Postmenopause doesn’t mean the end of a healthy sex life
Consider herbal supplements to get your hormones back in balance
As a woman ages, the number of follicles in her ovaries decrease and fewer hormones are produced. Menopause occurs when the ovaries fail to produce enough hormones to stimulate the monthly growth of the endometrium, and menstrual periods stop permanently.
Postmenopause is the time in a woman’s life after her transition into menopause has been completed. Medically, menopause is defined as the day when a woman has not had her period for an entire year. After this point, a woman is postmenopausal. Technically, a woman is postmenopausal from the day menopause occurs until the end of her life. Aside from the cessation of her period, a doctor can measure levels of a women’s follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level to confirm if a woman is postmenopausal.
During postmenopause, many of the symptoms a woman may have experienced before menopause (known as perimenopause) gradually decrease. But as a result of several factors, including a lower level of oestrogen, postmenopausal women are at increased risk for a number of health conditions, such as osteoporosis, increased blood cholesterol levels and heart disease.
Who is affected by postmenopause?
Women experience natural hormonal changes differently, so there is a wide age range at which they may become postmenopausal. Natural postmenopause usually occurs sometime between a women’s late 40s and early 60s, with the average menopause age being 51 years.
6 signs and symptoms of postmenopause
Women may often believe that all the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause disappear once postmenopause begins. This, however, is not always the case. The symptoms some women experience during their postmenopausal years can be very similar to those they have already experienced during perimenopause. These include:
- Vaginal dryness and loss of elasticity. A lower level of mucus produced by the vaginal glands can cause vaginal dryness. Without the production of oestrogen, the vagina also becomes less elastic.
- Urinary incontinence. Oestrogen helps keep the bladder and urethra healthy. However, lowered hormone levels and weakened pelvic muscles can result in bladder control problems and infections of the urinary tract and vagina.
- Weight gain. Postmenopausal hormone changes can cause the body to retain more fat cells to try and naturally lift oestrogen levels.
- Hormone changes can also make it difficult for postmenopausal women to fall asleep and have a good night’s rest.
- Vaginal bleeding and hot flushes. These are less common symptoms, which usually disappear in the first years of postmenopause.
6 common causes of postmenopause
The same hormonal fluctuations that trigger the menopause process also play a key role during postmenopause. Hormones like oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone decline and go out of balance, causing uncomfortable symptoms.
External factors are less common, but they can also cause hormonal changes that lead to postmenopause. The main ones are related to lifestyle habits, stress, surgery and radiation or chemotherapy.
- Natural decline of reproductive hormones. From their late 30s, women’s ovaries start making less oestrogen and progesterone – the hormones that regulate menstruation – and fertility declines. This process continues until menstrual periods stop – on average by age 51.
- A hysterectomy that removes your uterus but not your ovaries usually doesn't cause immediate menopause. Although a woman no longer has periods, her ovaries still release eggs and produce oestrogen and progesterone. But surgery that removes both the uterus and your ovaries (total hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy) does cause immediate menopause. Periods stop immediately, and a woman is likely to have hot flushes and other menopausal signs and symptoms, which can be strong, as these hormonal changes occur abruptly rather than over several years.
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These cancer therapies can induce menopause, causing symptoms such as hot flushes during, or shortly after, the course of treatment.
- Primary ovarian insufficiency. About one percent of women experience menopause before age 40 (premature menopause). This may result from primary ovarian insufficiency – when a woman’s ovaries fail to produce normal levels of reproductive hormones – stemming from genetic factors or an autoimmune disease.
- Lifestyle Habits. Women who smoke and drink heavily can go through menopause earlier and with greater symptoms than those who don’t.
- Sometimes women who experience constant periods of stress – for example, due to financial hardships or relationship issues – may transition to postmenopause early.
Changes in a woman’s sexual health don’t mean the end of sex
Although hormonal changes associated with menopause can affect women’s sexual health, it is a myth to think all women experience a lack of libido and a decline in active sex at this stage of life – particularly if their menopause is naturally occurring and not as a result of a hysterectomy.
Hormones like oestrogen, testosterone and DHEA are believed to play an important role in sexual desire and responsiveness, affecting not just libido but also physical aspects. The most common perimenopausal symptoms are hot flushes and vaginal dryness, or vaginal shrinkage, causing discomfort during sex.
Changes in a woman’s sexual health at menopause are caused by:
- Menstrual changes, including disrupted flow and uncertainty about when periods will occur.
- Discomfort because of vaginal dryness and sensitivity.
- Lower sex drive.
- Night sweats, which disrupt sleep, impair self-image and cause irritability.
