Oh, sweet Spring readers... I always feel like my inspiration peaks at this time of year, like the winter dust has finally disappeared with the wind and I can finally take a deep breath.
This Spring, I intend to focus on the menopause conversation. We have an incredible community of like-minded, creative, powerful women who should have an outlet to discuss themes around surrounding our lives at menopause. Whether it's time management, stress relief, hot flashes or money, we want the conversation to continue to grow and blossom.
Our new Facebook fan page was created for this very reason! It's one more way we're connecting women throughout menopause. Help us create a fireball of momentum by clicking "Like" on the top of the RHM Facebook page.
Spring and Summer, transition is all around us. The climacteric, which is a medical term used to describe the process we go through as we leave our reproductive years and enter into a non-reproductive state. It is otherwise known as the menopause transition. I've always thought the term, climacteric, is a rather awkward word for me to use, and have wondered how it even got its name. It sounds suggestive, almost like climax, and far too medical for me to comprehend. I much prefer to hear the words "the menopause transition" or just “menopause”. Sometimes the newness of the transition can leave us feeling really wiped and overwhelmed. So, how can we make the transition a time of blooming possibility instead of happenstance?
The trick is to think about intentions. How do you want to feel during menopause? Of course, your body can dictate many things about how you feel, but it's also about desired feelings and grounding intentions. Personally, I want to feel in control, have a happy balance of work and fun and feel in control of my own destiny.
Entering the unknown can certainly be scary but it's important not to let it get in the way of how you want to live your life. That's why many women want to know exactly where they are in the transition. The thing is, measuring menopause and determining where we are in the process is not an exact science and sometimes it is not easy for clinicians to determine. Because of the unfounded precision, menopause is not really confirmed until we have not had our periods for twelve consecutive months.
We just can’t seem to get away from the hot flash topic! It’s hot for a reason – so many of us suffer with them and often it feels like they continue forever. Well, we’re not alone. Contrary to previous assumptions that hot flashes usually last 4-5 years, a new study suggests that hot flashes may last an average of more than 10 years. Is it any wonder the menopause transition can play such a significant role in our lives?
This new study, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that for women who reported hot flashes, those symptoms lasted an average of 11 and a half years. Moderate to severe hot flashes specifically went on for about 10 years on average. The study also found that found women who start getting hot flashes before menopause or in the early stages of menopause will have them for longer, on average, than women who don't have their first hot flashes until later.
The hair on my head and pubic area seems to be relocating to my chin! Help!
Unfortunately, many women in menopause have the added annoyance of growing a third eyebrow and/or experiencing hair loss from some location on their bodies. In the March 2011 British Journal of Dermatology, a study revealed hair changes were very common among menopausal women 45 years and older. Hair loss of some form effected 41% of the women surveyed and 49% experienced increased facial hair.
Hair loss at menopause may be due to several factors. Decreasing estrogen levels and a response to androgens (testosterone and DHEA) in the skin on the face may play a role. Also, poor vitamin intake, unhealthy diets, over processing your hair, smoking and medications (like certain acid blockers, gout treatment, fertility drugs, autoimmune treatments, birth control pills and blood thinners) may also contribute to hair loss at menopause. Some other issues may also be causing the hair to fall out, including thyroid issues, diabetes/pre-diabetes and iron deficiency anemia.
So, if you’re experiencing “hairy issues” at menopause, talk with your healthcare provider about testing for these problems. It could be something other than menopause that’s causing the problem.
What about the hair on your face? In the European study previously mentioned, 39% of the women who experienced facial hair growth said the hair was on the chin, 22% on the upper lip and 39% in both areas. Talk to your health care provider about prescription treatments. Otherwise, get those tweezers out!
The health information contained on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice from a healthcare provider. All decisions regarding patient care must be made by the individual patient and their healthcare provider. Labeled advertisements on this site do not imply endorsement of those products and/or services.