Menopause is a major milestone on a woman’s health journey.1 For many, it’s liberating as your concerns of becoming pregnant and menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, start to ease.1 For others, aging is scary, as pop culture and the media have attached negative connotations to a woman aging.
A normal part of aging, menopause is when a woman has 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period.1, 2, 3 This natural process starts anytime from 45 to 55 years and can result in uncomfortable symptoms that could affect your quality of life.1, 2, 3 Symptoms can include hot flashes, mood swings, trouble sleeping, and are linked to decreasing estrogen.1, 2, 3, 4 The need to pee more often is also common. However, urinary incontinence also increases with age and could be linked to diabetes, weight gain, depression, hysterectomy, and the use of hormone therapy.5
Some women may gain weight during menopause, but not always. Weight gain is linked to midlife, age and lifestyle.5
Mood changes can occur in menopause but are also linked to aging and life events, such as children leaving the home, work challenges, or relationship problems. Stress and a history of depression can impact your mood, and neither is always linked to menopause.1, 4, 6
Trouble sleeping is linked to aging and is a symptom of menopause.1, 2, 3 Some women may struggle to fall and stay asleep, or they may wake up too early, feeling tired and missing out on a good night’s rest.
A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a well-balanced, healthy diet can have a positive impact during perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. That said, if you’re struggling with aspects of menopause, talk to your doctor about a treatment that can help you not only survive but thrive.
You can also complete the menopause symptoms questionnaire and take it with to discuss with your doctor.