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Easy, Inexpensive Methods to Stave Off Menopause

written by Carissa Andrews - Apr 6, 2020
medically reviewed by Dr. Christine Bishara, MD - May 16, 2022

Photo Credit: by Advik Verma,
Photo Credit: by Advik Verma,

Menopause is a natural stage of every woman’s lifecycle, but there’s sometimes a hidden stigma around it. Many women don’t really understand it, nor realize that the symptoms most people talk about are actually associated with perimenopause (pre-menopause) and not the real McCoy. Interestingly enough, while the average age for menopause is 47, about 1% of women experience it early – meaning before age 45. While you wouldn’t think timing would be a big deal, this early onset of menopause is actually linked to a number of health risks that we all want to avoid, if we can help it. These include osteoporosis, depression, dementia, and cardiovascular disease. So, what can we do to lower this risk of early menopause? We have a few natural tips for you.

Women in Your 30’s – Listen Up!

If you’re in your 30’s, now’s the time to at the very least, educate yourself on the phases of menopause so you know what to expect. Most of the time, there isn’t a lot we can do during this time frame to tell if or when we’ll go into menopause. However, that being said, there is a new blood test that may be able to tell you when menopause will start for you. The catch is, you have to be within a 3-year window.

The bad news is that some of the perimenopausal symptoms can start arising as early as your 30’s, too. There are a ton of little things a woman does that can add up to early menopause. Some of them can even be common items that most women use on a regular basis, such as cosmetics, plastics, and household cleaners containing phthalates. So, even if you’re a decade away from true menopause, it’s important to spot the symptoms for yourself, too. They include:

• Changes in your menstrual cycle – either shortening, skipping, or changes in flow

• Changes in your PMS symptoms – either stronger or lessening

• Mood changes – including an increase in depression and irritability

• Hot flashes – which can sometimes be confused for a panic/anxiety attack during earlier years

• Increase in urinary tract infections

• Difficulty sleeping

• Vaginal dryness, itching, or burning

• Painful sex

• Decreased libido

Interestingly, there is a new procedure coming to the market that claims it can delay menopause for women by as much as a decade. It involves cryogenically freezing part of a woman’s ovary, then to be reinserted as the woman gets older. However, the medical community is conflicted in their opinion as to whether or not this procedure is safe, so it might be best to wait and watch what unfolds here. While the jury is out on this new menopausal delay procedure, there is plenty that can be done during these years to lower your risk of early onset.

Natural Ways to Delay the Change

If you’re not wanting to get too drastic about avoiding early onset menopause, you do have other options in order to delay the big change. In fact, some of them might even be things you’re doing already. Let’s take a look at some of the new studies that are highlighting the impacts of having an active sex life and family can bring.

1. Have Kids – While they might add a few extra gray hairs on your head, having kids does have its benefits. If early menopause is a concern, a new study has linked childbirth to a reduced risk of early menopause. In fact, the more you have, the lower your risk: one child = 8% lowered risk, two children = 16% lowered risk, and three children = 22% lowered risk.

2. Breastfeed – As if you need another reason to breastfeed… but as it turns out, a new study has found women who breastfed one to six months (cumulative) were at a 5% lowered risk of early menopause and those seven to twelve months had a 28% reduced risk.

3. Regular Sex – Want a way to delay menopause by nearly 20%? Have more frequent sex. It might sound cliché, but that same study suggests that women who had sex at least once per month were at a 19% lowered risk of going into menopause early. Better yet, women who had sex weekly were 28% less likely to go into early menopause. Not too shabby, right? This study is pretty significant because it’s the first of its kind showing a link between frequency of sex and the onset of menopause. Most believe this link has to do with the biological reason for ovulation. If you’re having frequent sex, there’s an increased chance of reproduction. If you’ve stopped having sex, there’s no point in ovulating. The thing is, keeping up with a more active sex life can be a challenge. Not only is your body rebelling by a drop in hormones, but there can be plenty of outside and inside influences, too.

On the flipside, studies have shown women who smoke are 26% more likely to enter menopause early. So, if you’re a smoker, you might want to think again about giving it the kick.

Perimenopause Striking Now? Here’s What You Can Do.

If you’re in the midst of the stages of menopause and you’re experiencing symptoms that are detrimentally impacting your life, you do have options. Whether you want to stick with natural remedies or go the medication route, we have you covered.

• Natural Remedies – There are some great natural remedies that can help relieve the symptoms of menopause. For example, a higher intake of fruits and vegetables may lessen your menopause symptoms, according to Menopause. It also might be a good idea to try the Keto Diet, as it relies heavily on low-carbs and high protein, which can result in weight loss.

• Medicines – There are a number of medicines your doctor may prescribe to make sure you’re feeling your best. Most of the time, these medications will be prescribed upon request because menopause is a natural transition and not every woman will need additional support. However, if you are one of the women who do, these are the most commonly prescribed medications:

o Vaginal Creams – These creams are just like they sound – creams that are spread over the labia and vaginal opening. They provide low levels of the female sex hormone estrogen to treat the immediate discomforts that can be associated with menopause: vaginal dryness, itching, burning, and painful intercourse. A popular prescription is Premarin Vaginal Cream, manufactured by Wyeth and Pfizer.

o Vaginal Tablets – Just like with vaginal creams, these medications emit a low dosage of estrogen into the vaginal tissue to treat the symptoms of dryness, burning, and itching. Rather than be in a cream form, these come in a vaginal suppository tablet. A commonly prescribed version of this is Vagifem, manufactured by Novo Nordisk.

o Estrogen Replacement Therapy – Some women wish to treat some of the more systemic symptoms of menopause, such as spotting, hot flashes, sweating, and chills. When this is the case, an estrogen replacement therapy in the form of a tablet might be more what they need. Commonly prescribed drugs of this classification are Duavee and Premarin, both manufactured by Pfizer.

One thing is for sure, menopause at any age is a big change. It affects everything from how your body metabolizes food and stores fat, the energy levels you have, and stabilize your outlook on life. You can celebrate this “change” by keeping a sense of humor and even enjoying fun events, such as Menopause, The Musical. Keeping positive during this time can mean a world of a difference. Afterall, as women, we all go through it, so we may as well find some joy in it as well.



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