Living with Menopause:

Once you have entered menopause, you will find yourself free of most of the symptoms of pre and peri-menopause, particularly the menstrual problems i.e. irregularity, heavy flow etc. Not only that, but you may even find yourself more energetic and present-minded than in past 5-6 years during peri-menopause.

So you may ask now, if I have overcome of all the symptoms, what exactly is the big deal about being menopausal?

How long does this post-menopause state go on? Forever?

Technically speaking yes, even if you die at the ripe old age of 120, you are still in menopause, but that does not mean that you are still experiencing symptoms. For example, you can still call yourself postpartum years after your child’s birth because technically you are post-partum.

So what is happening to my body in postmenopause?

Your hormonal levels are juggling in order to settle on a fixed level. If you get your FSH levels tested, you will find a higher level of FSH. This means that more FSH is being produced by the pituitary gland, going into an overdrive, in an effort to stimulate follicular formation in your ovaries. This is indeed a futile attempt on the part of the pituitary gland.

Will I have a high level of FSH throughout my life? Isn’t that dangerous for my health?

Yes, you will have a sustained high level of FSH throughout your life, but this is not dangerous at all. It causes no harm. However, if you go for hormone replacement therapy, this high level of FSH will come down.

Are there any other hormonal differences apart from FSH?

Yes, your estrogen production has changed its production site.  While you were in premenopause, estrogen was primarily produced in your ovaries all your life. However, when in menopause, your fat cells take the major role of production of estrogen.

What if I undergo a hysterectomy before menopause?

If you also have your ovaries removed, you will then bring your body into a surgically induced menopause. The effects will still be the same as if your ovaries quit working in a natural way, but the effects will be sudden rather than gradual.

Can a tubal reversal accelerate menopause or perimenopause?

No, tubal reversal surgery is not related with the onset of menopause in any manner. If you are looking to reverse your tubal ligation, do not consider menopause as a risk of tubal reversal surgery.

Are my bones and teeth going to be affected?

There is a potential to develop decreased bone mineral density after menopause. You should continue to follow a healthy lifestyle and have this condition screened on your visits to Dr. Morice. Osteoporosis is a risk that we all face as we age. As such, it is of utmost importance that women adopt a healthful lifestyle, especially before menopause. However, if you have not done so earlier, it is never too late.

You need to develop positive habits and get rid of negative ones i.e. smoking, excessive drinking, overeating etc. You should also take a minimum of 1000 mg of calcium per day in order to avoid significant osteoporotic changes.

There are many nutrient supplements available in the market. Make sure you take adequate vitamins, especially vitamin D and calcium.

You should also work out and exercise regularly. It does not have to be a vigorous routine, but a 15-minute daily walk can do wonders.

Is adjusting to menopausal life hard?

Not at all! It is the peri-menopause that gives women the most trouble. By the time you are in menopause, most of the dreadful peri-menopausal symptoms are gone. You are no longer irritable or moody since you have had ample time to adjust physically and mentally to the end of menstruation. The childbearing years are long gone and you have more time to spend on yourself, your health, and your body. Most of the career women are now settled comfortably into their professional lives and the earlier professional stress is often dissipated as well.

Menopause, for many, is actually the beginning of a life free of stress and tension. Menopause often marks the beginning of a new era in a woman’s life, where she can now concentrate on her own well-being.

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