Why is it called a Menopause when it doesn’t affect men? Nor does it mean you have to pause? Surely there’s been some error? After the onset of female puberty and childbirth surely we’re done and it’s time to share the biological derailment that Mother Nature decrees should happen at a certain point in a woman’s life? We don’t really need to be told to slow down at this junction of our lives too!
I have a friend, let’s call her Mo. She is hosting the ‘Menopause’ or the ‘pausing man’ as she calls it. Its arrived early and it’s causing havoc! She asked me to highlight the plight of women undergoing an early Menopause – with humour and lightness but also to raise the profile of symptoms and side effects for a condition that affects about 1 in 100 women.
Early menopause, generally seen in women around 40 years of age, is caused by a medical procedure or occurs naturally with no known cause. It’s something most women think they will face in their 50’s and marks a change in their lives that halts the reproduction system and marks the start of the dreaded ‘middle age’. Early menopause can come as a big shock and sometimes women have not had time to start taking preventative steps that may alleviate some of the known problems many women face regarding their skin.
Like all menopausal women, women in premature menopause experience lowered oestrogen levels as the ovaries stop most of their production of this hormone. Low levels of oestrogen can lead to changes in a woman’s overall health and may increase her risk for certain medical conditions, such as osteoporosis. Other health risks associated with the loss of estrogen include increased risk for colon and ovarian cancer, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth loss, and cataract formation.
The lack of oestrogen can cause havoc on a woman’s skin, hair and body. Your wisdom and confidence may grow as you get older, but the same isn’t true for many of your hormone levels. During menopause, lower levels of oestrogen have a big impact on your skin. Less oestrogen makes you prone to thinning, sagging, and wrinkling. Fortunately, you can relieve some of the skin-related effects of aging by taking care of your specific skincare needs.
- Key to younger looking skin is hydration – use a richer moisturiser, even better when applied to damp skin after a shower.
- Use an SPF even when you know that the sun is a good source of vitamin D which helps thinning bones. It will prevent further sun damage that many people suffer.
- The backs of your hands can lose moisture, collagen, and fat during menopause. That can make veins more obvious and skin more wrinkled. To reduce the look of wrinkles, use moisturizer often on your hands, use sunscreen and wear gloves when doings anything in the house.
- Collagen gives your skin its youthful plumpness and keeps your skin tight. As your oestrogen levels drop, so does the collagen in your skin. Eating foods with antioxidants may help make your skin stronger from the inside out. Look for brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Try some soya too as its thought to hold some natural forms of the missing hormones.
- Exercise does more than just tone your muscles. First, it relieves stress. Exercise also boosts circulation, which begins to slow with age. The extra oxygen and blood flow can help your skin look brighter and healthier.
Lastly, take some time to come to terms with the changes that are happening to you and have nothing to do with pausing…… it’s your life to live at whatever pace you want!