Preparation and Pre-Menopause

Menopause can be roughly divided into three phases:
Peri-meno (or pre-menopause)
Menopause proper
Post menopause

At what age does it begin?
The onset can be as early as 35 but normally in 40's or early 50's.

How long does it last?
Again very variable. 2 - 6 years or even longer. It depends very much on the individual - hereditary factors are also involved

Preparation for menopause is so important, if we are prepared we can cope more easily with any problems which may eventuate.

The first major hurdle is acceptance
'I am now entering a new era of my life'

The second hurdle to overcome is fear of:
A major decline in health.
No longer being attractive to your partner.
If unattached - being unable to attract a partner
Pain and inconvenience with various transitional symptoms, eg flooding, flushes
Weight gain
Loss of libido.

The good news is that a woman's attraction does not decline swiftly, nor does it mark the advent of a decline in health into old age. Weight gain is not mandatory. With a good diet - and an exercise program which is enjoyable, a calm and happy outlook on life , the transit time can be a less painful period in every way. Neither does it mean the end of a woman's sex life, or love life - on the contrary, after a period of doubtful interest and low libido will follow increased enjoyment. The change is not a disease and if managed properly, any symptoms, which may be experienced, can be kept to a level which is manageable.

If you have
Well balanced family relationships

A good healthy diet and are well nourished

The ability to relax and enjoy life and cope well with your lifestyle

A supportive partner or friends and family - your symptoms will be significantly reduced, and will help transform you into this new and exciting phase of your life.

Before looking at the symptoms and problems which you may encounter, let's first look at the benefits of the post menopausal years which, as our life expectancy increases (these days it is an average of 80) a third of our lives may be post menopausal.

No more menstruation, or PMT
No fears of pregnancy.
The family have grown and your responsibilities in that respect have diminished.
You may be experiencing the joys of being a grandparent.
You are free to spend time doing the things that you enjoy, and may not have had time for in your younger years.
You have gained half a lifetime of wisdom through your experiences.

In short the post menopausal part of a woman's life can be called the ‘GOLDEN AGE' - one of increased contentment and enjoyment of life. Indeed many famous women have only begun their major life's work in their mature years

Early Menopause (before 40)
Some of the causes may be
Mother had an early menopause
Hysterectomy or other gynaecological surgery
Irregular periods in 30's
Excessive alcohol consumption
Poor diet
Severe stress
Chemotherapy or radiation therapy

The onset of early menopause can cause, initially disbelief, then anger and resentment, which could be ongoing. Physical consequences, you may be more vulnerable to osteoporosis and heart disease. If psychological symptoms persist, please seek counselling from a sympathetic doctor or a counsellor.

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