Hot Flashes, Vaginal Dryness, and Other Things You Need to Know about Menopause

Some women find it hard to accept menopause. Others welcome it with open arms. No matter what your view of this matter is, if you’re a woman, it’s a natural part of your life. The best way to cope with it is to understand menopause along with all the symptoms that you may experience while going through it.

What is Menopause?
Simply put, menopause refers to the end of menstruation. It means that a woman is no longer fertile and can no longer get pregnant and give birth. This is because the ovaries stop producing hormones and ova. The production of uterine lining is also put to a halt. Menopause usually occurs in midlife, when a woman reaches late 40s to early 50s.

What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of menopause include irregular periods, night sweats, sleep difficulties, irritability, and in some cases, depression. But among all the symptoms, two of the most common are hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

What are Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes are temporary heat sensation accompanied by sweating, redness, and flushed appearance on the face. Experts are yet to discover the exact cause of this phenomenon but many believe that it is linked to the changes in circulation that a woman undergoes during menopause.

A hot flash may occur when the blood vessels located near the surface of the skin dilate in order to cool. When this happens, a woman’s face will appear red and flushed. Sweat will also come out of her body to cool her down. In other cases, rapid heart rate and chilling also occur. While it is impossible to prevent hot flashes altogether during menopause, there are certain things you can do to minimize them. For one, you should be able to manage your stress efficiently. You should also avoid caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, heat, cigarette smoke, and tight clothing. All these things can trigger the onset of hot flashes at any time of the day.

What is Vaginal Dryness?
Another common symptom of menopause is vaginal dryness. During menopause, the ovaries cease to produce hormones like estrogen. One of the changes brought about by this is vaginal dryness that may seem like a minor irritation at first. The vaginal walls are lubricated with a layer of clear fluid. That fluid is maintained by estrogen while keeping the vagina thick and elastic. The biggest effect of this vaginal dryness is obviously on a woman’s sex life. The good news is that several treatments are now available to alleviate this condition.

How Do I Cope with Menopause?
One of the best ways to manage menopause effectively is to live a healthy lifestyle. Plan a healthy diet, one that is high in iron, calcium and antioxidants. Consume two to four servings of dairy products each day. Boost your iron intake by eating iron-rich foods like lean red meat, fish, eggs, leafy vegetables and nuts. Antioxidants, which are commonly found in fruits, are needed to reverse the aging effects of free radicals found in the environment. Make sure that you get regular exercise as well to keep your body strong and healthy. Moreover, see to it that you get plenty of rest and do things that you enjoy.

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