What Changes to Expect in Life After Menopause?
Most people have some idea of what menopause is, at least in terms of what it is and what kind of side effects occur when it begins. Things like mood swings, hot flashes, and irritability have been talked about endlessly and as a result are fairly well known and understood by most – especially as they approach the beginning of menopause. But there is a good bit of misunderstanding about life after menopause, and it’s important to take a closer look at just what to expect after it ends.
The big change that most people do know about is the end of their periods. Of all the different changes that occur during this part of a woman’s life, this is probably the most welcome. The elimination of the cramps, anxiety, and moodiness are actually good news.
However, a lot of changes may occur as well that aren’t quite as welcome. Things like the following may happen, and it’s worth preparing for them.
- Aching joints
- Reduced libido
- Increase in gray hair
- Skin changes
- Weight gain
- Slower digestion
- Change in emotions and priorities
Some of these are certainly worth a closer look. Aching joints are especially important to remember because during and after menopause bone density reduces tremendously. This can lead to osteoporosis and other serious problems and it’s vital that a woman takes the time to keep her bones healthy by increasing calcium and vitamin D intake, either through diet and exposure to sunlight or through supplements.
Skin changes are another common issue women notice after menopause. The skin dries out a bit and loses its suppleness. Pigmentation issues and other problems may occur as well. Increasing vitamin intake and the use of moisturizers can help, but a change in the skin is a common part of aging and of life after menopause.
Libido is probably one of the biggest issues that women – and their partners – are concerned about. And there’s no question that libido may change after menopause. However, not all women experience reduced libido and in many cases adding proper diet, some natural menopause supplements, and just a touch of romance is enough to enhance libido. In many cases, women report an increase in sex drive following menopause. Since “The Change” affects everyone differently, it’s hard to know what to expect in this area of life until one reaches it.
Something else worth keeping in mind is that some of the menopausal symptoms may stay with you for years following menopause. Things like headaches and hot flashes in particular are very common in post-menopausal women. Around 15 percent of women experience hot flashes for as much as 15 years after menopause, and around half of them experience hot flashes for five years afterwards.
It’s important to remember that menopause isn’t the end of life as you know it – it’s just a new chapter in your life. And when you consider that most women report their years after menopause as being the happiest of their lives, it becomes clear that this life change isn’t something to be feared.