When you see or read about celebrity women talking about life after 40, it appears as though they’ve had no problems with physical and emotional issues resulting from the “change of life.” They look wonderful, feel wonderful, and enjoy terrific sex lives.
“All fake,” a friend of mine says, laughing. “The only way they’re looking and feeling that good, and having great sex is because they have the money to access expensive products and doctors. For average women like me, the change of life is a little tougher to deal with.”
My friend’s feelings are true for many women. Perimenopause – the time when a woman’s estrogen levels and ovarian functions begin decreasing – causes many physical and emotional changes.
The changes are real
Perimenopause usually begins in the 40s, but may start as early as the mid 30s. Hormonal fluctuations cause symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, bladder leakage, insomnia, mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain, memory loss, low sex drive, breast tenderness, vaginal pain during sexual intercourse, and more. Each female experiences an individualized mix of symptoms and issues.
“My sleep pattern and sex drive cause me the most distress,” my friend shared. “Hot flashes still have me waking in the middle of the night to a cold puddle of wetness. And mentally I want sex but feel no physical desire. At times during sex, the sensation is so unpleasant, I just cry.”
Manage the change
I’m pretty sure my friend’s experience with perimenopause is very common. Thankfully, medical and herbal products exist to help manage the symptoms that come with the change of life. But the first thing you must do is be willingly to open up and talk about your symptoms.
- Seek professional medical advice on how to decrease your symptoms;
- Talk with a licensed nutritionist or naturopathic doctor about herbal alternatives;
- Share with your spouse or partner what you’re feeling, and try different techniques to keep your sex life rewarding; and
- Do your own research. A good resource to start with is the book, The Female Brain, by Dr. Louann Brizendine.
Although we’re not celebrities with easy access to top-of-the-line doctors and products, there’s enough available to keep life after 40 a blast. So don’t suffer in silence; get started managing your change, to make life after 40 even better than before!
#changeoflife #perimenopause #lifeafter40