Postmenopause is the last phase of the change of life, and can happen as early as your mid 40’s and as late as your early 60’s. Once it’s been two years since your very last period, you are in the postmenopausal phase. But, what can you expect from postmenopause?
Your periods aren’t coming back unless you start taking hormone replacement therapy. Taking exogenous hormones – meaning not what you naturally make, but taking them orally, through the skin, or as pellets – can actually wake up your uterus, start building up that lining, and start what looks like a period, though it’s not really. It’s more of a hormone withdrawal bleed, like what happens when you’re on birth control pills.
The postmenopausal phase lasts for the rest of your life. All of your sex hormones are low, including your progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
What are the symptoms of postmenopause?
Here is a brief list of everything you might experience during postmenopause:
- Low estrogen causes memory loss, which may lead to senile dementia.
- Low testosterone and low progesterone contribute to osteoporosis since these two hormones help build new bone.
- Everything becomes drier and thinner without estrogen – your lips, your skin, your hair, your vulva. Because of this, sex may become painful.
- Without estrogen to produce collagen to support your pelvic organs, you’re prone to bladder infections and may have stress incontinence – meaning you pee when you cough or sneeze.
- Without adequate estrogen to program your immune system properly, your risk of inflammatory diseases like heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and even cancer increases.
- You start to lose muscle mass and bone mass. With more collagen loss, you develop wrinkles and sagging skin.
- Usually, by this time, your sleep is better but not always. And your hot flashes may have calmed down, but not always.
What’s the best way to handle postmenopause?
Hormone replacement can help the symptoms of postmenopause. If you are not at risk of estrogen-mediated cancers, you can start HRT in postmenopause, but you will have to be monitored carefully. Most postmenopausal women benefit from topical estrogen vaginal cream, which helps relieve vaginal dryness, painful sex, and recurrent urinary tract infections.
Exercise has been shown to greatly benefit postmenopausal women. Besides improving cardiovascular function, weight-bearing and weight resistance exercise can improve bone density and muscle mass.
Supporting your hypothalamus with Genesis Gold® can do wonders to minimize postmenopause symptoms and help prevent age-related illnesses. Your hypothalamus becomes very dysregulated by the decline of sex hormones. By your mid-sixties, most women go through what I like to call a “second menopause,” which is actually a decline in adrenal function. Supporting your hypothalamus throughout the change can help improve adrenal function, brain function, and immune function.
Last, a healthy mindset is critical to thrive in postmenopause. This is the last book of your life, and your attitude can make a big difference in your health and wellbeing. Like many older women, I’ve found that postmenopause has been very empowering. Becoming the sage in your family and community is a great responsibility, so it’s important to be a good example for the younger generations by living your best life.
If you have any questions regarding postmenopause, please join us in our Hormone Support Group, which you can access by signing up for my free Hormone Reboot Training. I hope you’ll join us!