We don’t often think in terms of menopause when we notice our cycle start to change. But the earliest signs of peri-menopause can be seen as early as our mid-thirties. What?? This doesn’t mean you are about to hit menopause tomorrow, but it’s very common to notice some subtle changes as we get closer to 40 and beyond. Our periods may last longer, come a little less regularly, be heavier or lighter than they used to be, with more stopping and starting of the flow. They may even be “flooding” at times, with unpredictable super-heavy bleeding. At the same time, we may not feel like ourselves, in a permanent PMS-type state of mind. We may feel tearful, or unaccountably on edge. We may find ourselves lying awake night after night, when we used to be good sleepers. And we may notice a change in intimate relationships. Desire can be unpredictable, sometimes much higher, sometimes almost absent. Sex can be uncomfortable or even painful at times. This is all due to the shifting hormones of peri-menopause. Just as our body changed during puberty, with hormonal swings and shifts, it changes during the years around menopause. Part of this transition is learning our “new normal,” but another important piece is knowing that we don’t have to suffer through it. Schedule a Hormone Balance consult to learn more about what’s going on and why – and how you can feel comfortable again.
Higher vitamin D levels are linked with a 67% lower risk of cancer in women, including breast , bowel, and lung cancers. Studies of nearly 2500 women show dramatic reductions in the rate of breast cancer, with up to 80% reduction in some groups. Experts recommend daily supplementation of 4000 IUs of vitamin D or careful daily sun exposure, without sunscreen, during the summer months.
This is especially crucial for women with darker skin, women who cover up for religious or other reasons, and women who spend most of their days indoors. Researcher Dr Garland of UC San Diego expressed the urgency of putting this information to widespread use: “Maybe some good souls who don’t want to see so many women get breast cancer will take our findings to heart. To me, it’s a scandal. Science has given us a way to protect women from breast cancer and nobody’s doing anything about it. It’s just a shame.”
Many women expect that after delivery, they should be “back to normal” by their six-week checkup. But pelvic pain, leaking urine, or even pelvic organ prolapse is much more common than women realize, and can persist long after childbirth unless women get help for these problems. A recent study at the University of Michigan found that many women have long-lasting pelvic injuries they don’t know what to do about.
“If you’ve just run a marathon, it may take longer to heal than if you’ve just run a mile,” said Janis Miller, a professor at Michigan’s School of Nursing. “Some women’s birthing experiences are more strenuous than others, so one of the main points is to let women know their bodies will recover…but it can take a long time.”
Women do not need to suffer in silence! Pelvic “Kegel” exercises, physical therapy, and other treatments to soften scar tissue, can all help a woman recover her comfort and normal function over time.