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Sad tired depressed caucasian senior woman sitting on sofa, suffering from menopause, migraine
Sad tired depressed caucasian senior woman sitting on sofa, suffering from menopause, migraine

Remember when you could eat an entire pizza and have a chocolate brownie and never gain a pound? Remember when you could go on 3 hours of sleep, work all day, and still have energy to chase your three year old toddler? Remember when your hair shined, your face glowed, and not a wrinkle or gray hair was to be found anywhere? Ahhhh those were the days!

Fast forward to looking at your watch to see if it is at least 9 o’clock so you can go to bed. How many times are you allowed to hit the snooze button before you’re late to work? (The answer is two). Don’t even look at that slice of pizza, or you are going to gain 5 pounds. Slather on your wrinkle cream, dab on your gray be gone, turn the AC down to -10, and you’re ready to sit on the couch to watch the latest Netflix binge. Now we know the true meaning of the song if I could turn back Time (Diane Warren,2003).

Menopause is defined as a lack of menstrual cycle for a consecutive 12 months. According to the national Institute of health menopausal transition(Perimenopause) often begins between the ages 45 and 55 and last anywhere from 7 to 14 years.

Menopause from the Ancient Greek words “men” meaning month or moon and “pausing” meaning to cease or stop. The time when a woman’s lunar cycle ends. Most ancient Greek women never reached the age of menopause. 

Many indigenous cultures consider menopause to be a powerful transition and often menopausal women become spiritual leaders and shamans in the community. Several indigenous cultures believe that the menstrual blood has the power to create life in the womb so when women reach the age of menopause, they retain this wise blood and cross over into wise womanhood.

Japanese culture holds a great deal of respect for elders, and believe that experience is fundamental to learning. Menopausal women in Japanese cultures move into a place of honor as an elder. 

In ancient Celtic Britain to be stained with the red “ruadh “ meant that you were chosen by the goddess. Celtic rights were often granted by elder women in the community due to the belief that being postmenopausal made you the wisest, as you had permanently retained your “wisdom blood”. 

Unfortunately, in our patriarchal American society , with a woman’s only purpose to bear children, post menopausal women are often viewed as less or insignificant because they are no longer able to achieve their purpose. And in the early 1900s it was considered a disease and not a stage of life and therefore required management.

Symptoms begin with a change in your normal period cycle and can include:

  • fatigue
  • night sweats
  • hot flashes
  • insomnia
  • pain during sex
  • vaginal dryness
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • hair loss
  • dry skin
  • irritability
  • reduced sexual drive
  • bloating
  • acne
  • Weight gain
  • mood swings
  • headaches
  • sore or tender breast
  • Brain fog
  • Bladder weakness
  • muscle tension
  • recurrent UTIs
  • sagging breast
  • dry eyes
  • tingling extremities
  • breathing difficulties
  • changes in smell and taste
  • Heat and cold intolerance
  • joint pain
  • lack of motivation
  • itchy skin
  • brittle nails
  • heart palpitations
  • loss of bone density
  • nausea and digestive problems


There is no specific medical treatment that is required for menopause. Treatment focus is on relieving signs and symptoms, preventing or managing chronic conditions, and may include:

  • Hormone therapy
  • Anti-depressants
  • dressing in layers
  • drinking cold water
  • using vaginal lubricant
  • avoiding caffeine
  • relaxation techniques
  • Pelvic floor strengthening exercises
  • Smoking cessation
  • eating a balanced diet
  • exercising regularly
  • other natural homeopathic remedies
  • yoga
  • acupuncture
  • hypnosis
  • and many more

Menopause and the years, leading up to menopause are a time of change, reflection, and hope. Having survived puberty, and prospered during our 20s and 30s, we have reached the time where we can reflect on the lessons we’ve learned and pass that knowledge on to future generations. We can be confident in our careers and relationships. We can also be confident in ourselves, our changing bodies, and the challenges ahead of us. Menopause does not have to be a time of suffering. We can manage symptoms and succeed in our new roles as wise women.

Talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms and discuss ways to manage them together. You can make the transition with ease.

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