How to survive the menopause
This may sound like a dramatic headline but there are women who view the menopause with anything but enthusiasm. They see it as a time when fertility decreases, lines and wrinkles appear, weight goes on and they only have old age to look forward to.
This is a bleak image but nevertheless, it is how many women view the menopause.
The menopause is a natural process in which a woman moves from a younger, reproductive state to an older, non-reproductive state. This is accompanied by a range of symptoms which are due to the many biological changes taking place as a result of falling hormone levels.
Learn to accept the menopause
The important thing to remember is that every woman goes through the menopause. It is not something you can opt out of or decide that you haven’t got the time for. It is a transition in life which you and every other woman will pass through but it can mean a new and positive way of life.
One way of approaching this is to think about the menopause as a time when you will gain in wisdom and maturity and will become a fully rounded character as a result. You have left behind the naivety and insecurity of youth and are free to be your own woman.
You do not have to do things to please other people but can please yourself without worrying about what other people think.
There can be a sense of freedom from society’s pressure to be a certain physical ideal. Our society prizes youth above anything else so knowing that you no longer have to strive for what is often an impossible ideal is both refreshing and liberating.
Is there a stigma surrounding the menopause?
In a way there is as women who go through this transition are often considered to be unattractive and lack sex appeal. As a result of this they view the ageing process as an enemy, as something which must be stopped on all accounts. If they don’t then they consider themselves to be less of a woman and a person.
Many women become obsessed with remaining young and will pursue this to the nth degree. But it is possible to grow old gracefully and be attractive and sexy in your later years.
It all depends upon what you consider is beauty and attractiveness and not society’s narrow set of criteria.
Try to remain positive throughout even though this will be difficult at times. View this as a time when you will undertake new challenges which will help to keep you stimulated and energised.
Support from others during the menopause
Consider joining a menopause support group or forming your own. If you have a group of female friends who are also going through the menopause then this may be a good opportunity to get together and share menopause stories.
Many women find it easier to discuss their problems with other women. This can be done face to face or via any of the online forums.
Talk to members of your family or close friends and don’t forget your partner.
Your partner may have borne the brunt of your mood swings during this time but they are an important person to talk to and will understand you better than most people. If you are finding things difficult then they can offer a sympathetic shoulder to cry on.
Another form of support is your GP. He or she will offer advice and guidance as regards treatment options and is a vital source of help especially if the symptoms become difficult to cope with.
Finally, learn more about the menopause from not only websites such as this but others such as the British Menopause Society (www.thebms.org.uk) and the menopause section of the NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk).
- Guide to Menopause
- What is the menopause?
- Female hormones and menopause
- Premature menopause
- Menopause signs
- Menopause symptoms
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
- Heart palpitations
- Sleep disturbances
- Mood swings
- Urinary changes
- Vaginal changes
- Weight gain
- Lack of interest in sex
- Aches and pains
- Skin changes
- Emotional changes
- Health risks of the menopause
- Heart disease
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Menopause treatment
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Benefits of hormone replacement therapy
- Risks of hormone replacement therapy
- Alternatives to hormone replacement therapy
- Vaginal lubricants
- Menopause self help
- Nutritional supplements
- Complimentary therapies
- Botanical products
- How to survive the menopause
- Menopause myths
- Menopause FAQs