What can life after menopause be like when your symptoms end?
When it comes to menopause symptoms, most of us know about them because we’re either dreading them or living them.
But what if we could look forward to life after menopause instead of feeling apprehensive of it? What if we could anticipate the time when the symptomatic phase of menopause is over and we can just relish the benefits of post-menopausal life? What if there were more than grieving the finality of our reproductive lives?
Life after menopause symptoms
If you’re currently suffering through the symptoms of menopause or perimenopause (or simply dreading the idea of it), read on and discover the true benefits of this new phase of your life.
Here’s a sneak peek at post-menopausal life.
Many of us have been conditioned to only look at the negative side of growing older, and with that, we often forget that aging is a natural part of life. Whenever something in our lives ends, it’s a natural fact that a new phase is waiting for us.
Dr. Northrup is so certain that menopause isn’t something to fear or to “wait out” that this doctor (who once made a career of shepherding patients through their negative symptoms) now invites women to embrace the upsides of menopause.
Increased resilience and self-awareness
Many women don’t find their true voices until they get older. As a society, we’ve been trained to believe that we must know everything about a subject before we can be considered an expert in it. As mature women, we know better.
While we at Gennev do believe that age begets wisdom, we also realize that, with age, our confidence levels and resiliance increase when it comes to certain subjects.
The older we get, the wiser and stronger we become. We can look back at our lives and reflect, “I went through a lot...and I made it.”
This being said, some adults do begin backtracking when it comes to confidence later in life, and menopause symptoms can make confidence even slipperier to hold on to. If support is needed, seek it out and use it to build the feelings of accomplishment you've earned and have a right to enjoy.
Our mindset? Lean into your next phase with the strength, wisdom, and experience you’ve gathered.
Increased confidence and focus
As we get older, we better understand the immediacy in life. We say yes to what we want and no to what we don’t. Post-menopause is a great, and natural, time to say, “I don’t have to put up with this,” as well as, “I am so ready for that.”
We’ve been through the fire; we know what we can and can’t do. In fact, a 2018 study concluded that confidence peaks in your 60s. The study also found that there was only a slight drop in confidence once you hit your 70s and 80s.
Increased sexual pleasure
While many see menopause as a time of waning sexual interest and pleasure, it really doesn't have to be that way. Did you know you can rewire your brain to make your body feel sexy? According to Dr. Northup, the trick is keeping an eye on your nitric oxide levels, an important factor in arousal. She recommends taking vitamins, eating well, and keeping active to reduce stress, even when the menopause transition is over.
Northrup also advises menopausal and post-menopausal women to take control of their pleasure by learning to love themselves, getting massages, and exploring their own bodies.
Other changes you can expect in this area of the brain? Increased focus.
This means you needn’t get too distraught if you’re in the thick of menopause, complete with menopause foggy brain. When menopause is over, not only will you likely get your attention span back, it might just be better than ever.
Fewer periods ... and ultimately no periods
One of the biggest hurrah moments of menopause? Saying goodbye to PMS and periods.
Over 80 percent of women report experiencing painful periods. And before the period? Don’t even get us started. According to the Office of Women’s Health, 3 out of every 4 women suffer from PMS symptoms, including headaches, bloating, and irritability.
When you're post-menopausal, bring on the white pants. Oh, and by the way, fewer periods can often mean more pain-free sex for many women. And of course there's lube, if vaginal dryness remedies become a must.
It also means no more worrying about unwanted pregnancies. After the transition to post-menopause is over, it’s a great time to consider transforming your passions into a second career without the worry of children.
Self-aware = self-care
Don't just take it from us that post-meno can be a fabulous time. There’s plenty of anecdotal information from women going through perimenopause, menopause, and fully in post-menopause to inspire you — there's plenty to enjoy, if you have the right mindset.
Jordan Rosenfeld is one of those women. When she started perimenopause early (age 41), she made a beeline for her doctor’s office. She’d been experiencing increased irritability and low energy or menopause fatigue. She was also starting to worry about getting older.
Professor of medical psychology and OB-GYN at Columbia University Irving Medical Center Catherine Monk suggested she take a different approach. Instead of trying to “solve” her irritability, Monk suggested that maybe she had stifled her frustrations too often before her symptoms got out of control.
Monk also suggested that her fatigue might be just her body’s way of telling her to take a break.
Understanding what your body is going through — and giving yourself space and time to adapt to the changes — is an important kind of self-care.
Relief from depression
Women with depression or sucicidal thoughts experience fewer symptoms after menopause. Most of the women who found relief didn’t start experiencing symptoms of depression until the start of menopause.
Ellen Freeman, Ph.D., who oversaw the study, found: “Among women who first experienced depressive symptoms approaching menopause, the risk of depressive symptoms declined after the FMP [final menstrual period], with a significantly lower risk the second year after menopause.”
While many women choose to undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT), others find that increasing their daily amount of exercise and managing stress to be just as effective.
Is there life after menopause?
No matter what you’ve been told, not all women experience the symptoms of menopause in the same way, or sometimes even at all! Check your expectations at the door and you might just enjoy this new chapter of your life. When all else fails, don’t forget: menopausal symptoms aren't forever.
We'd love to hear what you are looking forward to in this second chapter of your life. Chime in with your post-meno visions in our Community.
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