Passage To Freedom

Women all over the world celebrate their freedom on October 18, World Menopause Day. Women have a lot for which they can be grateful at this time. Medical science can now offer women so many ways to be healthy and productive as they enter this newest life phase. Menopause comes at a time when women still have one third of their lives ahead. For this reason, women should know about all the available options they can take to make these years full and happy.

Health Maintenance

The idea of World Menopause Day is for women in all parts of the world to grab a few moments from their busy lives to learn the ways in which menopause will affect them and what the menopausal or perimenopausal woman can do to maintain her general health at this time. All women aged 45 and up should begin by scheduling an appointment with their gynecologists who can advise you about any specific health risks and tell you what you can do to protect and maintain the integrity of your health. A large part of this effort will be about tailoring a good diet and exercise routine just for you. Your physician may also want to discuss how hormone therapy might be beneficial.

Life Passage

A great many women fear the approach of menopause since society seems to value youth and since baby-boomers dread the process of aging. Knowing what you can expect to happen at this time will go a long way toward easing your anxiety about this new life passage. 

With the coming of middle age, your ovaries will begin to decrease their production of the female hormones. For some women, this may cause symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and insomnia. But as time elapses, there may be some long term effects of this loss of the female hormones such as vaginal discomfort or osteoporosis. Some facts to ponder:

*Hot flashes are the direct result of declining estrogen levels and can last from half a minute up to five minutes at a time.

*Declining estrogen levels also cause the vaginal tissues to shrink. The result is vaginal dryness and painful sex.

*Fifty percent of women over 50 years will experience a fracture as a result of osteoporosis.

*Recent research suggests that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) when begun below the age of 60 years can lower your risk for heart disease.

*The risk of developing breast cancer as a result of HRT is very minimal and only after long term use.

*HRT is the most effective measure for obtaining relief from menopause symptoms.

*Alternative and complementary therapies have yet to come up with a treatment that is more effective than a placebo for menopausal symptom relief.