposeful relaxation time. Massage, hot baths, guided meditations, a restorative yoga class.

You are in the most incredible stage of life. Listen to your body’s wisdom. Relax into your true self.

Lynn Louise Wonders is a licensed professional counselor and a holistic mind+body coach, helping women over 40 redesign their lives.  She offers a wide array of holistic services, programs and products through her online marketplace www.wonderswellness.com and live in-person at her brick-n-mortar location Wonders Wellness Center located in metro Atlanta, GA.
Check out Lynn’s Facebook pages: Wonders Wellness and Wonders Yoga and Counseling
Her Twitter handle is @lynnwonders

Comments { 1 }

Yoga for Menopause – Enjoy this guest post by Allannah Law!

Cat yoga

by Allannah Law!

At some point in a women’s life, often in her late forties, she will find herself going through yet another transitional stage. And that stage is menopause – the cessation of her periods. If only it were that simple. Imagine waking up one day, your period is due, yet never arrives – and thinking – ah! I must be in menopause! However, as we well know, menopause can be a hell of a lot more complicated than that – its more like arrrgggghh! Menopause!!!!! Most women enter menopause somewhere between their mid forties and early fifties. However, as Dr Chistiane Northrup describes in her inspirational book – The Wisdom of Menopause – PERImenopause can start as early as 35.

My cousin discovered this to her dismay. She had just turned 39 when she went to her GP with symptoms of increased irritability, insomnia and feeling flushed. She was unduly worried- the symptoms were manageable – but she felt maybe her contraceptive pill was not agreeing with her. Her doctor suggested a hormonal profile, during her checkup, as well as some routine bloodwork. She was horrified when the results came back. Her oestrogen level was well below normal, in fact, she had a count of one (should be about 100By the time she was diagnosed at 39, she had been going through perimenopause for years and was in the stage before menopause!

So how can yoga help? Yoga can help because the purpose of yoga is balance. Postures, breathing techniques, relaxation and meditation are designed to balance your mind and body. Yoga works directly with your nervous system, increasing the parasympathetic response – allowing the body to relax and restore. When your nervous system is stable it stops your hormonal system from over reacting. The cycle of stress is well researched. When we are stressed our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) goes into overdrive, causing the hormonal system to flood our bodies with hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline. This provides our bodies with the energy we need to run or defend ourselves – fight or flight. When these hormones leave our body, we are left fatigued, the body needs to restore itself. When we are constantly stressed, these hormonal levels are routinely high, leaving no time for the body to restore. At any time in a woman’s life, this can cause major physical and mental reactions including lowered immunity, anxiety, depression and even Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. At menopause however, when we need hormonal balance as much as we did at the onset of our period, it can be devastating.

Yoga also works directly on your endocrine system – balancing the body’s hormonal levels, reducing oestrogen excess if needed; or encouraging the body to produce more, depending on the stage you are at. One of the most well researched yoga techniques is Progressive Muscle Relaxation, which has now been proven to reduce stress and anxiety; promote healthy sleep; improve wellbeing and immunity and reduce pain and discomfort in the body.

The best news is that these techniques, once learnt, can be practised at home, or whenever they are needed to bring relief and calm. The key is knowing what to practise and when. Helpful poses include forward bends, gentle inversions and lying postures. Strengthening poses are also useful, as they build bone in your body,and decrease the risk of osteoporosis. There are also pranayama (breathing techniques) created specifically to cool the body and calm the mind. Meditations and visualisations, practised before bed, will bring deep and restful sleep. But a word of caution, not all yoga styles are suited to menopause. And I’ll be writing next post on why not all yogas are equal – ESPECIALLY when it comes to menopause.

Allannah law is a fully qualified Yoga Teacher and Therapist. She specialises in Women’s health with a particular interest in fertility, pregnancy, post pregnancy and menopause. www.yogayin.com

Comments { 2 }

Premature Menopause Symptoms and Treatment

Early Metamorphosis © lynette sheppard

Early Metamorphosis © lynette sheppard

This guest post by Dr. Andre Berger demystifies symptoms and outlines help for when the Big M comes early. I know several women who started menopause in their late 20’s  / early 30’s. If you think the Change is body and mind boggling when you are 50, think what it might be if you were a younger adult. I’m sure you’ll find it informative.

The average age for the onset of menopause is approximately 51 years of age. However, some women may experience menopause before the age of 40. This early onset can be due to genetics, medical procedures, illness, or causes that are unknown. Whether it is caused naturally or induced, it is called “premature” menopause.

Premature Menopause Symptoms and Treatment

Women undergoing premature menopause will experience symptoms such as mood swings, hot flashes or other symptoms associated with menopause. However, those going through premature menopause often face additional emotional and physical concerns. For example, since menopause signals the end of fertility, women who want to get pregnant may face difficulty doing so.

Symptoms of Premature Menopause

The sign is the same as natural menopause and can include which is 12 consecutive months with no period.

Accompanying symptoms are caused by the decrees of estrogen and may include:

Vaginal dryness
Bladder irritability
Emotional changes such as depression and mood swings
Dry skin, mouth or eyes
Decreased sex drive
Difficulty with sleeping

In addition to these symptoms, if you are under the age of 40 and have any of the following, you should consult a physician to determine if you are actually experiencing premature menopause

Undergone radiation or chemotherapy
You or a family member have an autoimmune disorder
Your mother or sister went through premature menopause

Premature Menopause Diagnosis

You will likely undergo a physical exam plus blood and diagnosing testing to exclude any other medical conditions, including thyroid disease or pregnancy. You may also undergo tests that measure your estradiol, progesterone, cortisone, and testosterone levels.

The most important tests is a blood test that measures the Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) that signals your ovaries to produce estrogen and Luteinizing Hormone (LH). When the ovaries slow the production of estrogen, the follicle-stimulating hormone levels rise. If these levels rise above a certain level, this is a good indication that you are in menopause.

Premature Menopause Treatment

Premature menopause can be treated and managed with methods used for natural menopause. However, women dealing with infertility issues caused by premature menopause should discuss their options with a reproductive specialist.

Women experiencing premature menopause are experiencing lower estrogen levels that can lead to overall health changes. Additionally, these women may be at higher risks for conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease, as well as increased risk for colon and ovarian cancer, cataract formation, gum disease and tooth loss.

If you feel you are experiencing premature menopause, consult a physician.

Dr. Andre Berger is the founder of Rejuvalife Vitality Institute in Beverly Hills, CA, and the author of the acclaimed book “The Beverly Hills Ant-Aging Prescription. Dr. Berger is Secretary of the California Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, has been board certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine for 20 years and is a diplomate of the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, and the American Board of Holistic and Integrative Medicine.

 

Comments { 3 }