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Going Through Menopause Can Be Challenging

Dec 11, 2007
For most women the topic of menopause brings a feeling of dread. Having watched their mother go "through the change" and anticipating hot flashes, mood swings and many other changes in their way of life is not a pleasant thing to look forward to experiencing. However, for others who understand the physiological processes associated with menopause, they may look forward to entering this third stage of their life.

There are many things happening in the female body during premenopause, as hormonal changes run rampant, affecting virtually every aspect of a woman's life.

* Essentially, menopause is the day the ovaries stop functioning and no more eggs are produced.

* Up until that day, the condition is called premenopause and usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55.

* The average age at which a woman reaches menopause is 51, although there are some that experience it much earlier and later in life.

The issues associated with menopause are primarily due to the lack of hormone production by the endocrine glands that follows the schedule of egg production. As the ovaries being shutting down and menstrual cycles begin to cease, the production of hormones, especially estrogen also slows. As the body adjusts to the hormonal changes, it affects every system in the body from the sex drive to the condition of the skin.

Think of menopause as puberty in reverse. During puberty a woman's body begins the process to enter the reproductive years. As menstrual cycles begin, hormone production is at its peak and the body prepares for the woman to become pregnant and begin rearing children. During menopause, essentially everything is reversed as the ovaries quit producing eggs as well as the hormones to drive the woman through reproduction. Not every woman going through premenopause suffers the same symptoms, nor are the severity of the symptoms the same for every woman.

While more obvious in some women, hot flashes, depression, irritability and mood swings are some of the most common issues for women in premenopause. They may also experience changes in menses from being irregular, heavy or light as well as vaginal dryness and a lack of sexual desire. Sleep patterns have also been known to be interrupted along with night sweats and occasional nausea. The woman in premenopause is greatly affected by any or all of these symptoms, but they can also have a profound affect on those with whom the woman comes into contact.

Families of women in premenopause will need to understand the changes she is going through and learn to deal with the mood changes and many other symptoms. While doctors often offer prescriptions for the symptoms of menopause, some of the drugs used can actually be detrimental to the health of the woman.

Many natural products are on the market as well as alternative medical treatments that can help her cope with the effects of menopause. Lifestyle changes may include a revised diet and exercise program to help the body cope with some of the changes. Exercising can help with any anticipated weight gain and limiting caffeine intake can help with loss of sleep.
About the Author
Richard Smart writes for Natural Health Products, Inc and online natural health company which provides a very effective menopause product.
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