It seems to me that women at MenoPause, are not Pausing in their lives. In fact the hot flushes and night sweats can sneak up on a woman when she is extremely busy, with children doing the Leaving Cert or University Exams, or for some, even going for a year abroad or maybe moving away altogether. The Mum may be at a high point in her career, maybe trying to balance work, home, family as well as trying to keep fit (heaven knows there is enough talk about it these days!). She may also be tied up keeping an eye on an aging parent as well as making time for a meaningful primary relationship with a husband or partner. Mid-life is not a time for a Pause! Or is it?

So many women are trundling along keeping all the balls in the air when they notice they haven’t as much energy any more.  Having moaned now and again about their periods – back ache, PMT, the scare of a missing period – they may now become a little nostalgic to find their periods getting lighter with the gaps between them getting shorter or longer but the good old reliable twenty eight days is not so reliable anymore. The Mum might notice that she (to use an Americanism) ‘tears up’ more easily, that vaginal dryness is becoming a problem, her memory doesn’t seem to be as sharp as it was, and worst of all, she is sitting in a business meeting one day and she feels herself getting hot, then hotter, and suddenly she feels mortified as her face gets all red and sweaty and her colleagues seem to be looking at her – she just wants to get out of that room. And she thinks ‘No!! Not the Menopause! It can’t be! I’m only 48. I’m too busy to have my body acting like this. I want things back the way they’ve been for the past thirty five years, I want things to be the way they’ve always been. I don’t want to be old. I don’t want grey hair and dry skin and wrinkles’.

Although we don’t want to Pause our bodies are telling us to slow down and take better care of ourselves. Time for a review; if we are fit, healthy and well, exercised, rested and eaten mostly non-processed food and not drunk too much coffee or alcohol and if our mothers had an easy enough MenoPause, we might have too. And there is no doubt whatsoever that being kind, gentle, loving and appreciative of our bodies. It makes life easier at all stages and may well make for an easier MenoPause.

If we haven’t we can still move through this natural phase of our lives with relative ease and making some adjustments to our regular lives may help a lot. Cutting down on the caffeine intake is always a good idea as is drinking more water. Wearing layers of natural fabrics makes it easier to deal with sudden surges of heat and sweat. Weight bearing exercise is good for keeping our bones strong and healthy as is including such calcium rich foods as tahini, almonds, broccoli and sesame seeds. A magnesium supplement can help us to be a bit more relaxed and to sleep better and the herb sage (because we are all wise women after all) has been proven to be hugely helpful with hot flushes either of the day or the night time variety. A.Vogel Sage drops or Menoforce Sage Tablets are safe, easy to use and readily available. They can also be used along with HRT.

Although Menopause can be a very trying time, the post menopausal energy can be a surprise and delight. Many women get up to all kinds of adventures when they are no longer hampered by ‘them’ (as I’ve heard many women call their periods), when life becomes a bit more even without the swings and roundabouts of PMT, and even life in the bedroom can be more enjoyable without the fear of pregnancy.

There is life after the MenoPause and it can be great; it can be a time for a woman to be who she really is, to be strong and confident and clear and gentle in her views without imposing them on others, without being dogmatic. The sixties and seventies can be a time of enjoyment for women, a time of freedom, a time to reap the rewards of a life of living, learning, mothering, caring and while enjoying the generations coming behind, being careful not to fall onto the well trodden path of becoming carer for a new young generation.

The onset of MenoPause can strike horror into a woman’s heart but it is a natural process which all women go through and coming out the other side can be like waking up on a beautiful sunny morning.

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