Living in Perimenopause and Menopause
As adult women, perimenopause and menopause issues can occupy a big chunk of our time and our thoughts. Symptoms like irritability, weight gain, memory loss and hot flashes can make you wonder where the wonderful person the world once loved is living now. Not to fear! You may not be the exact same person you were ten years ago, but your healthy and happy days are far from over. Here are some tips on healthily living with perimenopause and menopause.
Break the Silence!
The most important first step in creating a healthy living plan with perimenopause and menopause is to realize you are not going through this alone. Create a support network to sustain you through the experience. Open up the lines of communication with other women and those who love you about what’s happening in your body and mind. From my experience the menopause support I received from close friends has been invaluable. And now you have a new advocate, a new BFF (Best Friend Forever) – ME!
Don’t forget to talk about your perimenopause and menopause experience to the men in your life as well—don’t shut them out. When it feels like your sex life is drying up like the Sahara Desert and your emotions are swinging from Mother Teresa to Mommy Dearest in an instant, the lovers and loved ones in your life deserve to know what’s going on. The men who love you will want to help, even if they don’t quite know how. Empower them!
Dealing with Symptoms
The list of perimenopause symptoms (often referred to as menopause symptoms) is a long one. From menopausal hot flashes to menopausal depression, symptoms can range from intense, life-changing (or clothes-soaking) moments to minor blips of weekly irritability. There are so many different ways to approach menopause and treatment, but once you’ve found your menopause support group and a doctor you can partner with, you will find the relief you deserve.
Use Ellen Dolgen’s Menopause Symptoms Chart. This will help you track your symptoms and communicate how you feel to your menopause specialist doctor.
Sex and Menopause
One of the pervasive myths about menopause is that sex and menopause do not go hand in hand. The reality is symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, such as depression, vaginal dryness, and decreased libido can make a once-speeding sex life grind to a sudden halt. For many, the slump is caused by a dry vagina. Many women experience this symptom, and it makes sex hurt!
It took me (this is Ellen talking to ya!) a while, but I finally got up the courage to ask about sex and menopause. “Did your sex life change? Is your vagina dry?” As it turned out, I wasn’t alone, and neither are you.
It will also help to open up the dialogue about sex and menopause with your partner. He or she needs to know what you’re going through so that you can work together as a team, rather than suffering alone in silence. Talk to your menopause specialist about the various options available ranging from systemic hormone replacement therapy, local estrogen therapy (LET), over –the–counter lubricants and moisturizers, or a combo of these. There is no one-size-fits-all solution; every woman is different. There is no need to suffer in silence. Sex and menopause don’t have to be mutually exclusive!
Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!
We all need a little menopause support sometimes because living with perimenopause and menopause can be a real pain in the you know what! Feel free to open up and talk about perimenopause and menopause with your pals. It’s invigorating to express yourself and can help others who are going through the same experiences! Consider hosting a Menopause Monday Party and get the gals talking! Click here to learn more about how to host one in your area.