Women are familiar with menopause. It is that time in their life, usually between the mid-forties to mid-fifties where things start to change, periods become erratic and hot flashes ensue.
Many women compare symptoms with their friends or the other females in their family to confirm that they are not crazy (!) and to see how others are approaching this time in their life.
Unfortunately, menopause can come with a variety of symptoms that many are not prepared for and are surprised to find out that they can be a part of the aging process.
1) Increased anxiety or depression
Recent research showed that women who had anxiety or depression in their pre-menopause years might find that it is significantly increased. As with all symptoms, the change in hormones is to blame.
Recognizing that this could be a “normal” part of changing is helpful as are other anxiety coping avenues such as counseling, meditation, and exercise. Some women may need to try anti-anxiety medication or support during this time in their life too.
2) Waking at 3 a.m. every night
Okay, maybe it is not 3 a.m. for every women. However, restless and sleepless nights seem to be a very common theme. Some might be able to fall asleep only to find themselves staring at the ceiling a few hours later. This often happens even to the woman who slept “perfectly” prior to entering menopause.
Working on night time sleep routines, calming measures, getting evaluated for sleep apnea, and talking with your health care provider about options will help ensure proper rest.
3) Remembering ... anything
Going through hormone changes seems to reduce the multitasking, short-term smart memory of women. Suddenly words are elusive, and list making or phone alerts become a part of daily living. This does have a lot to do with the stress in someone’s life as cortisol can impact short term memory so take a good hard look at what’s going on and how it is being handled.
4) Dryness ... down there