Menopause is a normal stage of a woman’s life and marks the end of her fertility. But for some women, the months or years leading up to menopause may cause symptoms that significantly affect their quality of life.
Though we can’t stop menopause, our gynecology experts at Eve Medical of Miami, can develop a treatment plan to help you cope through your “change of life” with ease and grace.
1. Eat a healthy diet
One of the best ways to cope with menopause is to enter the life transition as healthy as possible. Good health starts with good nutrition. Fill your diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy proteins, and healthy fats.
Weight gain is a common complaint for menopausal women, but if you’re eating a healthy diet, this may not be a problem for you.
2. Get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet
Your changing estrogen levels are responsible for many of the symptoms you experience as you approach menopause, from irregularities in your menstrual cycle to hot flashes. In addition to the physical symptoms, changes in your estrogen levels also affect bone health.
To keep your bones healthy and strong and prevent osteoporosis, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends you include plenty of calcium- and vitamin D-rich foods in your diet, such as fortified milk or yogurt, eggs, and salmon with the bones. If you’re struggling to meet your needs, we may recommend nutritional supplements.
3. Engage in regular exercise
Regular exercise is a great coping strategy for menopause. In addition to lifting your mood and alleviating some of your stress, exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight and improves bone health. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (brisk walk, bike ride) five days a week, plus at least two days of full-body strength-training activities (yoga, free weights).
4. Keep a thermo flask of cold water at the ready
For many women, hot flashes are an unbearable symptom of menopause. Drinking cold water during an episode may help cool things down and lessen the severity of your symptoms. Making water your go-to beverage also keeps your beverage calories in check.
5. Avoid trigger foods
Certain foods and beverages may exacerbate some of your menopause symptoms, such as your hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep problems. Keep a food diary to track your symptoms to identify your trigger foods. Common culprits include caffeinated beverages, hot drinks and soups, and spicy foods.
6. Try over-the-counter lubricants
Loss of estrogen also affects vaginal health and function, leading to dryness and pain during intercourse. You may find over-the-counter vaginal lubricants alleviate these symptoms and prevent stress in the bedroom
7. Practice pelvic floor exercises
Nearly 30% of women between the ages of 50-64 experience urinary incontinence. By comparison, urinary incontinence only affects 5% of men in this same age group. Pregnancy, childbirth, and loss of estrogen all contribute to the common condition.
Pelvic floor exercises, also called Kegel exercises, can help strengthen the muscles that control your bladder and help you regain control over your urine.
8. Make sleep a priority.
Develop a healthy sleep routine to ensure you get the amount of rest your body needs to cope with all the changes happening in your life. Not getting enough sleep may cause irritability and changes in mood.
9. Prioritize your annual well-woman exam
No matter where you are in your life change, you need to come in for your annual well-woman exam. This exam is a comprehensive evaluation of your overall health and wellness and includes health screenings that may find issues before they turn into major problems.
Your annual well-woman exam also gives you an opportunity to talk to us about your symptoms so we can provide the treatment you need to cope with menopause.
10. Consider hormone replacement therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is a safe and effective treatment that can help you cope with many of your menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Hormone replacement therapy is also good for your bones and heart and may protect you from certain types of gynecological cancer.
Menopause affects every woman differently. To get help coping with your life change, contact our office in Miami, Florida, by phone or use the online booking tool to schedule your appointment today.