“A woman must wait for her ovaries to die before she can get her rightful personality back. Post-menstrual is the same as pre-menstrual; I am once again what I was before the age of twelve...”

― Florence Virginia King, American Novelist

For most of our lives till the late forties, we women deal with blood. We are naturally equipped for that - we don’t need battles and football to show that we are tough. And, just as we learn to make peace with all the hormonal ups and downs and abdominal cramps and PCOS, our ovaries decide to “die”, i.e., menopause hits us.

For most women, the concept of menopause or even perimenopause is that of fear and sadness. We have been fed the idea that when a woman’s ovaries are not able to produce babies anymore, her life stops. But, it doesn’t have to be that way, and you can enjoy a healthy life even after menopause. Here’s how to feel great after menopause.

Symptoms or Effects of Menopause:

Let’s first quickly look at all the scary things that might - and will - happen to you when menstruation ceases. You probably already know all about it. So, we’ll keep it short, simple, and clinical. These include:

•Mood swings

•Painful sexual intercourse

•Insomnia or interrupted sleep patterns

•Climacteric periods, i.e., irregular menstruation

•Hormonal fluctuations

•Low sex drive

•Vaginal dryness

•Fatigue

•Osteoporosis

•Heart diseases

•Night sweats and hot flushes

•Anxiety or depression

•Dryness of skin and hair

•Hairfall

Thankfully, with a healthy lifestyle and proper self-care, it is possible to deal with these effects of menopause.

How to Feel Great after Menopause?

Your body is going through changes, which is going to alter much more than your habits of 30-35 years. Quite naturally, you need to take care of your body and mind to be able to deal with such a huge alteration. Here’s how you can go about it:

1. Nutritients:

To stay healthy during and after menopause, you should consume the following, through natural sources or supplements -

Calcium for bone health

Vitamin E to prevent vaginal dryness and night sweats

Evening Primrose Oil to help bloating, breast discomfort, and irritability

Vitamin D for improved bone formation and better absorption of calcium

Phytoestrogens to help reduce symptoms of menopause

Omega-3 fatty acids of oily fish to protect the heart

2. Healthy Habits

In addition to the consuming specific nutrients, you should make certain changes in your food and beverage habits:

•Avoid caffeine to avoid hot flushes and headaches.

•Give up smoking to avoid hot flushes or a slowed absorption of nutrients.

•Enjoy wine for a better heart.

•Enjoy a balanced diet that’s herb-based, with low levels of carb.

3. Exercise

Be it a light walk or a half an hour of free-hand workout at home. Three sessions a week in the gym or swimming every morning. Yoga in the morning or enjoying Zumba lessons in the evening. Exercising is extremely important during this for the following reasons -

•To strengthen bones

•To decrease chances of osteoporosis

•For better hormonal balance

•For reduced mood swings because of endorphin release

•To control weight gain

•For improved circulation

4. Treatments

To control some of the symptoms of menopause, you can pick the two popular treatments available:

•Hormone replacement therapy - This is known to alleviate the symptoms of menopause effectively. But, since it also increases the risk of breast cancer and heart problems, do consult your doctor to understand properly the pros and cons.

•Acupuncture - This alternative treatment can result in reducing the symptoms of menopause, like hot flushes and mood swings.

5. Sex

After menopause, many lose their libido due to hormonal fluctuations and sporadic periods. Besides lower estrogen levels, vaginal dryness too, add to this lack of interest in sex. By consulting your doctor, you can use/ take estrogen creams and pills, lubricants, as well as Oral Contraceptive Pills, to alleviate the symptoms that lead to disinterest in sex. Plus, if you follow the above suggestions, you will definitely feel healthier and happier and can enjoy a healthy sex life even after menopause.

Stress is one of the things that can result in 'enjoying your life' to take a backseat. Do not let your mood swings or depressions take control. If necessary, visit a therapist or a doctor. Remember that you have the option to enjoy an uninhibited life without pregnancy scares and monthly bleeding and PMSing. It’s the time to spread your wings and live life - like you were meant to!