Whether you’re going through it now or want to feel prepared in the future, here are five common symptoms - and what you can do to ease them.
You’d think hot flushes and night sweats would be enough to deal with during the menopause. Symptoms can begin a few months or years before your periods stop – this is known as the perimenopause. During this time, with hormones fluctuating all over the place, it can affect everything, from our skin to our bladder to our teeth.
Learn about the five areas that tend to get a little more sensitive during the change, and the steps you can take to make it easier on yourself – now or when you need to.
1. Your skin
Even if you’ve never had sensitive skin before, the hormonal changes that occur during the perimenopause can quickly change that. You might find your skin feels tighter and dryer and your usual creams are no longer doing the trick. You might even find your clothes are starting to irritate your skin.
If this is the case, try looking for rich lotions that are specially formulated for sensitive skin, and wash your clothes with Fairy Non-Bio, the number one laundry brand for sensitive skin. With the added bonus of making fabrics huggably soft, the rest of the family will feel the benefits, too.
2. Your bladder
Oestrogen is the female sex hormone, and the levels of it in your body drop when you’re menopausal. This can weaken your pelvic floor muscles, which support your uterus, bowels and bladder. That means your bladder may become more sensitive – so when you laugh, cough or exercise, you might experience an impromptu leak.
But you don’t have to just put up with it. There are plenty of targeted exercises that can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and help prevent leaks. Plus, you can wear Always Discreet pads, liners or underwear to absorb any wetness or odours.
However, if it continues, or the incontinence you are experiencing is when you get the sudden desperate urge to go to the toilet, it’s important to speak to your doctor.
3. Your moods
Many of us suffer with mood swings during PMS and, while you won’t have to worry about that anymore, the same hormones fluctuate during the perimenopause. That means you’ll probably experience some mood swings throughout the change.
Eating a well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise will help. Some women also swear by herbal remedies, but it’s often a case of doing whatever you believe is right for you. Again, talk to your doctor if you’re really struggling – expert help is always there if you need it.
Otherwise, just let your loved ones know you might not be yourself at all times when you’re menopausal. They need to be understanding and offer a little more support than usual.
4. Your teeth
During the perimenopause, your entire body gets a bit drier – including your mouth. Saliva helps look after your teeth by washing away food, so a drier mouth allows bacteria to grow, encouraging tooth decay and bleeding or receding gums.
To help counter this, drink plenty of fluids and rinse your mouth out with water after eating. You can also try swapping your regular toothpaste for a more protective one, like Oral-B Pro-Expert Premium Gum Protection to provide extra care.
5. Your breasts
Again, those pesky hormone changes can result in sore, tender breasts. If you suffered with this symptom during PMS, you will probably suffer from it again during perimenopause.
To help ease discomfort, make sure you’re wearing the right size bra that’s both comfy and supportive. If you do smoke, drink a lot of caffeine or eat a lot of junk food then you could also consider cutting down, as they can all aggravate the hormonal changes that come with the menopause.
* If you are going through menopause or experiencing bladder leaks, always make sure to consult your doctor or a health specialist for these medical conditions.
* Always Discreet products are not products to help with menopause, but medical devices for bladder leaks, which may be a symptom experienced by some women during menopause.