Menopause occurs when your ovaries decrease the production of essential hormones including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. You are not considered to be in menopause until you are no longer menstrating. Postmenopause means you have been without menstruation (had your period) for 12 consecutive months. The time before menopause is called perimenopause and can begin in late 30’s and early 40’s. Menopause usually occurs in the late 40’s and early 50’s and this is where hormones actively decrease and your period may become inconsistent. Postmenopause is the time after menopause.
Hot flashes, weight gain, headaches, urinary incontinence, difficulty sleeping and decreased libbito are just some of the symtoms women can experience going through their menopause journey.
Sometimes people can be kicked into menopause if they have their overies removed, common with a hysterectomy or due to cysts of fibroids.
It is very important to know what is happening in the body during menopause.
As we have decreased in estrogen levels one thing that can be affected is how we use calcium. Calcium regulation is really important to help maintain bone density and decrease the risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis. The decrease in testosterone, estrogen and progesterone are all very important for maintaining and building skeletal muscle. The more muscle mass you have going into menopause and perimenopause for that matter, the better because it will help keep your metabolism high and your bones strong!
So back to our list of symptoms. Most people want to know how to mitigate these symptoms so they can still enjoy life.
So let’s get back to talking about these symptoms. First and formost with the decrease in estrogen what is common to occur is decrease sexual pleasure. This can occur for a few reasons. Decreased enstrogen means decreased natural lubrication and can mean clitorial or tissue atrophy. So it can be harder to achieve orgasm, penile penetration and sex can become uncomfortable or simply painful and your pelvic floor can become weak. This weakness can cause worsening of urinary incontinence that was already there or can make this a new symptom for you.
No one would choose to experiance these and some women will opt for hormone replacement therapy or medications to decrease urinary incontinence, or will just increase their alcohol intake prior to sex so they can tolerate it. Medications all have side effects (and so does alcohol, that alone can decrease your metabolism and increase the hot flashes).
But what if I told you there was a natural solution to these issues? What if you could stop the incontinence, improve the sex so its actually enjoyable and not dependent on the amount of wine you consum? What if I told you there were exercises that could keep your bones strong even as you go through menopause? Would you do it? These all natural solutions don’t have negative side effects. These natural solutions also improve the health of your overall body.
So Here it is: working with a Pelvic Expert Physical Therapist is the solution to improving your journey through menopause. This is your solution to improving your life so you don’t have to live with wet underwear or worry if people can smell you.
I will tell you one thing. The answer is not Kegel’s. Most women who are on their journey through hormonal change, end up with a pelvic floor muscles that are tight, dehydrated and when you feel them, end up with a consistency more like beef jerky. What you want the consistency to be is more like a steak or chicken breast that hasn’t been cooked. Because essentially it is just a muscle and healthy muscles are hydrated and contract and relax beautifully. But if your pelvic floor is tight and dehydrated, doing a bunch of kegels to make it tighter isn’t going to fix the problem. Kegels are a pelvic floor muscle contraction and most people have been told to do them since having babies. But you will find that the people that do them aren’t helping themselves and still have symptoms. So what should you really do instead?
A pelvic expert Physical therapist will look at your entire body. Can help you improve the mobility of your joints, strength of your core and body to prevent brittle bones and improve the health of your vagina! This will help with sex, eliminate urinary incontinence, constipation, improve orgams and much much more.