Menopause…Change Is Good

Christina Calvello, MD, Obstetrics/Gynecology

Menopause marks the end of the menstrual cycle, which for many women is a cause for celebration in itself. Beyond the temporary physical discomforts some experience during menopause, there are important benefits to the new stage of life into which you’re headed.

Goodbye to PMS - In the week or two before your period, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can cause a host of physical and emotional symptoms, ranging from breast tenderness and headache pain to food cravings and irritability.

Greater Self-Assurance - After 50-plus years of life experience, including the ups and downs of relationships, child-rearing and careers, women are more likely to go after what they want with a greater sense of confidence that they can handle whatever comes their way.

A Time to Take Risks - Midlife is the time when women are inclined to take more chances. Some switch careers, or may even try other adventurous pursuits like mountain climbing or figure skating. If there's something you've been putting on hold, there's no time like the present to taste what life has to offer.

Caring for Yourself - With children grown or on their way to independence, women in menopause have more time to take care of themselves. Now is the time to put your best foot forward by eating a healthy diet that's low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables, and by getting regular physical activity - anything from walking and biking to gardening and housework counts. And finally, it's important to take time out and reduce stress; techniques such as meditation, relaxation techniques or yoga.

In addition, many women seek hormone therapy secondary to symptoms that are not tolerable. Women are encouraged to talk to their health care provider about hormone replacement therapy options.

Most women do not need treatment for menopause outside of a balanced diet, regular exercise and a commitment to healthy living. This in turn helps to reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer and other age-related illnesses.


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