8 out of 10 women experience common symptoms leading up to menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, nervousness, lack of concentration, insomnia, depression, reduced libido, and vaginal dryness.
Vaginal atrophy occurs when there's less estrogen in the body, and the vaginal wall begins to thin.
To reduce vaginal dryness:
Use topical water-based lubricants or moisturizers
Night sweats and other symptoms can make sleep difficult for women approaching menopause.
Here's how you can set yourself up to achieve a better night's sleep:
Establish a regular nighttime routine
Read a good book
Don't be too physically active before bedtime
Avoid large meals before bed
Cut back or eliminate caffeine
Go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day
Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet
Only use the bed for sleep and sex
As you approach menopause, you may experience mood swings, feeling high then low, or anxious. Irritability and crying spells are also common among women who experienced severe premenstrual syndrome throughout their lives. If you are experiencing distressing thoughts, talk to your doctor about it.
These tips can help to lighten the emotional load you may be feeling:
Get regular exercise
Eat a healthy diet of whole foods
Spend time with supportive friends and loved ones
Get enough rest
Manage stress by incorporating a meditation or yoga practice
The decrease in estrogen makes many women more forgetful as they approach menopause. You may lose your train of thought, misplace items, or forget appointments.
If you're experiencing memory loss:
Save dates in a digital planner
Store important items like keys, glasses, medications and cell phones together in a designated area
Set alerts to remind you when to take supplements and medications