How do you transition to menopause age smoothly and with the least negative side effects? It is the fact that women spend half of their lives in menopause. Understanding the reasons behind this physiological and psychological phenomenon is the key to more happiness and well-being.
That is why age 40 is a turning point for women. It is time to positively acknowledge the changes that have started taking place in our body and mind. This post is about touching upon some of the cornerstones of the changes that every woman is going through. Obviously, we are all unique. Yet developing the knowledge base about menopause age will ensure our savvy with which we develop a new lifestyle in that menopause era.
What Is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause refers to the transition into menopause, which lasts for the rest of our lives. New challenges that women face in their forties include raising young children. At the same time in our lives our careers may be accelerating and our hormones are declining. We are more likely to be fatigued and have mood swings in our 40s than any other decade.
Perimenopause is an approximately 10-year transition into menopause.
The solution is to put into place a “re-training” program that helps your loved ones understand what you’re going through. With young children, a stable bedtime and routine allows 40-something moms to recuperate at night.
How to fall and stay asleep
Half of A Woman’s Life Is After Her 40’s
In 1935, when the Social Security Act was enacted to provide retirement pensions by age 65, life expectancy for a woman was 61. Today, American women are living to age 81.
At age 40, we are about half way through our lives and at the beginning of the transition into menopause. It’s a time for reflection and being proactive about being happy and vibrant for the rest of our lives.
So, when is menopause over? Well, we will live with it, in it, for the rest of our lives. The difference is how well we will adjust our lifestyle to everything that menopause has in store for us. Education and a solid support group are a powerful duet to navigate us along the path of our new state of body and mind.
Feeling fulfilled and happier at this time of my life is constantly battling my hormonal challenges almost every day. A keen understanding of how my hormones are changing gives me tremendous empowerment and awareness. I hope to pass some of that to you in this post.
Demographics are shifting tremendously so that now women spend half their lives after age 40.
The general social survey shows that since the 1970s, women are unhappier than men.
Also, as we age, women become less happy than men.
Positive Psychology for Menopause Life
There are solutions! Positive psychology demonstrates that happiness is a matter of mind and daily resolution. Think of it like showering or washing the dishes. Try a daily “happiness” activity for yourself and one for others. It could be as simple as letting someone in front of you in the grocery line or at the gas station.
Learn how an Art of Holding the Edge could transform your daily life, step by step, breath by breath.
Decline of the Ovaries After 40
Women’s ovaries start to decline after age 35. Age 40 represents the end of the fertility curve in the average women populace.
While life expectancy has increased and fertility treatments can help a small percentage of women (3 to 4%), our biological clock, especially with respect to fertility, remains the same. Between the ages of 25 and 35, we have the greatest hormonal stability and equilibrium.
After age 35, fertility decreases and by age 40, the chances are conceiving every month are 5%. The risk of a miscarriage at age 40 is greater than the rate of live childbirth.
Your Age and Fertility
Many women are postponing or foregoing having children or seeking alternatives such as IVF, artificial insemination or egg freezing (recommended by age 35). Awareness of the fertility curve can help women make family planning decisions at any age. At age 40 when she’s in transition to a menopause age, if a woman is still considering having children, it’s important that she understands all her options without delay.
Hormone Fluctuations in Women After 40
As our ovaries start to decline in function after age 40, we start to experience symptoms such as acne or “PMS-like” ones similar to those of our teenage years. Our hormones are fluctuating and spiking, however, overall they are declining. One of the first sex hormones to decline is progesterone – the loving and nurturing hormone. Symptoms of progesterone loss include having trouble falling asleep or intolerance of children and partners.
When our hormone fluctuations start, we experience “teenager” like symptoms such as acne, weight gain and mood swings.
Understanding Women’s Hormonal Loss
Having the awareness of hormonal loss helps us understand how to maintain balance and positive emotions. We can live happier, healthier lives after 40 – we just need to normalize the symptoms we are going through and counteract them with our decades of experience and lots of self-love and love for others.
Something that happens in our 40s is that we start experiencing more anxiety, due to hormone flux. So one month, it’s my left ovary in pain and the next month, it’s the right ovary in pain. The third month – it’s my breasts! When we add our hormones and anxiety on top of our ovaries acting up, it’s natural to feel like there’s something wrong with our bodies. And they just seem to change in ways we don’t want them to.
The solution is really to take several deep breaths, journal any symptoms and monitor them, and see if they are resolving or worsening.
Note that for women who are menopausal, i.e. haven’t had a period in over 12 months, bleeding is unusual and needs to be examined by a doctor. I’m not referring to the spot bleeding of intermittent periods, but unusual bleeding after cessation of your period.
Understand Menopause Onset As Early As Possible
We need to understand menopause onset as early as possible, so that we can be proactive about preventing or treating any symptoms.
The way I think of my 40s is that I have 10 years to prepare for menopause. The last 4 years have taught me a lot about how my hormones are affecting me, including excess estrogen (accounting for belly fat, breast pain and fibroids), low progesterone leading to more intolerance and reigning in my road rage from testosterone flux.
Hormone Testing Benefits
In you transition to menopause age, you may want to obtain a hormone test in your 20s and 30s to understand your baseline levels. Hormone levels vary tremendously. Mine come out as normal, but that’s because I never did a baseline. These tests are just snapshots in time. I definitely feel the symptoms, and the likelihood is that I happened to be in balance in the days I had my hormones tested.