Not so se­cret women’s busi­ness Tips and ticks to sail through menopause like it ain’t no thing

Change-of-life is­sues get­ting you down? Here’s how to sail through it like it ain’t no thing

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Contents -

just when you think you’ve got this whole wom­an­hood thing fig­ured out, your body says ‘hold my beer’ and throws some­thing weird and wacky into the mix. For many, the lead-up to menopause can be full of sur­prises, not all of them fun. (Be­tween us, the post-menopause years aren’t al­ways a bar­rel of laughs ei­ther!)

WELL, WE AIN’T GONNA TAKE IT!

Ad­vances in medicine and tech­nol­ogy mean women don’t have to sim­ply put up with the pain, dis­com­fort or plain in­con­ve­nience some­times as­so­ci­ated with ‘the change’. We’re bet­ter in­formed than ever and, as a bonus, we can eas­ily con­nect and share with other women in the same boat. What­ever’s go­ing on, there’s a so­cial me­dia sup­port group out there for you!

AB­NOR­MAL BLEED­ING

Ap­proach­ing menopause, pe­ri­ods of­ten be­come heav­ier, more painful and less pre­dictable. You might think you’re done,

and then months later, clot­ting and cramp­ing start up again. Although this is con­sid­ered ‘nor­mal’, if your pe­riod is mess­ing with your mojo, help is avail­able. • Over-the-counter pain meds

can ease milder symp­toms.

• A pre­scrip­tion drug con­tain­ing the ac­tive in­gre­di­ent tranex­amic acid has been shown to re­duce blood flow by up to 60 per cent. • Hor­monal treat­ment op­tions

are var­ied and in­clude low-dose oral con­tra­cep­tives or other forms of ther­apy, so talk to your doc­tor. • If you’re cer­tain you’re done

hav­ing kids, en­dome­trial ab­la­tion, such as No­va­sure, is an ef­fec­tive non-hor­monal, min­i­mally in­va­sive pro­ce­dure. Usu­ally per­formed as day surgery, the pro­ce­dure re­moves the lin­ing of the uterus. It’s quick and easy with lit­tle to no down-time. • If you ex­pe­ri­ence ab­nor­mal bleed­ing or spot­ting after menopause, see your gy­nae­col­o­gist or GP. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit wear­whitea­gain.com.au

BLAD­DER WEAK­NESS

Child­birth, menopause, years of strain­ing on the loo and be­ing over­weight can weaken pelvic floor mus­cles which can make you leak when you laugh, cough, sneeze, lift heavy stuff or ex­er­cise. It may be ex­tremely com­mon, but stress in­con­ti­nence can be em­bar­rass­ing! • To­day’s su­per-ab­sorbent lin­ers,

pads and undies are light years re­moved from days of yore and of­fer worry-free con­fi­dence. Get some!

• Pelvic floor ex­er­cises (aka Kegels), re­ally do help strengthen those mus­cles when done cor­rectly

and con­sis­tently. Youtube ‘How to Kegel’ – yep, that’s a thing!

• Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruit and veg, drink lots of wa­ter, lose weight if you need to. • Prac­tise good toi­let habits.

Don’t strain, don’t hold on longer than is com­fort­able, but don’t go ‘just in case’ ei­ther. • If the prob­lem gets worse, talk to your doc about sur­gi­cal op­tions such as blad­der aug­men­ta­tion.

HAIR LOSS

In­sult to in­jury? You betcha! Many women ex­pe­ri­ence hair loss dur­ing and after menopause, and while the causes are not fully un­der­stood, hor­mone im­bal­ance, vi­ta­min and min­eral de­fi­cien­cies and un­der­ly­ing health prob­lems play a role. In par­tic­u­lar, an un­der or over­ac­tive thyroid can cause sig­nif­i­cant hair thin­ning or loss. If this is a prob­lem for you, ad­dress it with your doc­tor ASAP!

Tell your­self ‘you got this’ and be the cap­tain on your jour­ney

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