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Menopause: The Best Years of Your Life

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.


Menopause is a normal phase in a woman’s life. You can do a number of things to ease negative symptoms. Some sail through this time with few discomforts and others need medical or some type of other natural intervention to ease the symptoms.


Peri-menopause has a median age of 47.5 years and is defined as the period of transition to natural menopause when the body undergoes endocrine and biological changes resulting from declining hormones from the ovaries.

These are a few risk factors for some women entering menopause early: smoking may cause you to enter menopause 1-2 years earlier; family history as women in families tend to enter menopause at about the same age; never having had a baby; childhood treatment for cancer; and hysterectomy that removes the uterus but not the ovaries.

Peri-Menopausal Symptoms

Peri-menopausal symptoms may include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle: Ovulation becomes more erratic, which can affect the duration of your menstrual cycle and you may skip periods
  • Hot flashes and sleep problems: About 65-75% of women experience hot flashes and out of those 15% experience more severe menopausal symptoms. Hot flashes happen when the estrogen level decreases and the small blood vessels dilate inappropriately. Sleep problems are often due to night sweats.
  • Mood changes: Some experience mood swings, irritability or depression, but the cause may be sleep disruption or other menopausal symptoms.
  • Vaginal dryness and bladder problems: As estrogen levels diminish, your vaginal tissue may lose lubrication and elasticity, and sometimes intercourse may become painful. A few women have problems with incontinence.
  • Decreased fertility: With irregular ovulation, your ability to conceive diminishes but it is possible to become pregnant as long as you’re having periods.
  • Fluctuations in sexual desire: This is true for some women, but many who have had satisfactory sexual intimacy before menopause will continue to enjoy intimacy for years to come.
  • Loss of Bone Density: Declining estrogen levels can cause loss of bone density more quickly than you can replace which increases your risk for osteoporosis
  • Changing cholesterol: Estrogen helped keep healthier cholesterol levels, so as it declines this may become a problem.

Peri-menopause can last for over 6 years, but 4 years is the average, and it usually ends after 12 months of no menstrual periods.

Osteoporosis is often a symptom of menopause. Source: Wikimedia

Osteoporosis is often a symptom of menopause. Source: Wikimedia

Herbs and Diet Help Alleviate Symptoms

In the Western world, the average age of menopause is 51 years old. There is no relationship between a woman's first period and her last. The age of menopause is not related to race, height, the number of your children, or use of contraceptives.

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Many women pass through menopause without the need to see a doctor. Some women get prescription estrogen from their doctors but there are many natural ways to treat menopausal symptoms.

Approximately 38% of the women receiving prescriptions quit after 1 year due to side effects, such as; menstrual bleeding, bloating, premenstrual irritability, cramps, breast tenderness, depression and a few have headaches plus weight gain. You are also more prone to get gall bladder disease while on prescriptive estrogen.

There are some great herbal remedies that will ease menopausal symptoms:

  • Vitamin E helps improve the stability of blood vessels and wards off the erratic dilation of blood vessels which cause hot flashes. Normal dosage is 400 IU, but you can take up to 1200 IU after discussing it with your MD.
  • Black Cohosh (cimicifuga racemosa) is very effective. Start with 10 drops twice a day; increase 5 drops every other day until you get a satisfactory result. It takes about 4 weeks for the full effect.
  • Moutherwort Weed (Leonurus cardiaca) is a good herbal ally for moderating symptoms. Dilute 5-15 drops of the tincture of moutherwort made from fresh flowering tops in water or tea. You can drink several cups a day.
  • Common Chickweed (Stellaria meda) is another herb good for hot flashes. Use 25-40 drops of fresh plant tincture once or twice a day to reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes. You should see results in about 1-2 weeks
  • Elder Flower (Sambucus Canadensis) resets the body’s thermostat treating hot flashes and night sweats. Use 25-50 drops of the elder blossom tincture several times daily and receive rapid results.
  • Violet (Viola odorata) is used to cool those hot flashes. Use leaves on a salad. Violets grow in many people’s lawns. You can also brew teas by steeping 1 ounce of dried violets in a quart of boiling water, letting it sit overnight, then strain and refrigerate. Drink it within 48 hours with just a cup a day. Some studies have shown that consuming these products twice a day can reduce the number of hot flashes.
  • Herbs containing phytoestrogens such as Red Clover have been used in Asia for thousands of years to treat a number of diseases, and recently have been shown to improve bone density and reduce the number of hot flashes.
  • Peruvian Maca is a root believed to work by stimulating glands in the body to produce their own estrogen and testosterone. It is cultivated in the Andes. It is claimed to reduce PMS symptoms, reduce depression, reduce mood swings, hot flashes, help with sleep disturbance and create a general feeling of well being.
  • Natural progesterone creams usually contain extracts from Mexican wild yam, which contains a substance similar to the progesterone produced in the body. The creams are applied to the parts of the body where the skin is thinner, such as between the breasts, inner thighs, inner forearms or stomach. Many woman claim they help with symptoms but there are no studies to back this up.
  • Chaste tree berry (Chasteberry or Vitex agnus castus) has been used since ancient Greek times to treat many ailments, and it is thought to stimulate progesterone production and alleviate severe PMS and a wide range of Menopausal symptoms.

