Menopause is the cessation of menstrual periods and the end of a woman’s reproductive capability. There is no specific age when this occurs but research tells us that women’s bodies start preparing for menopause about 10 years before she has her last menstrual cycle. Once a woman has gone for 12 consecutive months without having a menstrual period she is said to be through menopause.
It can start with little changes that may not even be noticeable to a woman at first. Periods can get shorter in length and there can be a longer amount of time between them. Hormonal changes gradually occur and can cause mood swings, body temperature fluctuations and vaginal dryness. The walls of the vagina can also become thin and lose some elasticity. Some women make it through menopause with little or no discomfort and some have a very difficult time.
For some women, menopause is devastating. They are not ready to give up that part of themselves that can bear children and fear the inevitable passage of time. They also fear being viewed with one of the many stereotypes that exist when it comes to women as they age. These include being seen as old, dried up, useless, asexual and undesirable. Why do men get distinguished and women just get old? I have never understood that.
We live in such a youth obsessed society that women who are past a certain age are overlooked and passed by. This is unfortunate because women in this phase of life have much to offer. Instead of being full of fear, wouldn’t it be wonderful if women who are approaching menopause found that menopausal zest so often spoke of and gained a new lease of life? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all lived in one of the cultures that revere older women and respect them for their life experience and being so wise?
Taking Menopause in Your Stride
There are many women who approach menopause by taking it in their stride as just another phase of nature and the cycle of life. Which is as is should be. Embracing menopause and finding meaning in the next phase of life is a healthy approach to something that cannot be stopped no matter how much we try.
Many women find many positive aspects to menopause including:
- No longer having to worry about pregnancy
- No longer having to worry about birth control or contraception
- Saving money on the cost of birth control, tampons and sanitary napkins
- No longer suffering from heavy periods, menstrual cramps and unpredicted periods
Women who do not have to worry about pregnancy often report a more enjoyable and spontaneous sex life. Because menopause often accompanies children becoming adults and leaving home, many couples find that an empty nest can be like a second honeymoon and report greater satisfaction with the intimate aspects of their relationship. Because women who are menopausal and post menopausal can need more stimulation to have an orgasm, couple are slowing down and really getting to know each other’s bodies and enjoying each moment.
Dealing with Changes in a Positive Manner
Today, there are so many things a woman can do to deal with any unpleasant or unexpected side effects of menopause. Hormonal replacement therapy can be an ideal solution for many to help with temperature regulation and mood swings. For women who are dealing with vaginal dryness, lubricants can do so much to make sex comfortable and enjoyable.
One of the best things about HerSolution is that it helps two of the biggest physical changes for menopausal women. It helps the body create more vaginal lubrication naturally and it helps tighten he vaginal walls when atrophy and thinning have occurred. This means that vaginal dryness and thin vaginal walls do not need to be an issue for enjoyable sex. There is no “closed for business due to menopause” sign hung on the vagina.
Because we are living longer with a better quality of life, women may not live 50 or more years post menopause. This means that they will spend more of their lives not menstruating as menstruating. How women look at this phase of life and how they choose to spend this time can be a very personal experience. Some find that this is the most productive period in their lives. Their kids are grown and they are able to take on new responsibilities and projects. Many get involved in their communities through volunteer work and find new interests. Many travel the world and have new experiences every day. What they don’t do is sit in a rocking chair and rock their lives away waiting for death.
Taking control of your menopause symptoms and side effects is the best way to face issues head on as they occur. Be educated. Be prepared. Be open to adjustments that may have to be made to keep your sex life satisfying. Seek out other women for discussion and support. Listen to each other’s opinions, experiences and tips for coping. Part of the problem is that women do not talk about menopause. They may joke about it and their hot flashes. But it is rare to see a group of women having a serious discussion about how they feel about the end of their reproductive lives, how they are managing the changes that come with menopause and what wonderful opportunities could be awaiting them at this stage of their lives.
There is a group of older women in my hometown that I have had the pleasure of getting to know. They are all way past menopause. I have to tell you I have never seen a group of women with more energy or drive to get things done. The do not mourn the loss of their ability to have babies. They are grateful for the babies they had and even more grateful their babies are grown. They have taken their energy and used it to serve our community in very significant ways. From where I sit they all seem to have loving marriages and from what I hear, they have incredible sex lives too. They have reclaimed their identities back from just being seen as someone’s mom. They are themselves, part mom, part wife, part lover, part independent wise women. I fully believe that if they ran the United Nations the world’s problems would be taken care of in a month.
Humans are usually scared of the unknown and the uncontrollable. So it is natural for women who are approaching menopause to have fears and insecurities. Particularly about feeling sexual, sensual and attractive. What is important to remember is that a woman’s sexuality and sexuality does not lie in her vagina. It lies between her ears. And in her attitude. Being able to accept menopause and step boldly into the unknown future with no fear can make a woman feel confident and project confidence within her.
As you approach menopause remember there is still many years of love, sex and life ahead. Embrace it. You will be so glad you did.