Menopause can be a scary and confusing time with all of the changes that happen to your body because of fluctuation hormones. While you may be embarrassed to talk to your health care professional about awkward questions that you many have about your body during menopause, it is essential that you talk about your questions and concerns in order to make the transition through menopause as pleasant as possible.
So What is Menopause?
Before we address some of the most awkward questions that you may have about menopause, let’s first take a look at what it is and why it happens. Menopause can happen in your 40’s or 50’s ; however, the average age is 51 years in the United States. Menopause involves the end of your menstruation cycle and therefore the end of your fertility. According to the Mayo Clinic, menopause is defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. Some of the symptoms leading up to menopause according to the Mayo Clinic, include: irregular periods, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, weight gain, thinning hair, dry skin and decreased breast fullness.
What Happens During Menopause in a Woman?
Menopause can be caused by a number of things including: a decline of naturally occurring hormones (estrogen and progesterone), having a full hysterectomy (this affects the production of reproductive hormones and less estrogen and progesterone are produced), chemical or radiation therapy and/or primary ovarian insufficiency (where your ovaries do not produce the required levels of reproductive hormones, including estrogen and progesterone). Whatever the cause of your menopause, you are bound to have questions and concerns about the changes that are happening to your body. Three of the most awkward menopause questions are addressed
Awkward Menopause Question #1 – What can I do about the facial hair that I’ve developed?
Not every women going through menopause will experience increased facial hair growth, but it is a big problem for many women and can be quite upsetting. Facial hair growth in women is caused by an imbalance of hormones. The imbalance that creates unwanted facial hair growth involves falling levels of estrogen and progesterone and increasing levels of androgens (male hormones). Thankfully there are a number of options for hair removal that can fit into any budget including: waxing, bleaching, hair removal creams and lotions, electrolysis and laser hair removal.
Awkward Menopause Questions #2 – How can I make sex more enjoyable?
In order to have more enjoyable sex, you have to be open and honest with your partner about how your body is feeling. Along with the vaginal dryness that you may be experiencing can come uncomfortable, and possibly painful, sex. Vaginal moisturizers are the first line of treatment for better sex. If this doesn’t work, you can try a water-based lubricant to help make intercourse more pleasurable. If you still aren’t experiencing pleasurable sex, you may need to speak with your doctor about prescription
Awkward Menopause Questions #3 – What can I do about the vaginal itching/burning that I have?
Decreasing levels of estrogen causes many women to experience vaginal dryness. As estrogen levels decrease the tissue that lines the vagina becomes thinner and loses moisture and elasticity. This can lead to an itching, burning sensation because of irritation of the vaginal walls. The good news is that there are a number of treatments that will help to combat the vaginal dryness that you’re experiencing. There are a variety of creams, tablets and rings that deliver a small amount of estrogen to the affected area. Speak to your doctor about which solution is right for you.
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When it comes to your body during menopause, it may be embarrassing to speak to your healthcare professional about the symptoms that you’re experiencing. But, remember, your doctor is there to help guide you through this naturally occurring process. Speak up – don’t needlessly suffer with the symptoms of menopause
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