Menopause marks the transition from the stage of life when you’re fertile to the end of your reproductive years. While the symptoms associated with this time of change can be problematic for some women, not all news about menopause is bad.
Menopause specialist Rickie Guida, WHNP-BC, and the care team at Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, can help you navigate this time of change so you stay as healthy as possible and feel your best. To that end, we’ve gathered five encouraging facts about menopause that every woman should know.
1. The end of PMS and periods
For decades of their life, over 90% of women experience shifts in their hormones that cause premenstrual syndrome (PMS) before they get their period each cycle. PMS causes a range of unpleasant emotional and physical symptoms, from sadness or irritability to breast tenderness and pain.
The end of PMS begins when you get your period, something nearly all women would rather avoid. The good news is that menopause means the end of your menstrual cycle, which means no more hormonal fluctuations, worrying about tampons or pads, and an end to cramps.
It’s important to note that while you’re transitioning to menopause, you enter a stage called perimenopause, which can begin up to 12 years before you’re officially menopausal. During this time, PMS and periods can get worse. If this describes you, be sure to talk to Rickie for help managing your symptoms.
2. No fear of unwanted pregnancy
During your reproductive years, every time you have sex, there’s a chance you’ll get pregnant. This can disrupt your sex life and cause anxiety for women who are hoping to avoid having a baby. Women in menopause can enjoy sexual intercourse without fear of having a baby.
According to long-term research, women find they enjoy sex more when they don’t have to think about pregnancy. If you’re sexually active, you can still get sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), however, so talk to Rickie about the best ways to protect yourself.
3. Help for uterine fibroids
About 35 million American women develop uterine fibroids. While these fibrous tumors are usually benign, they can still cause disruptive symptoms that make everyday life a challenge, such as heavy bleeding, urinary incontinence, low back pain, and painful sex. Once women reach menopause, however, fibroids typically stop growing or even shrink as your estrogen levels decline.
4. Fewer migraine headaches
Nearly three-quarters of women who get migraine headaches experience what is called menstrual migraines. This condition results when your migraines are linked to your menstrual cycle, and researchers believe the shifts in hormones trigger their occurrence.
Once you enter menopause, however, the levels of hormones related to migraines drops and stabilizes. For many women, this means fewer migraines and less severe symptoms when they occur.
5. A chance to focus on you
Between pregnancy, child-rearing, work obligations, and responsibilities to family and friends, it’s no wonder women cite a lack of time as the main reason they don’t focus enough on self-care. But putting yourself at the bottom of your list of priorities isn’t healthy.
The good news is that menopause usually coincides with the time that children are leaving home and careers stabilize, giving you more time to focus on yourself and your self-care. Many women in menopause find they can make changes that improve their overall health and well-being, including:
- Sticking to a healthier diet
- Maintaining an exercise routine
- Attending health appointments and screenings
- Enjoying hobbies more regularly
- Engaging in relaxation practices
- Bonding with friends and acquaintances
For help managing menopause symptoms or for more information about this time of transition, contact Rickie at Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, by calling 303-797-9199. You can also book an appointment online at your convenience.