Monday, January 12, 2009

Surviving the Menopause

During menopause, women's bodies begin to change, as their ovaries slow in producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Menstruation also slows down, and eventually stops as well. Although menopause can occur at any age, the normal timeframe is between 50 and 54.

Menopause is the part of a woman's normal aging process and it will happen to all who haven't had their uterus and ovaries surgically removed. If this is the case, premature menopause will occur. In some cases, only the uterus is taken out and the ovaries are left. Under these circumstances, there are no immediate menopausal symptoms, since the patient is still receiving the hormones mentioned above.

Menopause creates a number of symptoms that a woman may not be conscious of at first. The menstrual cycle will be affected by the diminishing production of the two hormones, and will most likely be completely unpredictable. For example she may experience heavy flow one month and light spotting when her next period shows up.

There are a number of symptoms that start manifesting as she begins to enter the various phases of menopause: (1) hot flashes (2) irritability (3) sweating at odd times (4) sleep disturbances (5) vaginal dryness that can lead to sexual and urinary discomfort (6) mood swings that may include anger and depression. (7) hair growth on the face, arms, chest and stomach (8) memory problems and difficulty with concentration (9) low frustration level, affecting her whole mood.

The best advice for a middle-aged woman is to look for information on menopause. The more she knows about it, the more she will know what to expect and how to cope with it. She will also feel less alone in the world when the symptoms appear.

As with so many other aspects of our lives, a balanced and healthy diet, and exercise will go a long way in making women feel better. Eating healthy, nutritious foods will help minimize their symptoms. Vitamin and minerals taken as supplements are essential as well. Some women experience severe menopausal symptoms and may wish to consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT). During these years, it is more important than ever for women to regularly visit their doctors. They may experience unrelated symptoms and not be able to tell the difference without a medical examination. It may also be beneficial to join a menopause support group, where they will meet other women with similar experiences. This contact can go a long way in helping women cope with menopause.

Lindsay Hurst is the owner of A Menopause, the #1 source on the internet for information about Menopause, For more articles on Menopause why not visit: and other unique content menopause articles are available with free reprint rights.

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