- Emotional changes, which can affect a women’s outlook and leave her feeling stressed and unattractive.
- Urinary tract infections and loss of bladder control.
- Weight gain.
Treatment of postmenopause
Some women seek medical attention for postmenopausal symptoms, but others either tolerate them or simply don't experience symptoms severe enough to need attention. Because symptoms may be subtle and appear gradually, a woman may not realise at first that they're all connected to the same thing: the rise and fall in the levels of oestrogen and progesterone, another key female hormone.
Treatment of postmenopause symptoms vary, and there are three distinct categories. These are:
- Lifestyle changes. These include stress reduction techniques, more frequent exercise and eating a balanced diet rich in calcium and other essential nutrients.
- Alternative treatments. These include acupuncture, massage and natural herbal supplements. Many women find that combining these with lifestyle changes can have a significantly positive impact on their symptoms and wellbeing.
- Prescription medications. This treatment involves some form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Though HRT has been effective at relieving symptoms, it may also carry a number of serious risks and side effects.
6 ways natural herbal supplements can help with postmenopausal symptoms
Herbs generally take a little longer than Hormone Replacement Therapies to start working, but once they have built up in your system, the results can be very pleasing.
In her book In The Mood Again, Use The Power of Healthy Hormones to Reboot your Sex Life At Any Age, Dr. Genie James recommends waiting four to six weeks for levels to increase. It is good to remember this is a “gradual and gentle approach for rejuvenating your sexuality for life, not for a sexual sprint,” she says.
As an alternative to medications and hormone replacement therapies – which can have negative side effects –women are Increasingly looking to herbal health products like Herbal Ignite for Women. Many years of herbal practice have shown that the herbs in Herbal Ignite for Women support women’s reproductive health effectively. It has a number of positive health outcomes, including:
- Helping to balance hormones.
- Reducing menopausal discomfort.
- Improving libido and sex drive.
- Enhancing sexual arousal and pleasure.
- Alleviating the side effects of the contraceptive pill.
- Improving mood and energy levels.
Herbal Ignite’s special formula has helped thousands of women with libido support and an improved sense of wellbeing, with minimal unwanted side effects. However, it’s important to note that herbal treatments like Herbal Ignite for Women do not work instantly, or even overnight. Like many herbal remedies, it’s ideal to continue with Ignite for Women for three months. This is to ensure the best results, even though most people notice benefits within the first couple of weeks.
How Herbal Ignite for Women helps support women’s health during perimenopause
Herbal Ignite for Women is an over-the-counter dietary supplement taken daily with food to support pre-menstrual tension and menopause and to restore hormone levels to a healthy balance. It also helps reduce stress levels and increase libido.
Herbal Ignite for Women contains four key ingredients:
- Damiana is the key fatigue and stress fighter in Herbal Ignite for Women. Known as the ‘ultimate feel-good herb’ for women, it combats fatigue, relaxes the body, reduces stress and anxiety, lifts mood and enhances sexual response. It also helps balance female hormone levels, control hot flushes and is especially renowned for its libido enhancing qualities.
- Dong Quai is known as ‘the women’s herb’ or ‘female ginseng’ because it is recognised in traditional Asian medicine as an excellent all-purpose women’s herb. It is used to calm nerves, relieve anxiety and mood swings, aid in the treatment of various skin conditions, promote youthfulness, reduce stress and is also considered effective in treating cancer. It also helps restore hormonal balance, improve menstrual regularity and relieves PMS and hot flushes.
- Tribulus Terrestris is a general tonic that supports sex drive, ovulation and reproductive health. It also balances hormone levels, boosts vitality and sense of wellbeing.
- Horny Goat Weed has been used in traditional medicine as an aphrodisiac to increase libido, improve sexual response and function and create a feeling of wellbeing during menopause. It has been used since ancient times to promote physical and mental energy. It stimulates libido by enhancing sexual response and orgasm, relieves symptoms associated with PMS and menopause, balances hormones, relieves stress and aids in the treatment of osteoporosis.
Horny Goat Weed contains a flavonoid called Icariin that assists to increase nitric oxide levels relaxing genital muscles in men and women, promoting erections and orgasms. It also influences the stress hormone cortisol to help relieve stress.
Herbal Ignite has been used successfully by thousands of men and women in New Zealand and Australia to help beat stress and fatigue, boost libido and sexual satisfaction. It is 100% natural and free of unpleasant side effects. It is made in New Zealand to the highest standards, with thorough testing and guarantees of no adulteration or undeclared ingredients.
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Disclaimer. This information is provided for general informational purposes only and does not substitute for the advice provided by your medical professional. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.