Menopause happens to us all, but that doesn't make it any less of a shock when your time comes. In addition to a range of new physical symptoms you may be experiencing, you may also be at a loss as to how life will continue now that you are no longer fertile. Some women are lucky enough to be able to take menopause in their stride. Many others need a little help to approach this new stage of life with a positive attitude.
There are as many menopause symptoms as there are menopausal women. No one knows exactly what causes all of them, but the drop caused by menopause in the levels of certain hormones is the suspected culprit.
Each woman is different and experiences menopause in a different way. There are, of course, some infamous physical manifestations of menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, a drop in libido, weight gain, etc. What many women don't realize is that menopause symptoms may continue for several years.
Mild menopause symptoms can often be controlled through lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) and home remedies. For women whose quality of life is impacted by the menopause, menopause treatment may be recommended.
Menopause cannot be cured or reversed. Therefore menopause treatments are aimed at symptom control.
Doctors usually try to help menopausal women manage their symptoms without drugs. However, if a woman's symptoms are severe, medical treatment can be considered. The most well-known menopause treatment is probably HRT (hormone replacement therapy). This treatment has received a lot of bad press in the last few years. It works wonders for many women and is generally safe for women who do not have an increased risk of developing female cancers.
HRT is by no means the only menopause treatment available. Read this section for more information about menopause treatments, their pros and cons, as well as information on how to treat your own menopause symptoms at home. Sometimes a change in routine or lifestyle can do as much as any drug.
Women After Menopause
The postmenopausal life can be a bewildering experience for many women. They are worried about changes in their levels of sexual desire, changes in their health, and in their emotional state. This section provides advice on coping with life after menopause, and on looking after your physical health after you periods have stopped.