Menopause

The menopause is the permanent end of menstruation (periods) and fertility. For many women this will be a time of changing identity, an opportunity for new-found creativity and new beginnings. It can be a time for women to find a new and more confident voice – a ‘second spring’.

Post menopausal women are valued for their life experience and wisdom.

Post menopausal women are valued for their life experience and wisdom.

My Second Spring E-book

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The Best Friend’s Guide: Anxiety - A Practical Toolkit For Moving Beyond Anxiety at Menopause - $15

Thanks Girls another great book ! Well done My Second Spring, the advice is practical, down to earth and I’m already working on my toolkit. Thank you so much

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What does it mean to be in the menopause?

Menopause is defined as the point when you have your last ever period, and signals the end of menstruation and fertility. It will only be in retrospect that you are aware of this occurrence, and you will need to have had no periods for over 2 years for menopause to have occurred. Most of our symptoms take place in the 4-8 years before menopause, during the phase called perimenopause. When women talk about going through the menopause, this is the stage that they are really talking about. To me that's the time that we are actually menopausal even though it's commonly expected that we will menopausal after menopause ie when we have had no period for 2 years.. At that stage we should be post-menopausal at time when most women have very few or no symptoms of menopause. 

It is a natural time of transition and an inevitable outcome for all women – it will happen at some point in our lives. According to the Irish Department of Health and Children, around 260,000 women in Ireland are going through the menopause at any one time. Menopause age can vary widely – we are all different.

What causes the menopause?

The menopause is part of the natural aging process and occurs when our ovaries gradually stop producing eggs. Pre-menopause, our ovaries produce eggs approximately every four weeks. As we age, our sex hormones change and rebalance. The production of oestrogen, the hormone that regulates our ovaries and periods, gradually decreases and our ovaries fail to produce an egg each month. This fall in oestrogen levels can cause the physical and psychological symptoms of the menopause.

My Second Spring E-book

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NEW TO MENOPAUSE? Try our e-book - The Best Friend’s Guide to the Menopause - €8

"So glad you have an ebook. Love the friendly approach & top tips. Highly recommend!" B

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My Second Spring E-book

{caption}

The Best Friend’s Guide: Anxiety - A Practical Toolkit For Moving Beyond Anxiety at Menopause - €12

Thanks Girls another great book ! Well done My Second Spring, the advice is practical, down to earth and I’m already working on my toolkit. Thank you so much

Order Now

What symptoms am I likely to suffer during the menopause?

As with the start of our reproductive cycle – adolescence – there are 101 variations of the menopause experience and no two people will have exactly the same symptom pattern. Some women are fortunate enough to sail through the menopause without even realising it is taking place. Others, approximately 70 per cent of us, will undergo a wide variety of symptoms, which can range from mild to severe.

We often think and plan ahead for life’s big experiences, such as pregnancy or retirement. In the same way, it is well worth preparing for the menopause.

We don’t know exactly when the menopause will take place, so it makes senses to prepare ourselves for this transition during our mid to late 40s. The average age when women reach menopause in Ireland is 50. The four to eight years leading up to the menopause is called the perimenopause. During this time you may have noticed some classic tell-tale symptoms such as:

These symptoms, if interpreted correctly, give us an indication that our bodies are changing. This is a good time to look at our lifestyle in terms of nutrition, exercise and stress levels. Being healthier will help to reduce, or even entirely eliminate, symptoms if we tune in early and listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us.

Some women may go through premature or early menopause either naturally or because of medical treatment such as chemotherapy or surgery. They may have had a hysterectomy with or without the loss of their ovaries.

My Second Spring E-book

{caption}

NEW TO MENOPAUSE? Try our e-book - The Best Friend’s Guide to the Menopause - €8

"So glad you have an ebook. Love the friendly approach & top tips. Highly recommend!" B

Order Now

Preparing mentally and physically for the menopause

Physical preparation for the menopause

Physically our bodies may be put under extra pressure during the menopausal years, as our hormones work hard to rebalance themselves. Our bodies are physically designed for this process. However, if our systems are under great pressure from the way we are living or have been living during the previous decade or two, we may struggle. A regular exercise plan will be essential. Good nutrition, through diet and possibly supplements, is also vitally important. Most of us could benefit from guidance from a nutritional therapist or naturopath, particularly if we are trying to deal with challenging symptoms.

Mental preparation for the menopause

At midlife there can be a lot going on that may challenge us psychologically – you may be in the prime of your career, struggling to support aging parents, coping with your teenager’s hormonal years, or going through a divorce or bereavement. It can come as more of a shock than we think to notice or acknowledge visible signs of aging.

Our mental attitude to these physical changes will have a huge impact on how we experience and cope with the menopausal years. If we have unresolved life issues, even dating from early childhood, the menopause will often bring them into sharp focus in the form of uncontrollable emotions, and force us to deal with them. Suggested steps to take include keeping a journal, meditation, mindfulness, homeopathy and seeing a professional psychotherapist or counsellor.

My Second Spring E-book

{caption}

The Best Friend’s Guide: Anxiety - A Practical Toolkit For Moving Beyond Anxiety at Menopause - €12

Thanks Girls another great book ! Well done My Second Spring, the advice is practical, down to earth and I’m already working on my toolkit. Thank you so much

Order Now

A 'Second Spring' – wisdom, creativity and freedom

I am inspired by the fact that in China the menopause is referred to as the ‘second spring’. In this culture it is seen as a positive time of creativity and new beginnings, when women often find a new and more confident voice. There is an acknowledgment of the wisdom that women have acquired during their earlier years and a feeling that their life experiences can be put to use in many ways, often by helping and advising others.

Post-menopause, many women find great freedom in the fact that they can enjoy sex without becoming pregnant. Others are greatly relieved that they are no longer governed by the cyclical mood changes and physical management of their monthly menstrual cycle.

In talking to women in their mid to late 40s here in Ireland, I notice that many of us are in the mood for change and open to new possibilities. There’s a feeling of creativity in the air. Sometimes we get to the age of menopause and find ourselves doing an audit and assessment of our lives as they are. We consider which bits we like and notice areas we may like to change or renew.

My Second Spring

The menopause can impact us in many different ways. By talking, reading, reflecting on and sharing our experiences, we can support and inspire each other during this important time of life. I hope that you will stay in touch with My Second Spring and that the website will help you to navigate this journey of change.

My Second Spring E-book

{caption}

The Best Friend’s Guide: Anxiety - A Practical Toolkit For Moving Beyond Anxiety at Menopause - $15

Thanks Girls another great book ! Well done My Second Spring, the advice is practical, down to earth and I’m already working on my toolkit. Thank you so much

Order Now

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Menopause symptoms can be very challenging - seek out advice and support!
Mariella Frostrup and how we need to talk about menopause and plan ahead.

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