Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop producing eggs, and the menstrual cycle ends. The onset of menopause is usually accompanied by unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms, which range from hot sweats and vaginal dryness to irritability and loss of libido. During early menopause, these symptoms appear much earlier in a woman's life than usual.
Most women experience menopause after they have reached their 40s. In some cases, however, women in their 20s and 30s go through early menopause. This can be a particularly upsetting experience, as these women not only have the unpleasant symptoms of menopause to contend with, but may also struggle with the concept of losing their youth, and “growing old” prematurely. Read on for three tips on how to feel young when experiencing early menopause.
Refuse to Be Labeled
Your mindset is the most important thing in handling early menopause. Do not succumb to the idea you are prematurely aging- this is not the case. Although menopause is a phase that is most commonly associated with middle aged women, those who experience menopause earlier have not aged prematurely and there is nothing wrong with them; their bodies are simply functioning differently. It may be helpful to think of menopause in the same way as puberty - some people experience it early, while others are late bloomers, both of which are completely normal and have their advantages and disadvantages.
Continue with Your Daily Routine
Just because what you are experiencing with your body is new, unfamiliar, and at times uncomfortable, do not let it interfere with your everyday life. At a time when you may feel like your body and identity are changing, sticking with your daily routine, and not letting early menopause affect your lifestyle, will ensure that you stay in control. Also, people who stay busy do not have the time to sit around and worry about early menopausal symptoms. Such excessive worrying can lead to anxiety and depression. If symptoms are concerning you, talk to a friend or your doctor, get advice, and carry on with your day.
Take up a New Hobby
Nothing breathes new life into you quite like starting a new hobby. Take up dancing, drama, or join a book club to reinvigorate yourself. Starting something new can be intimidating, but that's just part of the excitement, and the sense of accomplishment will be more intense as a result. Furthermore, you may meet some new friends, keeping your sense of self fresh and full of vitality.
It is understandable that early menopause can be a difficult time, and that its effects are emotional as well as physical. But it is important not to lose optimism. You still have your youth, and there are many ways to address the problems of uncomfortable symptoms.
Click in the following link to learn more about treatments for early menopause symptoms.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
- Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.