Menopause is part of the natural changes in any woman’s life lucky enough to live through their 40s and 50s, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. There are literally dozens of symptoms that can happen when a woman’s fertility wanes as estrogen drops.
We’re fortunate that there are natural methods and healthy habits to help us ease the transition. Here’s what you need to know about this phase of life and how to cope with some symptoms women experience during this time.
Stages of Menopause
There are three stages of menopause in medical studies: perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause. Perimenopause is when most of the symptoms strike. In this phase, your ovaries produce less estrogen than before. Pregnancy is still possible, even though you may start skipping periods.
The technical definition of menopause is a 12-month span where you have no menstruation at all. In America, the average age where this happens is 51. Rarely, it may start before the age of 45 or even 40. Also, when women lose one or more of their ovaries because of surgery or disease, menopausal symptoms can turn up.
Post-menopaustarts after you’ve had one year of no periodsted. By this point, your body will be used to hormonal changes. You’re now out of your fertile period and into a new stage of life. For simplicity, we will use the terms menopause to cover the time when all the crazy symptoms start showing up.
Major Symptoms of Menopause
There are many symptoms and not every woman experiences them all, but it’s important to know the major symptoms so you can start learning how to cope with them. Just like how puberty brought on many changes, so does menopause.
Naturally, the first major symptom is changes in your menstrual cycle. This can scare some women into thinking they’re pregnant, but the changes in your cycle will not confuse pregnancy tests. Take one if you’re unsure.
However, if you are skipping more cycles or you notice longer periods, it’s good to rule out other causes by talking to your doctor. Other serious health issues can cause this symptom, so a checkup can tell you if you’re experiencing menopause or something else.
Temperature Regulation Problems
While doctors are unsure why, but feeling sudden flashes of heat and sweating is another major symptom of menopause. About 75% of women in menopause will experience this. You’ll feel warm, look flushed, sweat, and may experience anxiety or increased heart rate. This can happen any time.
Hot flashes and night sweating can wake you up in the night, but there is also an increased risk for insomnia even after menopause. A little over half of all women will experience sleep issues during this time.
For many women, this is the worst symptom because a lack of sleep causes so many other issues. Long-term fatigue can make life very difficult, and can lead to a feeling of brain fog where you become more forgetful and have trouble concentrating.
Estrogen isn’t just for fertility. It’s also a major signal for mood hormones. Mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and even panic attacks are possible. In strong cases, you may need to seek therapy or take medication to deal with these.
A loss of libido is also very common in menopausal women. Around 80% of women experience a decrease in desire, and vaginal dryness also makes sex more painful. Depending on your attitudes toward sex and your relationship status, these changes can add emotional and relationship burdens on top of your physical changes.
The last major symptom is bone loss, especially in the postmenopausal period. Osteoporosis will make your bones more brittle, but you can control it with good nutrition and weight-bearing exercises. These force your bones to adapt and stay strong.
Dental issues also become more common for the same reason. Losing bone matter in the teeth can make your gums recede and increase the risk of tooth decay.
There are many other minor symptoms, like dry mouth, itching, and brittle nails, that can come along with menopause. What are things you can do to help cope with these symptoms?
Treatments for Menopause
One way to treat menopause that used to be more common was replacing the missing hormones. This is called Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT. However, evidence shows that this treatment can increase the risks of heart disease, strokes, and breast cancer for some women.
Yet, for some women, HRT is necessary to maintain health. For those women who lose their ovaries early in life, they may need HRT to keep their bodies in an even balance. Unlike a menopausal woman, women who lose their ovaries lose their estrogen all at once.
If your symptoms are extreme, you may need to speak with your doctor about HRT and see if it’s right for you, given your age and family history. If it’s not, or if you want to try a more natural method, there are herbs that can help treat the symptoms of menopause.
Think of menopause like a personal roller coaster. For some women, the symptoms are mild and the ride is easy. For others, it’s a terrifying experience! If your menopausal symptoms are out of control, we have three products to recommend.
PJO Products for Menopause
The first is our Simma Down Hot Flash Blend. This product targets hot flashes and night sweats with a combination of black spruce, geranium, peppermint, and other essential oils. It’s best to use this product daily before bed to help you sleep through the night. The organic CBD in this product will also help you sleep deeper.
Speaking of sleep, Doze Off Sleep Blend can also be a big help for women who experience insomnia because of menopause. Along with the help of CBD, this roller uses soothing scents like lavender, cedarwood, and vetiver to help women get to sleep.
Finally, if get joint pain during menopause, Zero In Joint Blend can target those achy joints with a quick blast of CBD, frankincense, and other essential oils that reduce inflammation.
Preparing for Menopause
Besides our roller blends, there are other healthy habits you need to get locked in to make your ride through menopause a little smoother. Weight-bearing exercise is a must, and the earlier you start, the better. Don’t think of it as building muscle, but as bone strengthening!
Sleep hygiene is also crucial. Keeping a regular sleep schedule and using a dark cool room with low noise will go a long way to keep your body from waking up. Invest in a cooling blanket as well. Cooler temperatures signal our bodies to sleep, and these blankets can really help you fight hot flashes.
Finally, seek support for any mental changes that come. You may need to go to therapy to help you deal with mood swings or marriage counseling if you experience relationship issues because of sexual changes. You can even find therapists who specialize in these natural changes.
Menopause is like a second puberty. It’s a dramatic change as you move into a new phase of your life. By taking a little extra care of yourself and leaning on Mother Nature’s remedies, you can make the transition feel like a new adventure, not something to fear.