Obviously, this is a long list of herbs for treatment and you might want to investigate a little further with a good herbal book or talk to someone at a health food store to get further information

Violets can help relieve menopausal symptoms.

Violets can help relieve menopausal symptoms.

Benefits of Exercise and Yoga

The benefits of exercise for the peri-menopausal or post-Menopausal woman are numerous and very important to your overall health. They include preventing weight gain as your metabolism slows with age, helping to prevent loss of muscle mass, reducing the risk of breast cancer, reducing the risk of other diseases, and boosting your mood. Physical activity after menopause should improve your psychological health.

Yoga stretches can benefit both the body and the mind, bringing energy and balance. This is something you can do without any negative side effects. It causes you to listen more carefully to your body, and you will benefit from the awareness of the moment.

For example, maybe your shoulders are tense; then, you stop and consciously relax your shoulders. Your posture will improve and you will be more capable of releasing anger or tension, instead of letting it build up. You will have more self-confidence, and it will help treat depression. You will also find you rest better at night.

Yoga and Other Exercises

Yoga will reduce menopausal symptoms by balancing the endocrine system. It helps smooth out the hormonal and glandular changes that take place at this time of life. Regularly practice all of the categories of poses to stimulate the organs and tissues. The poses are standing, sitting, lying down, backbends, forward bends, twists, and inverted (upside down) poses.

The inverted poses are particularly important as they have a powerful effect on the neuroendocrine system, allowing fresh oxygenated blood to flow to the glands in the head and neck. The body is quite capable of adjusting to menopause as the ovaries slow down if the other organs are functioning well and they will continue to produce all the hormones a woman needs for the rest of her life.

Some of the more important Yoga poses for menopausal women include; the supported lying down pose called “The Goddess Pose”, The Dog Pose”, The “Menopausal Bridge Pos” and “The Great Rejuvenator.”

Childs Pose

Childs Pose

It is most important to practice Yoga’s restorative poses which are passive poses where the body is completely supported by Yoga props. Props help you stay in poses for a longer period of time and they conserve energy, allowing the nervous system to relax. A Yoga bolster provides firm support for the entire length of your spinal column from your head to your lower back when lying down. This is just one of the available props.

Joint flexibility is important as well and will improve range of motion. Gentle exercises that promote mobility, flexibility, and relaxation while decreasing stiffness and soreness often help the menopausal woman. Other helpful tips are to use stairs when possible. Daily walking is also one of the best exercises.

Deep breathing exercise is very effective at creating a calm, peaceful mind. You sit comfortably and close your eyes while relaxing your muscles. Slowly breathe in and out through the nose becoming aware of each breath. Try to disregard all distractions. Meditation is extremely useful done regularly.

In Summary

Women all have to go through menopause and there are some natural remedies that are available that your doctor should be able to help you with as well as, prescription medicine as necessary.

It doesn't have to be an awful time, but it is more difficult for some women than others. Treat yourself well, eat healthily, and exercise to lessen symptoms. Talk to your girlfriends into doing some things that will benefit everyone, which will help your overall attitude.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on February 21, 2014:

erorantes, I am so glad you enjoyed the hub, and I appreciate your comments.

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on February 21, 2014:

Miss Pamela, thank you for the wonderful hub. Menopause the best years of your life.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on December 22, 2012:

geetarao, Thank you for your comments and I'm glad you liked the hub.

geetarao04 on December 21, 2012:

Highly informative thanks 4 the share.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2012:

Emilin, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.

Emilin on May 18, 2012:

Nice! this hub is genuine, very well written too..I enjoyed your hub for sure, and will be reading many more in due time..Thanks a lot for sharing..:)


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2011:

susan, I didn't know that was why you got the flattop cut but it obviously is perfect for you. I have some health problems and was having night sweats for a while, so I know what you mean about the wet pillow and matted hair. Fortunately, I don't have them anymore. I appreciate your comments and I don't think you're crazy, just cool.

susan54 on November 06, 2011:

Pamela99, What a great hub. As you may, or may not know menopause is one of the reasons why I got my flattop haircut, and It was my 50th birthday. I had major hot flashes,my pillow was wet every hair was a mess, I looked like a wet dog.Lol It just made me made plus I started yoga around the same time to change my life and now I am doing p90x. I am one crazy old lady. super hub! I wish I could write like you.

