Menopause indicates the end of the reproductive phase of a woman. It is easily associated with physiological changes, most especially with the end of her menstrual cycle but, this phase is also marked by emotional and psychological changes that challenge a woman’s health and well-being.
The years leading up to menopause or, perimenopause, are characterized by the sharp, irregular rises and dips in estrogen levels. Estrogen is responsible for the maturity of a woman’s body, particularly in enlarging the breasts, making her fertile, and keeping the vaginal lining elastic and lubricated most especially during sex.
But, while estrogen plays a key role in regulating a woman’s reproductive functions, so do two other sex hormones: progesterone and testosterone. Progesterone regulates a woman’s menstrual cycle while testosterone helps regulate the production of estrogen and is associated with libido.
In midlife, women experience major changes in these three hormones which, together, can lead to irregular, alternating bouts of no to heavy menstrual bleedings, headaches, insomnia, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and night sweats. All of which contribute one way or another to a general lack of sex drive. Sex becomes more painful because of vaginal dryness, and hot flashes and night sweats drain a perimenopausal woman’s energy for sex.
These changes combine to cause her frequent, extreme mood swings and anxiety. Up to 80 per cent of women who are undergoing menopause have reported several menopausal symptoms like having feelings of anxiety, some even experience depression. Negative emotional and psychological experiences that accompany menopause, however, may not be directly related to menopause but instead, are caused by the rapid and varying changes that are occurring simultaneously in a woman’s body during this phase.
There are plenty of therapies available for the perimenopausal and menopause woman from natural remedies all the way to hormone replacement. Truth is, it’s the things a woman does to her body everyday throughout her life that help her survive menopause. Sometimes, it’s having a positive disposition that helps a woman laugh her way out of this extremely challenging phase of her female existence.