Menopause, Just What Is It?

Feb 6 08:51 2005 Barbara C. Phillips, MN, NP Print This Article

Just what is this thing called menopause? And what does it have to do with you?

Simply stated,Guest Posting menopause is a biological event that marks the end of a woman’s menses and hence her natural reproductive cycle. Perimenopause is defined as the period beginning with the signs of approaching menopause and ending about 12 months after “the menopause”.

Worldwide, menopause has as a variety of meanings. Each and every woman’s experience is based on her physical and emotional well being as well as her social and cultural environments. While some view menopause as a decline in status, others see it as a rite of passage. In other words, there are huge physical, emotional and social influences involved in your experience of menopause and aging.

That said, what you really want to know is – “What will I experience”?

This is tricky, as the answer is different for every woman. Some women barely notice a warm flush, while others have an intense reaction. So as you read some of the more common occurrences, please keep in mind – you will do you own thing.

  • Power Surges, night sweats (they can be all day!) and chills

  • Insomnia, and/or poor quality of sleep

  • Urinary frequency, discomfort and sometimes leakiness

  • Vaginal dryness, irritation and possibly discomfort with sexual activity

  • Moodiness. Perhaps some irritation, nervousness, anxiety and depression.

  • Diminished libido (sexual desire)

  • Memory issues! Some women call this “the pause” (among other things).

  • Joint pain and stiffness

      In case you think all the reactions are negative, take a look at some of the more positive and more important changes that happen to women.

      • Freedom
      • Joy
      • Greater sense of Creativity
      • A sense of peace that has not been previously been present.
      • Wisdom that only comes to those with time and conscious living.

      Just as there are many responses to the onset of menopause, there are many approaches you can take to meet these changes. As with anything, you must weigh any risk against the benefit (this is especially true when you consider hormone therapy), your belief system, and finally, you must find something that works for you.

      Most approaches are common sense and actions we need to take daily. Others are meant to challenge your thinking and open your mind. Possible ways to approach menopause include:

      • Healthy food and fluid intake.
      • Nutriceuticals such as vitamins and herbal supplements
      • Exercise at least 30 minutes daily.
      • Traditional Chinese Medicine such has acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Qi Gong and Tai Chi
      • Adjust your attitude! Laugh and have fun. Hang out with your girlfriends and delight in NOT being 25 again!
      • Meditation, visualization and biofeedback
      • Natural, Bio-identical and pharmaceutical grade hormone therapy

      This is a time of your life where you can count on change, and the growth that comes from it. As the power surges through our bodies, we grow into the women we are meant to be. We fulfill our goals and move on to make new ones. While our focus is inward, our outward gaze sharpens and our dreams are manifested for all to celebrate. It really is a magnificent time.

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      About Article Author

      Barbara C. Phillips, MN, NP
      Barbara C. Phillips, MN, NP

      ©2005 Barbara C. Phillips, MN, NP, a Nurse Practitioner with nearly 30 years experience is the Founder of OlderWiserWomen, LLC. She asks: Are you living with Vibrant Intent? Do you want to experience the Joy, Magic, and Wisdom of Successful Aging? You are invited to Celebrate with us as we explore these issues and more.

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