About Menopause

Life Beyond the Change: Understanding Postmenopausal Health

If menopause is the evolution, postmenopause is your new beginning. The years following your midlife evolution hold the potential to be your golden era. Yet, education on postmenopausal health is seldom spoken about in a woman's life. While perimenopause and menopause get all the shine, important intel about postmenopause life is left in the dark. It’s time to embrace this phase and empower yourself with knowledge! We're going to dig into perimenopause, menopause, postmenopause, medical conditions that arise later in life, and ways to offset common risk factors women can experience in the midlife era. Join us as we dive into everything you need to know about postmenopausal health.

Setting the Stage: A Primer on Perimenopause and Menopause

Before we jump into all things postmenopause, let's give context to things your body has been experiencing during perimenopause and menopause. Perimenopause translates to "around menopause" and refers to the time when your body begins to produce less estrogen. One of the first signals of entering perimenopause is irregular periods. You may enter perimenopause earlier than expected if you've had a hysterectomy. According to the North American Menopause Society, the average age women in the United States enter menopause is age 51. Yet, this average age may not resonate with everyone. Early menopause occurs when the onset is before age 45 and premature menopause has an onset before age 40. If you've had your ovaries removed or have a family history of early menopause, that will also impact the age your menopause symptoms start to kick in.

As estrogen levels lower, your menstrual cycle becomes more irregular, and menopausal symptoms begin to onset more rapidly. These symptoms are responses to your shifting hormone levels and include irregular menstrual periods, hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and night sweats. Menopause is regarded as the 12 months without a menstrual period. Postmenopause is following the 12 months without a monthly period. Fun fact: You can still get pregnant during menopause even if you aren't regularly experiencing menstruation, so be sure to consult your healthcare provider for contraception options that work for you. 

Some may choose to manage menopausal symptoms with hormone therapy or estrogen therapy, however these aren't options for everyone. Plus, hormone replacement therapy can have some serious side effects and can increase the risk of breast cancer. Lifestyle changes and natural supplements offer a safe and holistic answer to those menopausal woes. Natural treatment options include acupuncture, a steady ritual of daily supplements, regular exercise, and a healthy diet. 

What to Expect in Postmenopausal Life 

Remember how we just chatted about those lowered estrogen levels? That is a key part of the evolution - estrogen levels drop, setting a new precedent for your body. In postmenopause, you still may experience many of the things you encountered during perimenopause and menopause. Unfortunately, this means for many women, hot flashes and night sweats are sticking around for a bit longer than you'd like. While this may come as a disappointment, we want to empower you with a different perspective. As you evolve, your body does too, thus your daily rituals must evolve as well. Translation: Just because you're still prone to hot flashes doesn't mean you can’t help to manage them with some planning. With the proper supplements and self-care routines in place, a hot flash may become a minor annoyance. Our Core Dietary Supplement tackles the key symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes. Our studies show that within one month of daily use, folks feel relief from the major menopause symptoms. 

Lifestyle changes are also key for managing hot flashes and night sweats in postmenopausal life. Avoiding alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine can help minimize frustrating heat waves.  Try keeping a cool compress at your bedside in case you're jolted from sleep with a wave of heat. Breathable fabrics are key, so opt for cotton, linen, and silk to keep your body cool. This goes for masks too! A cotton mask is comfortable and keeps yourself and others safe in the era of COVID-19. 

Postmenopausal women may still experience vaginal dryness later in life. Again... Thanks, estrogen levels. This annoyance can lead to a higher risk of vaginal bleeding due to cracked skin, difficulty with intimacy, and major discomfort. Our Daily Vaginal Lotion is the perfect remedy for dryness down there. The nourishing formula is filled with Vitamin D, humectants, and plant-based goodness to transform irritated, dry, and cracked skin. 

Urinary incontinence is also a theme post-menopause. No shame in this game. This is a completely natural and normal phenomenon. We love Speax, an absorbent panty designed for bladder leaks. They have plenty of styles, from french cut panties to cozy hiphuggers. 

Mood changes may stick around in the postmenopausal era as well. No need to worry, there is hope! Over-the-counter offerings like Sam-E, St. John's Wort, and Ashwagandha can help level out moods. Fun fact: One of the key ingredients in our Core Dietary Supplement is Ashwagandha and it truly works wonders on mood swings. If you're finding you need more support, chat with your healthcare provider to see if antidepressants are a good fit for you. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can also be supportive in managing mood changes and stressors associated with your midlife evolution. Acupuncture can relieve anxiety, not to mention it has shown great clinical efficacy in supporting symptoms of menopause as a whole.

Navigating Your Women's Health Journey Beyond Postmenopause

Postmenopause marks a time when it is key to become more conscious of your health. The average age women hit postmenopause is 52 years old, although the timeline is different for everyone. This time in life is also when women are at an increased risk for concerning health conditions like high cholesterol levels, weight gain, heart disease, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and bone loss (which increases the risk of osteoporosis). This information isn't shared to create alarm. Rather, it is our goal to empower you with as much health knowledge as possible. Keeping your annual gynecologist visit, yearly mammogram and breast exams, regular exercise, and a balanced diet that includes calcium can all offset the likelihood of developing health concerns as you ease into this new phase of life and physical changes. A healthy lifestyle is key!

Most Important of All - You are Never Alone​

Postmenopause is a new chapter in life and you never have to go on this journey alone. We created a Facebook group for kindred spirits to come together and chat about all things regarding the midlife evolution. From navigating conversations with your gynecologist to health and wellness, we're here through it all. Join us!

Sources:

https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes

https://www.dignityhealth.org/conditions-and-treatments/womens-services

https://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/health-after-menopause

https://www.breastcancer.org/risk/factors.