Menopause is diagnosed once a woman has gone 12 months without having a period, according to the Mayo Clinic. They also report that the average age for a woman to go through menopause is 51 in the US. However, it can start as early as our 40’s or as late as 60. Unfortunately, the uncomfortable symptoms can last anywhere from a few months to a few years.
We’d think that the end of the menstrual cycle would be a relief, but often it just makes us a tad miserable. The symptoms take a physical toll and the changes our bodies are going through often put us in emotional distress.
The Cleveland Clinic actually reported on this topic late last year. According to the article, the hormone changes that happen during perimenopause (the time leading up to menopause) or menopause can make a woman feel anxious or depressed, according to Dr. Lilian Gonsalves.
Dr. Gonsalves warns, however, that severe anxiety, panic attacks, or a depressive episode (severe depression for 2 weeks or more) don’t normally happen. So, it’s important to see a doctor if we experience any of these complications.
The good news is that there is some evidence that hormone therapy could help perimenopause with symptoms of depression. Harvard Health Publishing reported on a study that found that women who were treated with hormones were less likely to experience symptoms of depression compared to the placebo group.
Regardless of whether the menopausal women in our lives are experiencing severe symptoms or moderate symptoms; it’s important to help them feel loved and as comfortable as possible.
Check out these eight gifts for a woman going through the change:
Supplements To Ease Symptoms
According to the Mayo Clinic, menopause can come with an increased risk of osteoporosis due to the loss of bone density during the first few months of menopause. Another one of the symptoms can be weight gain. This mixed with the lower estrogen levels can contribute to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Luckily, we can take menopause relief supplements to try and counteract these issues.
Reading can provide a welcomed distraction from the symptoms and emotional roller coast that often come with menopause. Getting her a book we know she’d love can make the ideal gift. If she’s a religious woman, consider getting her the NRSV Bible to soothe her troubled mind.
Cooling Equipment For Hot Flashes
We all know the symptom that comes to mind when we think of menopause – the dreaded hot flash. I think we’d be surprised how welcomed a nice fan, a mist spray bottle, or a cooling towel in her favorite color would be at this time.
A “Relaxation” Basket
Creating our own personalized gift baskets is a great way to show her that we care. Get some tissue paper, a basket, and the plastic to wrap around it. Then fill the basket with things like scented candles, a pretty candleholder, soothing lotion, bath salts, fluffy socks, a gift card to get a pedicure, and some fun bath bombs.
A “Sleep” Basket
The Mayo Clinic lists sleep disturbances, chills, and night sweats as potential symptoms of menopause. This combined with hot flashes may make it nearly impossible to get comfortable enough to sleep. If she’s experiencing trouble sleeping, she may appreciate a “sleep basket.” Fill the basket with things like lavender pillow spray, a sleep mask, a diffuser with her favorite essential oils, a CD of ocean sounds, a standing fan, a cozy blanket, and a pair of pajamas that will aid in temperature control.
A “Sexy” Basket
A lot of times with menopause, a woman’s sexuality is going to change. Hormone fluctuations, vaginal dryness, less elasticity in the vagina, and feeling less desirable can all affect how a woman experiences her sexuality during and after menopause.
Therefore, the menopausal woman’s partner may want to consider making her feel sexy again. Make a basket filled with things like different kinds of lube (get some great for vaginal dryness and consider a stimulating one), lingerie, her favorite wine, toys, candles, massage oil, etc. Just let her know that you still want her.
While this part of life can be discouraging and stressful, there is hope. Harvard Health Publishing reported on a survey of 27,000 women in 2012. The survey found that more than 50 percent of women in their fifties and 45 percent of women in their sixties said they were sexually active. A whopping two-thirds reported being satisfied with their sex lives.