Fierce Manson from Atlanta on November 06, 2011:

You are most welcome!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 06, 2011:

adrienne, I'm glad you are doing better now. I appreciate your comments.

Fierce Manson from Atlanta on November 06, 2011:

Oh my Pamela I wish this article was around when I started Perimenopause I thought the world was coming to an end. It was like I was sleep walking all the time from the restless nights of not being able to sleep. But now that I am going through post-menopause as my doctor puts it, it is like flying a kite. Thanks for sharing all this wonderful information.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 10, 2011:

deedeelaw, I'm glad to know this hub was helpful to you and I appreciate your comments.

Deborah S. Lawrence from Deborah's Musings on September 10, 2011:

Thanks Pamela, this was a very useful hub.I've only had this problem for a few months now,so your information is very helpful to me. Great Job and thanks again.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on August 30, 2010:

Bail up, Good luck with your yoga. Thanks for your comments.

Bail Up ! on August 29, 2010:

Not there yet but I appreciate not only the warning of things to expect but also the potential remedies. I've tried yoga in the past and find some poses brutal. I need to start again though if only to master them for when I need them. Thanks for the heads up.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on August 08, 2010:

msorensson, Thanks for your comment.

msorensson on August 08, 2010:

Very informative, Pamela. Posted on my FB account.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 26, 2010:

Support Med, Thanks for your comment and I hope you will be able to get back into your routine.

Support Med. from Michigan on March 26, 2010:

Good hub! Love the yoga video. I used to do yoga everyday. Now I may do it once a week, but I'll keep working on it! Thanks for the info.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 24, 2010:

MGP, Thank for you your comment. It's good you do yoga so often. I have not been that disciplined.

Maria Giunta from Sydney, Australia on March 24, 2010:

Some great advice Pamela. I enjoy yoga almost every day, wish I could do more but time, you know. Anyway will try some of those herbs, but luckily I'm ok at the moment, just having trouble losing weight and the odd missed period. BTW thanks for following me and all your lovely comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 22, 2010:

Jack, I appreciate your comment and my sister is an example of one who gets the more intense mood change. The point of the article is to soften all those bad side effects by using supplements, etc. Only thing I can say, is keep smiling!

TnFlash from Tampa, Florida on March 22, 2010:

Great Hub! But the term "mood changes" is an understatement.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 21, 2010:

Coolmon, Thank you for your comment.

Coolmon2009 from Texas, USA on March 21, 2010:

Very well written and researched article; I will have to bookmark this one - thank you for this hub

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 20, 2010:

Wavegirl, I'm glad you found some things that will help you and thanks for your comment.

Shari from New York, NY on March 20, 2010:

Pamela- I fight reading articles on Menopause.I think it is my denial that it wont happen!!! But just the title of your Hub brought me in. Great Hub and well well needed info. Thanks for sharing this one. I will be back as I think this is a great hub to refer back to especially when the hormones start raging and I need a little balance put back in my thoughts!!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 19, 2010:

Mekenzie, Thank you so much for your comment.

Susan Ream from Michigan on March 19, 2010:

Wow, very informative hub. I love that you list so many natural alternatives. I'm into finding any natural remedy which I believe God provides .. we just have to find it.. Thanks for helping me find some new to me. I get natural hormones through Women's International Pharmacy in Wisconsin. Progesterone made with Yams and Soybeans. This formulation works GREAT for low progesterone. Great Writing lady .. Keep it up! Blessings

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 19, 2010:

Maita, Thank you for your comment. I love the sound of your name, very pretty, as are you

prettydarkhorse from US on March 19, 2010:

yoga and exercise! thats good, NOw I know what I am up to years from now, good and positive things about menopause -- enjoy it and take care of yourself, Maita

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 19, 2010:

Eileen, My story is almost identical to yours. I had a hysterectomy including ovaries when I was 40 also and those few years before the surgery were miserable. Freedom reigned following the surgery in my opinion. I was severely anemic also but my mother and sister didn't have those problems at all, so even families aren't always the same. Thanks for telling of your experiences and stopping by my hub.

Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on March 19, 2010:

Pamela, this is a truly great hub, I got to the stage as a courier driver if I bent over there would be a flood and my male boss was the one who made me go back to my doctor and insist on sending me to a specialist. The doctor just kept telling me oh you'll be right its part of life.

