22 Aug Frequently asked Menopause questions
Menopause Questions – most frequently asked questions
Let’s not beat around the bush. Menopause can feel like hell for some of us. All those uncomfortable symptoms make us feel we have lost control of our mind and body.
It can be a very confusing time for most of us as our hormones change.
I get asked a lot of Menopause questions by women everyday and thought I would put together a list of the most frequently asked ones.
Why am I getting hot flushes?
Unfortunately we don’t know the exact reason for hot flushes. Most experts think it is the fall in estrogen that occurs around the time before menopause. The Mayo Clinic points out that low estrogen alone does not cause hot flashes. Lots of women have low estrogen but they don’t all suffer hot flushes. It’s more the decrease in estrogen during menopause that experts believe to be the cause of hot flashes. There are other contributing factors such as stress, obesity, thyroid problems and lifestyle which explains why some women get more than others.
Menopause often has a habit of sneaking up on us in the middle of the night, literally. So hot and sweaty you feel like you’ve run a marathon in the tropics in the middle of the day! You wake up in a lather of sweat, pull the covers off, change your now soaked pj’s and think what the hell was that.
Fluctuating hormones send mixed signals to a part of our brain called the hypothalamus that regulates temperature control. This causes us to instantly overheat and then our bodies desperately try to restore normal and cool us down by sweating profusely. Oh and then we usually go the other way and start to feel a chill. Blankets on, blankets off! Sound familiar?
Why is it that I would rather “eat an apple” than have sex?
Now who’s had this one? – absolute zero sex drive! “I’d rather eat an apple than have sex”. joked one of my clients. Not so funny when you consider that lack of sex drive is the next most common reason women attend my clinic after hot flushes. Also the reason a lot of relationships break down.
Why does our sex drive disappear at a time when we could use it most?
We don’t have the distractions we did when our kids were little. We don’t have to worry about contraception. We now have the time but not the inclination. You’d be right in assuming it’s our fluctuating hormones. This time it is the drop in estrogen and testosterone.
Some of us maintain good testosterone production throughout menopause with little change in libido. This may be due to good nutrition, a healthy metabolism and a less stressful lifestyle. Women worry about their sudden drop in sexual interest but when we get our hormones back in balance, we often find that there is an increase in sexual desire.
Why does my vagina feel dryer than the Simpson Desert?
The answer is you guessed it …. declining hormones! Lower levels of estrogen can cause a drop in blood supply to the vagina. This can affect vaginal lubrication, causing the vaginal lining to become thinner, drier and more easily irritated. This results in painful sex and possibly recurrent urinary tract infections. The urinary tract dries out as well. This is when lubrication becomes your best friend. Coconut oil can be good. Also spending more time on foreplay can make all the difference.
Your vagina and labia can also feel itchy or irritated. Again applying coconut oil on the outside and inserting some inside your vagina can help.
Why am I so moody and angry?
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps control mood and impulse control. Estrogen plays a role in the production of serotonin, so when estrogen levels decline, so do serotonin levels, taking mood control with it. Lack of serotonin makes it far more difficult to cope with the demands of life combined with insomnia caused by hot flushes. Shifting hormones levels combined with stress can make us moodier than usual.
Why am I gaining weight despite eating the same and exercising more?
The shift in hormones makes us gain weight more easily and makes it harder to shift. Accumulating excess xeno-estrogens from the environment makes us gain weight around our tummies. Also fluctuating blood sugar levels contribute to weight gain. I find at this time of our lives eating a different way is beneficial. If you would like to know more please visit www.weightlossformenopause.com
One of the most important ways to help Menopause symptoms is to De-stress
- exercise with a friend – walk, talk and laugh at the same time
- leave work at work
- find time to enjoy the people and things you love
- relax – have a massage or facial, read a book, walk along the beach, yoga
- make time for family outings
- breathe deeply
- get out in the sun regularly and soak up Vitamin D
- holiday at least 3 weeks at a time to truly leave work behind
- make life as enjoyable as you can don’t focus on the negatives