Oh yey, like we don’t already go through enough crap as a female..
You get your period as a young teenage girl and are too scared to go swimming or even walk in front of a boy in case you have a stain. Then the bloody hormones go rampant, we suffer through pregnancy and childbirth, more hormone changes and then BAM menopause hits before you even know it and be warned it is an angry bitch at times!
What is menopause (actually scrap that, did you know we start with perimenopause first?)
Menopause is a time in a woman’s life where many changes occur. These changes are mainly hormonal and can, in turn, influence our physical and mental wellbeing.
The average age of menopause is between 48 and 52.
Perimenopause hits thousands of women way before menopause starts. Perimenopause lasts for three to four years, usually starting in the mid to late 40s. Some women may experience it for only a few months, but for others, it can start as early as the mid-30s.
In a study of 1,000 women in the UK, 70 percent of participants admitted to experiencing perimenopausal symptoms in their 30s and 40s, with 90 percent failing to recognise the immediate link to hormones and instead attributing symptoms to aging, stress, anxiety, and depression.
Shockingly a third of women who consulted with their GP about menopause symptoms are being offered anxiety and depression medications, despite the fact that 80 percent of those women voiced concerns that the recommendation was “inappropriate.”
Women can experience a range of symptoms during perimenopause, the most common symptoms include hot flashes, changes in mood and libido, as well as vaginal dryness and more painful intercourse, as well as anxiety and depression.
“¢ hot flushes (a sudden feeling of warmth or intense heat that spreads over the face and upper body)
“¢ night/cold sweats
“¢ anxiety, depressed mood, or mood swings
“¢ sleep disturbance and fatigue
“¢ vaginal dryness; discomfort during sexual intercourse
“¢ frequent or urgent urination.
Can you still get pregnant during Perimenopause?
The chance of conceiving naturally around perimenopause is very low, usually no more than around 2%.
Then menopause hits like a freight train..
Hot flushes, mood swings, insomnia, weight gain, and, if that isn’t enough, millions of women experience hair loss during menopause.
Most doctors declare menopause as an “estrogen-deficient” time, where a woman’s estrogen level drops by 90%, so there may be even more hair loss after you’ve completed menopause.
Oh yay, I get to go bald now too!
One of the main concerns women have as progressing through menopause is hair loss or hair becoming dry and thinned. Hair begins to lack lustre, looks damaged and just isn’t as luscious as it used to be, and this can become problematic for many women.
It has been estimated that approximately 38% of women over the age of 70 experience female-pattern hair loss. Woop. That is just what we wanted to hear. NOT!
What Can I Do To Prevent Menopause Hair Loss?
- Eat plenty of good foods – A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals and low in saturated fat.
- Add Supplements – A daily multivitamin or mineral supplement to get the nutrients you may have missed in your diet and help to replenish key nutrients. (see suggestions below)
- Exercise Regularly – Exercise can help in keeping your mood swings in check, maintaining your weight, and helping you sleep, which contribute to hormonal balance and promote healthy hair growth.
- Stay Hydrated – Staying hydrated can keep your skin and hair healthy and also improve blood circulation, which keeps your follicles nourished.
- Look after your hair – Use a gentle, moisturising shampoo and conditioner when you wash your hair. Choose products that are made specifically for dry or damaged hair that will increase its elasticity.
- Reduce Stress – To help with mood swings and anxiety, be proactive about relaxation. Make it a part of your day; learn breathing and meditation methods to help you. The more stress you have, the higher the cortisol levels in your body.
Natural treatment For Menopause Hair Loss
Iron, Zinc and biotin are considered helpful with hair growth. A lack of these nutrients can cause brittle hair and nails.
Ginseng: Has been shown to promote hair growth in several studies.
Black Cohosh: Is thought to assist in preventing hair loss by serving as an “oestrogen buffer” to protect hair follicles to DHT. It helps slow down the thinning process.
Aloe Vera: works to soothe and calm a damaged scalp which may create a healthy environment for hair cells to replenish and flourish.
Garlic: applying garlic gel to areas of the scalp that have experienced hair loss together with a steroid treatment has been shown to lead to more hair regrowth compared to a placebo.
Treatment for Menopause/Perimenopause
Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT, also known as hormone replacement therapy HRT) is the most commonly prescribed treatment. Hormone therapy can help to relieve symptoms by replacing oestrogen levels that fall naturally during perimenopause.
There are also other non-hormonal treatments that can be discussed with the GP. This includes changing lifestyle factors as we discussed above, like improvements in diet, regular physical activity, optimal weight management, and quitting smoking.
If you are concerned about Menopause talk to your doctor or nurse about your symptoms. Medicines and other treatments can help relieve your symptoms.