Surprising health benefits from menopause
As women get older, they reach the stage of menopause in which their bodies cease ovulating and they are no longer able to give birth to children. Usually, between the ages of 45-50, women move into a transitory period of time where their bodies adjust. While this seems rather distressing, there are some unique benefits that come from menopause.
Shrinkage of uterine fibroids
While they’re noncancerous, large uterine fibroids can cause leg pains and bladder problems. Upon menopause, those fibroids shrink to a low level. “For women who have been charting fibroid growth hoping to avoid surgery, or for those who have heavy periods due to fibroids, menopause is welcome. For women who have fibroids sitting on their bladder, menopause gives them a break,” Harvard Vanguard Menopause Consultation Service director Marcie Richardson told Everyday Health.
The end of periods
For women, periods have always come at the wrong time. With menopause, the end of the menstrual cycle arrives. Bleeding during menopause, however, is still common. A study from U-M School of Public Health and U-M Health System discovered women still bled a few days later. This mainly happened because of their age bracket. “For most women in their 30s, menstrual periods are highly predictable. With the onset of the menopausal transition in their 40s, women’s menstrual periods can change dramatically. These dramatic changes can be disconcerting and often provoke questions about whether something is wrong,” U-M professor of epidemiology Sioban Harlow said in a statement.
A shortage of headaches
Hormonal headaches can leave many women feeling hopeless. Menopause puts a stop to these disastrous issues. In a study, it was determined that most women have migraine changes during post-menopause. 31 percent of women stated they’ve seen changes in perimenopause, which happens in their 40s. “The evolution and character of migraine during the peri-menopause has not received as much attention as it deserves, so it’s nice to see this study. The study results are consistent with the common clinical impression that the peri-menopausal transition is a time when migraine headaches often change in character,” Brigham and Women’s Hospital chief of neurology Elizabeth Loder told MedPage Today. Even with menopause, it’s always important to have a good diet to keep headaches from coming back. Caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol should be removed from their daily intake.
PMS is no more
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can lead to food cravings, mood swings, and depression. While this comes naturally during the menstrual cycle, alcohol can make things worse. In a study by the University of Santiago de Compostela, 11 percent of women have increased PMS issues because of drinking. “The take-away message is certainly to encourage women diagnosed with PMS to avoid or limit alcohol intake and counsel women to limit alcohol intake as a preventive measure to minimize the likelihood of developing PMS,” Dr. Mitchel Kramer told Health Day. PMS issues can also come from the rise of estrogen in their system. Menopause permanently takes PMS out of the equation.
A boost of energy
Anthropologist Margaret Mead once stated, “There is no greater power in the world than the zest of a postmenopausal woman.” Following menopause, many women feel more energetic than ever. With this newfound power, they might find inspired to take on bigger roles. “With menopause, women around the world become much more aggressive, much more assertive, in every single culture anthropologists have looked at. They become heads of the village economic group. Or they become powerful religious leaders. Or they move into politics,” anthropologist Helen Fisher told The Chicago Tribune.
A shocking discovery
With menopause, most women in America don’t bring it up with doctors. In a 2008 study in Maturitas, four countries were compared by how they deal with the situation. 40% of doctors in Madrid, Spain stated women discuss menopause with them. In comparison, 25% of doctors in Massachusetts only get talked about it. Discussing menopause with a physician is essential for a smooth transition into the later stage of womanhood.