Menopause is a normal part of life that every woman will go through.
What is menopause?
Menopause officially occurs when you haven’t had a period for more than 12 months. It may occur anytime between 40 and 55 years of age, Some women may start menopause earlier due to a medical condition.
Peri-menopause can last from 3 to 10 years and precedes menopause. During this time you may have heavier or lighter irregular periods and some of the symptoms of menopause. The changes are due to the hormonal changes you are undergoing when your ovaries stop working.
Symptoms of menopause
Many women experience no symptoms during perimenopause and menopause except irregular periods and the occasional hot flush while others may experience both physical and emotional symptoms at different times which can include any of the following;
Breast pain or tenderness
Dizziness and vertigo
Dry or itchy skin
Hair loss or thinning hair
Insomnia and fatigue
Low energy and libido
Memory loss and/or lack of concentration
Weight gain or middle age spread
Feelings of sadness and loss
Even though menopause is a natural phase for a woman if you have any concerns about the above please seek medical advice.
Tips to help ease you through menopause
1. Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and cut down on your salt and sugar intake.
2. If you smoke quit as it can trigger hot flushes.
3. Exercise regularly to help prevent osteoarthritis, aid weight loss and help decrease the intensity of hot flushes.
4. Reduce stress by meditation, self and professional massage, aromatherapy, deep breathing, playing sports, gardening, listening to music or whatever self-care techniques you enjoy. Make yourself a priority for at least half an hour a day.
5. Maintaining your ideal weight – you may need to eat less and exercise more if you have gained weight as your metabolism slows down during and after menopause.
6. Have a relaxing bedtime routine. Have a relaxing bath before bed, read an inspiring book and go to bed at a regular time. Avoid alcohol and caffeine late in the day.
7. Dress in layers so you can easily remove any extra layers when you experience hot flushes.
8. Strengthen your pelvic floor by doing Kegel exercises if you have urinary incontinence.
9. Decrease vaginal discomfort by using water-based vaginal lubricants such as K-Y jelly. Choose one that doesn’t contain glycerine because women who are sensitive to glycerine may experience burning and irritation. Regular sexual activity can also help.
10. Hormone therapy and herbal supplements may be of help to some women but are outside the scope of this blog. If you wish to explore these options book an appointment with your GP or herbalist.
11. Laugh more as it can stimulate your immune system, help you cope better with stress and enhance your memory.
12. Watching your thoughts and replacing negative thoughts with positive ones can help with emotional issues. A gratitude journal may also help. If depression and anxiety are taking over your life don’t hesitate to seek medical assistance.
Using essential oils in the vaporiser, personal inhalers, bath, sprays and massage can help you get through this time.
|Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)||Anxiety, bloating, depression, digestive problems, irritability, mood swings ^phototoxic|
|Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)||Anxiety, hot flushes|
|Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)||Depression, hot flushes, mood swings|
|Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)||Anxiety, feelings of sadness and loss, hot flushes|
|Fennel sweet (Foeniculum vulgare dulce)||Bloating and digestive problems|
|Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)||Anxiety, dry and itchy skin, hormone balancer, hot flushes, mood swings|
|Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)||Bloating, mood swings, night sweats|
|Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)||Anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia, irritability, palpitations|
|Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)||Anxiety, bloating, depression, digestive upsets, irritability|
|Peppermint (Mentha piperita)||Concentration, digestive upsets, hot flushes|
|Rose (Rosa damascena)||Anxiety, palpitations, dry and itchy skin|
|Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)||Depression, mood swings|
*Remember if essential oils and diet don’t help improve your depression seek medical advice.
Choose 2 or 3 oils for your blend and add to a spray bottle containing rose or neroli water or hydrosol. Keep in the fridge and use whenever you feel a hot flush coming on. Shake the bottle well before using.