Ah, the journey of menopause. A normal and natural event in a woman’s life that can be seen as both a blessing and a curse. While some menopausal changes are worthy of a small celebration (No more period! No more cramping!), others can be less than pleasant. We’re talking about the hot flashes, the night sweats, the mood swings, the vaginal dryness, the brain fog, the bloating—all that “fun” stuff.
Fortunately, there are many ways to find menopause relief these days. If Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) isn’t an option for you, here are nine ways to manage your menopause symptoms naturally.
- Eat a healthy diet. It’s true that women often gain weight as they age, but the dreaded menopause weight gain doesn’t need to be inevitable. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help keep those pesky pounds off while making other menopause symptoms—like hot flashes, mood swings—far more manageable. You can also add certain foods to your diet that are known to lessen menopause symptoms. Flaxseed oil, for example, has been shown to reduce hot flashes in menopausal women.
- Pump some iron. If you don’t already lift weights, now may be a good time to start. Strength training exercises (lifting weights, using resistance bands, etc.) come with a slew of benefits for menopausal women, from preventing weight gain to reducing the risk of diseases. Another reason to lift weights? It can help prevent osteoporosis, a bone-weakening disease that menopausal women have a higher risk of developing due to their decreased estrogen levels.
- Take supplements. There are a number of herbal and dietary supplements that may help reduce menopause symptoms, the most popular of which is black cohosh. Made from the root of the black cohosh plant in North America, this dietary supplement claims to reduce hot flashes and night sweats. Other supplements that are popular for women going through menopause include calcium (for bone loss prevention) and Ginseng (a natural mood booster and sleep aid). Remember to talk with your doctor before taking any supplements.
- Control leaks with incontinence products. Let’s face it–no one likes to talk about this all-too common symptom of menopause. But the simple truth is that urinary incontinence affects millions of women, so you’re definitely not alone! Some women experience bladder leaks when they laugh or exercise, while others seem to get the urge to urinate out of nowhere. If you’re tired of letting urine leakage get in the way of living your life, take back control with urinary incontinence products for women and get protection from unexpected leaks. Trust us–you’ll be so glad you did!
- Opt for lightweight sleepwear. Getting quality sleep is critical to helping you manage your menopause symptoms. Unfortunately, hot flashes and night sweats can make it challenging to get enough Zzzs every night. If you haven’t already done so, swap out your heavy bedding and sleepwear for lightweight options made from breathable fabrics such as linen and cotton. Pajamas made from 100 percent cotton are especially great for menopausal women because they’ll soak up your sweat and help keep you cool during the night.
- Keep stress levels in check. We know, we know—easier said than done, right? Between work and family obligations, you probably have a lot on your plate at the moment. But stress has an unfortunate way of making us feel the symptoms of menopause more severely. To reduce the impact of your menopause symptoms, it’s important to get a handle on your stress. Activities such as meditation, yoga, and simply talking to someone (friends, family, a therapist, etc.) can go a long way in keeping your stress to a minimum.
- Do pelvic floor exercises several times a day. Pelvic floor exercises do far more than just help with incontinence problems. They can also improve your sexual health and pleasure. Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, can help relax your vaginal muscles and improve blood circulation to your vagina and pelvic floor, both of which can make sex more pleasurable for women going through menopause. What are you waiting for? Grab some Kegel balls and start working those pelvic floor muscles!
- Mask BO with a natural deodorant. Everyone told you that menopause stinks, but you didn’t know that they meant it literally! Body odor changes are one of those lesser-known symptoms of menopause that no one really warns you about. If your new natural scent is undermining your confidence, finding a natural deodorant that actually works can be a game-changer for your self-esteem!
- Seek support. No one should have to go through menopause alone, especially now, in the digital age. There are plenty of digital-savvy women who are going through the ups and downs of menopause, just like you. If you don’t have women your age who are going through menopause, seek out your tribe through forums and support groups. Talking with other women about the changes you’re experiencing can make you feel less alone.
Making Menopause a Positive Experience
It’s pretty amazing to think about the changes a woman’s body can go through over the course of her lifetime: menstruation, pregnancy, and then menopause. Sure, the hot flashes and physiological changes of menopause can be difficult at times, but those symptoms can often be managed with natural methods like the ones listed above. Given all the incredible things your body has been through so far, it deserves a little grace!