Menopause can cause major changes to the vaginal environment
Menopause is not a disease or STD; it is not an infection, syndrome or disorder.
It is not something to be afraid of or run away from.
It is a biological process that women and men (andropause) go through.
It is a time in life when women move or grow from one stage of life to another.
It can be scary if you don't know what to expect.
I have read many articles on the internet and in magazines and they all will tell you to or end with "talk to your doctor".
It is my experience that not all doctors are genuine.
Despite going to medical school all doctors are not created equally.
In this day and time even people who are doctors are in the field solely for the money.
It is very important that you find a doctor that will not treat you like all menopausal women are the same but one that will treat you and your symptoms as an individual and most importantly...
A doctor that is genuine.
What does menopause mean?
Menopause means the end of a woman's menstruation or monthly period.
Breaking it down further.
"Men" from the Greek means month and "pause" means cessation or a temporary or complete stopping (of a woman's monthly period).
This event will occur if naturally anywhere from age 40 (also as early as 35) to 55 years of age; usually occurring twelve (12) months after your last (final) monthly period.
It is the ending of fertility in women.
All of the reproductive parts that play a role in the monthly period and pregnancy will end.
Symptoms of menopause
While menopause is definite it does not have to be hard on your mind, body or spirit.
For some women menopause can break the spirit.
My grandmother was institutionalize back in the 60's.
My mother told my sisters and me that back then doctors believed that it was all in the mind or that women were experiencing a nervous breakdown.
Every woman will go through menopause and very differently.
Menopause or the "change" or "change of life" is accompanied by a whole host of symptoms such as:
Vaginal odor change
Loss of sexual drive
Hair loss/Thinning hair
Believe it or not the list above is just a few of the changes/symptoms women will go through.
The combination varies in each woman. It may be mild to severe usually depending on the general health of the woman.
Even with all of the changes remember you
are still a woman and it is not the ending of womanhood.
Stages/Phases of menopause
There are stages of menopause, I like to say a woman "transition" into full menopause and "grows" into post-menopausal "freedom". The stages or phases are:
Menopause or Full Blown Menopause: during
Many women lump the three stages/phases together. There is a clear difference between peri-menopause, menopause and post menopause.
What is the difference between the three?
"Peri" meaning around a time or nearing a time.
Peri-menopause is the time nearing menopause.
Symptoms can start anywhere from 10 (ten) to 15 (fifteen) years before full-blown menopause.
During this time estrogen and progesterone (female reproductive hormones) becomes erratic and fluctuates.
It can last anywhere from two (2) to ten (10) years.
the same symptoms as menopause (semi-list above).
However, with peri-menopause a woman can still have her monthly period but the cycles are more likely irregular.
It is also common that the cycle will either be light or a heavy flow and an increase in frequency.
When a woman realizes that she is in peri-menopause (based on her symptoms) I would suggest that she starts logging (best on a calendar) her monthly periods.
You may have ten years of logged menstrual periods but the moment you notice twelve (12) consecutive months of no menstrual flow then you know you have entered into menopause/post-menopause.
It should also be noted that a woman can get pregnant during this time.
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Menopause is the stage right after peri-menopause.
It is the big "Event"
Menopause itself is very short (clinically it is a day long), it is peri-menopause that last the longest and with most of the symptoms.
Doctors pin point menopause as the day after a woman no longer has a monthly cycles for twelve (12) consecutive months (with no spotting).
At this point, she is in full-blown menopause and can no longer get pregnant.
Most women do not understand the process of menopause or why they go through it.
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Post-menopause is the stage directly following menopause.
This is the strange thing about Post-menopause; it is the exact day after your last (last) monthly cycle/period.
Menopause and post-menopause coincide.
Post-menopause is usually pinned twenty-four (24) hours or one (1) day after twelve consecutive months of no menstrual flow with no spotting.
In other words, the day after your last period a woman is in full-blown menopause and enters immediately into post-menopause.
At this point a woman is one (1) year into post-menopause.
Symptoms of menopause will linger well into post-menopause.
Estrogen and progesterone (reproductive hormones) will continue to greatly decrease and fluctuate.
This continuous decrease and fluctuation of the reproductive hormones causes mild to severe symptom in some women.
Just because you are post menopausal doesn't mean symptoms will end immediately; symptoms can linger anywhere from a few months to two (2) years and even up to ten (10) years in some women.
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Menopause not only changes the hormone levels in the body responsible for all if not most of the symptoms it also changes the environment of the vagina and the vulva.
As a result of decreasing and fluctuating reproductive hormones like estrogen it can cause the vaginal walls and the vulva to thin out, to become drier and less elastic.
Women will experience a frequency in urination and the feeling that you may be experiencing a urinary tract infection (UTI) or you may not be but are having the symptoms.
The smell and the feel of your vagina will change.
You will have to relearn it.
Some women may suffer from Atrophic Vaginitis (affecting the vaginal canal) and Vulvovaginal Atrophy (affecting the vulvar).
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Menopause is physical as well as psychological therefore, I cannot stress how important exercising and a good healthy diet during this time and all phases of menopause.
Exercising will release several kinds of hormones that will aid in improving your mood and your general outlook on life.
I kid you not when I'm exercising I feel strong and more confident.
After exercising I feel sexy and unstoppable.
I think better and my brain literally feels lighter.
I am able to plan an effective schedule and stay on task easier.
A balanced exercise routine can maintain healthy amounts of estrogen and progesterone this in turn helps ease the body through the "change".
Exercise improves body muscle tone and as mentioned before the vagina itself is a muscle therefore engaging in overall exercise improves muscle tone inside and out.
Sex is the best exercise for the vagina; but, when going through menopause it can decrease or stop the desire to engage.
It is important if not painful to engage whenever possible.
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Many don't believe you can treat, heal or cure ailments, diseases, infections, and even some syndromes with diet and exercise.
I believe you can.
The creator of the universe created our bodies in perfect order.
Sometimes that order is disrupted or it never worked from the beginning.
In cases like this it is not what comes out of our bodies that hurt us but it is what we put in or on it that can hurt us.
Around the age of thirty (30) our digestion starts to slow down.Slow digestion cause
Slow digestion causes food to leave our bodies at a slower rate, this can cause problems.
Eating the right kinds of food can either help with the phases of menopause or make it worse.
Bad digestion affect the intestines, when the intestines are disrupted it affects the liver and when the liver is disrupted your hormones become imbalanced.
It's like your body is caught up in a never ending circle.
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Some women opt for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) but I personally do not like to put anything in or on my body that is synthetic and/or made-made.
There are two kinds of HRT women can choice from.
Synthetic Hormones of (estrogen and progesterone) arrives from the urine of several pregnant mares.
Synthetic estrogen is known as Conjugated Equine Estrogen/CEE and synthetic progesterone is known as Progestin.
Although doctors prescribe these types of chemical hormone they are not body natural or body friendly.
Bio-identical Hormones are derived from plants such as wild
yams and soybeans. Although these hormones are considered "natural" they still go through a "refinement" process in the LABRATORY.
And to me...
That is still man-made and I will not put it in my body.
If you choose to do synthetic/chemical HRT please do your research and find out what is the best and healthiest choice (in the long run) for you.
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Vaginal Health/ Vaginal Change and Menopause