Anyway I went to specialist and I was anaemic they raced me off and I had a historectomy within a few days had to have iron injections and drip. So you just cannot trust doctors sometimes. Had tubes tied at 28. Told I may flood but you know you dont really understand.

Anyway I was 40 then and have not looked back wish I'd had it done 20 years earlier. After 2 days in hospital and stitched from top to bottom (you know what I mean)Went home cooked roast and was back on courier van within 6 weeks. Some people play on it for years. But you just have to think positive and get on with life.

Thanks for this truly great and informative hub.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 19, 2010:

Nancy and Habee, Thank you for your comments. I understand your thoughts Habee as that is one of the perks!

Holle Abee from Georgia on March 18, 2010:

Great info! I'm 51 and so glad to be done with the monthly mess!!

nancy_30 from Georgia on March 18, 2010:

Thank you for this very informative hub. I'm not quite old enough for menopause yet, but I enjoyed reading this. My mom didn't have that many problems when she went through it, so i'm hoping I'll be the same way when my time comes.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 18, 2010:

Sage, Everyone is different with their menopausal age. Maybe finishing younger is a good thing. Thank you for your compliment of my hub. I hope some of these remedies will help some people experiencing problems.

Sage Williams on March 18, 2010:

Pam - A great job on this hub. I sure wish I had this when I was going through menopause. You have offered a lot of great suggestions. I love the herbal remedies.

I guess I was the exception to rule as I was completely through menopause at the age 50.

Great Job,


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 18, 2010:

Drpastorcarlotta, Thank you so much for your comment.

Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC on March 18, 2010:

OUTSTANDING HUB my dear!!!!!! WONDERFUL!!!! Blessings!!! Love the Herbal remedies!!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 18, 2010:

Darlene, Thank you for your comments. Maybe some yoga or herbs would help decrease your hot flashes.

Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on March 18, 2010:

Those were the hottest years of my life. LOL I lived up in the rockie mountains and when I would get too hot I would go outside in sit in the snow. HA, the doc told me it really never end, it comes and goes throughtout our lifes. Great hub, I enjoy it, thanks

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 18, 2010:

She-rah, Thank you for the comment and that is interesting that you have developed your own cream. I appreciate you linking my hub. Thanks so much.

She-rah from Petersburg, IL on March 18, 2010:

Hi Pamela, Great hub! I have researched most of the herbs you have on here, very informative list. My hormonal cream that I developed can be used for menopause also. If I could only get my hub done on it. You might find it pretty interesting! I will link this hub to mine when I get it published.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 18, 2010:

Quill, Thank you for your comment. I think it would be very good for men to understand the changes that are happening to their wives. Men has some physiological changes also but I think they end up with little red sports cars. (ha-ha)

"Quill" on March 18, 2010:

Great should be reading this...maybe give them some insight...smiles


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 18, 2010:

BPOP, Great attitude and that takes you a long way. Thank you for your comment.

breakfastpop on March 18, 2010:

Terrific and important hub, Pamela. Personally, I think this is a very liberating stage of life.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 18, 2010:

Hello, I hope that you are doing better and have found some ways to ease through menopause without anything so dramatic happening. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on March 18, 2010:

I wish I had you advice. I bled ten days and like opening a water tub. I still can't believe how my body could stand it Thank you for writing such a well researched hub.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 18, 2010:

Rev Lady, You were blessed. I had my ovaries surgically removed but I never experienced menopause with but saw my mother have many problems.

It seems each person has a different story but it is nice that there are some things you can do to help yourself.

Thanks for your comment,

RevLady from Lantana, Florida on March 18, 2010:

Pam, thank goodness I am one of those women who sailed through this time with few discomforts.

This hub provides good information to share with friends. Thanks.

Forever His,

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 17, 2010:

Carlina, Thanks for the comment. I noticed thy mentioned testosterone for maca bu I guess they use it for more than we knew.

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on March 17, 2010:

It's interesting to see Maca used for this.. men use it to counter age related reduced testosterone levels. Great hub!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 17, 2010:

Lotlie & Sandy, Thanks you so much for your comments.

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on March 17, 2010:

Very informative hub.

Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on March 17, 2010:

This is an incredibly informative hub, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, Pamela.

Thanks so much,


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 17, 2010:

Cheri, You are fast as I just posted this. In all my research the Yoga seemed to be the most important element to alleviate symptoms. Thank you for your comments.

Cheri Schultz from Midwest on March 17, 2010:

Thank for this great hub - I am very close to menopause and went through the hot flashes and night sweats but they are subsiding considerably and I relate it to Yoga. I do Yoga regularly and I swear it has helped immensely and I would recommend it for any women going through peri menoupause - and keep active it is imperative because you can eat the same amount of food and still gain weight.

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