When turning 40, women go through a natural biological process called perimenopause. The female body has numerous physical changes due to hormone levels fluctuation. Let’s take a closer look at these body changes that you might expect to see to know how to deal with turning 40.
Irregular Menstrual Periods
As you get closer to menopause, your body goes through a natural stage in which your menstrual periods become unpredictable. This stage is characterized by hormonal changes causing your ovaries to be virtually depleted of eggs. As a result, periods may come early or late. Some cycles will be very heavy, and there may be months when you don’t have any periods at all.
What you can do for yourself before seeking help from doctors is keep a menstrual diary in which you note down when the last period began and stopped. This will provide you and your doctor with sufficient insight into your menstrual condition.
Besides, taking oral contraceptives and using hormone-releasing intrauterine devices (IUDs) are two options for treating irregular menstrual periods. Keep in mind that these treatments must be carried out under the supervision of a doctor.
Hair loss in women is usually less prevalent than in men. The majority of women suffer from hair thinning rather than bald spots. The hair on the front, sides and top of the head might become thinner than usual. However, hair might fall out in huge clumps by brushing and bathing.
Hair loss during perimenopause might be due to a lowered production of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones help hair grow faster and stay on the head. However, when estrogen and progesterone levels fall, hair grows more slowly and becomes thinner.
Depletion of estrogen and progesterone also causes an increase in the production of androgens, which cause hair follicles to shrink, resulting in hair loss on the head. Some ways to improve hair loss include:
- Reduce stress by doing yoga and paced breathing techniques
- Exercise regularly
- Follow a balanced, low-fat diet
- Drink a sufficient amount of water
- Avoid using heat styling tools such as hair dryers, straighteners, and artificial chemicals
- Explore bioidential hormone replacement therapy which can help balance out lost or depleted hormones
Hot flashes are acute feelings of internal warmth that occur suddenly in the upper body, most typically on the face, neck, and chest. Estrogen depletion, once again, might be the reason why women have hot flashes.
Hot flashes are not uncommon among women around the age of 40. As the most prevalent symptom of menopause and perimenopause, hot flashes occur in more than two-thirds of North American women. A study conducted in the US also showed that 87% of the women had daily hot flashes.
Some of the ways to cope with hot flashes are:
- Change your lifestyle
- Enroll in relaxation-based treatment
- Take hormonal medications, or
- Take non-hormonal medications (work with your doctor to determine what is best for you)
Leaky bladder affects many women, and the frequency of this problem seems to rise as you get older. Women might lose their bladder control under various circumstances. When you laugh, exercise, cough, or carry up heavy things, you may leak a few drops of urine. You could also get a sudden need to urinate.
Estrogen helps in the proper functioning of your bladder and urethra. On the other hand, your pelvic muscles may weaken due to a loss of estrogen as you approach menopause. These muscles might not be able to manage your bladder as well as they used to. Therefore, your leaky bladder symptoms may get worse as your estrogen levels decline throughout and after menopause.
To deal with a leaky bladder, you can consider changing your lifestyle in conjunction with regular pelvic floor exercise to help improve your pelvic muscles. Some other solutions might include:
- Reduce your coffee and alcohol intake
- Develop the habit of just urinating at specific times of the day
- Lose weight to relieve the pressure on your bladder and muscles
Menopause affects your skin in a variety of ways. You lose some fat under your skin, and your skin’s elasticity decreases due to the lack of collagen. Sagging around the neck, jawline, and cheeks, as well as fine lines and wrinkles, might result from this hormonal fluctuation.
Cleansing is an essential part of any skincare routine. Your skin might benefit significantly from more moisture as you get older and your skin becomes drier. Other procedures of skincare routine include using sunscreen, exfoliating products, skin-lightening products, and toners.
Antioxidant-rich meals may assist in strengthening your skin from the inside out. Look for meals that are brightly colored and consume a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants are rich in the most vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables.
Explore Better Hormone Health
ReVital offers free consultations where you can speak to one of our clinicians about ReVital’s Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. At ReVital, we can conduct simple blood tests to evaluate the levels of these hormones in your system and prescribe supplements or therapies to treat and control the majority of hormonal imbalances. We also encourage that you connect with your regular doctor about any changes in your health and moods.