Herbal Remedies for Menopause

Menopause is part of the natural, life-long process of female growth and development. The word menopause originates from the Greek words meaning "to cease" and "month." In essence, menopause refers to the stopping of menstruation. For most American women, menopause occurs at an average age of 51, but it can begin as early as 40 and end as late as 58.

Every woman's menopause is unique and personal. Four out of five women go through "the change of life," as menopause is often called, with few signs beyond the ending of their monthly periods.

As your body ages (gracefully of course) it goes through a lot of changes - and at this stage in your life your body's production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone start to decline. It is this reduction in natural levels of the female hormones that brings about the menopausal symptoms and change of life.

The three clear signs of the onset of menopause are an irregular monthly flow, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Hot flashes have long been considered the classic symptom of menopause. A woman experiencing a hot flash may feel a sudden wave of warmth in the face, neck, and chest, lasting for several minutes and accompanied by reddening of the skin, like blushing.

A hot flash can make you perspire - in some cases profusely - and may bring on headaches, dizziness and an increased heart rate (though it's nothing to be overly concerned with - it's usually just your heart trying to cope with the increase in blood flow). An effective method for dealing with hot flashes (or hot flushes depending on what part of the world you live in) is to help control your temperature by wearing several layers of clothing. When you get hot, you can always take some layers off. A cool shower often works well, but depends if you're at home or have access to a shower. Drinking cool liquids (not necessarily cold, but nicely cool) usually has a very beneficial effect as well.

Vaginal dryness is another classic sign of menopause, though one less talked about. As your body is producing less female hormones (estrogen and progesterone), the side effect of this is to thin out the urinary tract and vaginal walls, which leaves the skin there even more delicate and susceptible to damage and infection. In some cases, this thinning can make sexual intercourse an uncomfortable and even painful experience.

There are many natural herbs for menopause that you can take to ease the symptoms, but one of the best remedies for the dryness is to use natural creams and/or lubricants like ky jelly, apricot or vitamin E oil. All of these will make having sex a much more pleasurable experience again (but unfortunately can't account for the performance of a partner!). There are other over the counter or prescription creams that your physician may also recommend, many of which contain extra estrogen.

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About The Author, Wendy Jones
About the Author: Wendy Jones has her own menopause support website. For handy tips and support on herbs for menopause visit her site Early Menopause Symptoms Support
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