Long gone are the days of our grandparents when menopause was a taboo subject and hidden. Women are now liberated and encouraged to speak about what has historically been labelled ‘the change’ as it is indeed just that.
The menopause is a taboo that is finally being broken down. Women are talking about it, companies are starting to do something about it and the barriers are finally falling. It’s natural. It happens to every woman. All women find the menopause to be a personal experience and not just a medical condition. If you are fortunate, you may not notice any
changes at all.
However, the menopause, or rather the perimenopause, the time leading up to the ending of a woman’s periods, can be challenging times in a woman’s life. The symptoms ease once periods finally stop, although some symptoms such as hot flushes can continue for many years after. This is the time in her life when a woman potentially experiences a number of symptoms of both a physical and psychological nature.
Symptoms ranging from mild to severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities. Hot flushes are a well-recognised symptom, other common symptoms include night sweats, anxiety, low mood, insomnia or changed sleeping patterns, reduced libido, poor concentration, weight gain (and how it just creeps on and creeps on and creeps on) panic attacks and general changes in body shape.
The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55 During the menopausal transition, the body's production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones made by the ovaries, Oestrogen doesn’t just regulate the ovaries, it has an impact on many other parts of the body, including the brain. It interacts with the part of the brain that affects bodily temperature, as a result, decreasing levels of oestrogen varies greatly. Bones become less dense, making women more vulnerable to fractures. During this period, the body begins to use energy differently, fat cells change hence reasoning for weight gain easily.
Menopause in the workplace
Menopause in the workplace is a silent challenge that women have being managing for years, years not always easily. The workplace can be a challenge for anyone who is struggling with a health matter, but when your symptoms are numerous and varied compared to your colleagues and go on for many years, perhaps changing and evolving over time, then the challenge can increase. How do you explain to a male colleague that you’re baking hot and need the windows open when it’s freezing outside and he’s 23 and sat in multiple layers because he’s cold? How do you talk to your boss.
Skin problems during the menopause are linked to hormonal changes in the body. Women may experience dry skin; oily skin; itchy skin (pruritis); pins and needles or tingling or pricking sensations (paraesthesia) and for some a sensation described as like having insects crawling over the skin (formication).
Oestrogen stimulates the production of collagen and oils through oestrogen receptors in the skin. Therefore as oestrogen production slows during the menopause the skin often becomes dry and itchy, though this is more common in the years immediately following menopause for some women the changes begin in the peri-menopause.
Alternative support for the menopause
Many high-profile women have spoken out about how they were affected by their symptoms and how they have come through the other side. HRT is now also recognised as being a much safer option than was previously thought. However, it is not a panacea and many women are either unwilling or unable to take hormone replacement, so what else is there?
We know that there are other effective options out there which are clinically proven to actually work. Two years ago, the British Medical Journal published a review of alternative treatments for hot flushes. They concluded that cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy were the only two alternative treatments that they could recommend as being effective in reducing the experience of vasomotor symptoms medical speak for hot flushes. Yet the benefits of hypnotherapy for menopausal symptoms are rarely talked about and very few doctors or women know of its positive outcomes.
Hypnotherapy can help during menopause
Clinical hypnosis can effectively reduce hot flashes and associated symptoms among postmenopausal women as much as 80 percent, and the findings also showed participants experienced improved quality of life and lessened anxiety and depression, according to a new study new study conducted by researchers at Baylor University's Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory.
Hypnosis relaxes and calms women, allowing their subconscious mind to accept positive suggestions for their well-being. This experience helps them reflect in a calm and positive way to heal those parts that have experienced the discomfort of menopause, the dispersing feelings of anxiety and stress, mood swings, hot flushes along with night sweats and panic attacks. Hypnotherapy helps women regain their confidence, enthusiasm and motivation in their daily life.