Life after Menopause
In the past, menopause has been reduced to a sign of old age and the end of life. Women who entered menopause had to give up their work, their independence, and their sexuality and relegate themselves to the life of an old spinster. Thank goodness we now know better than to think this way. An abundance of new information about menopause and post menopause has led to a much greater acceptance of this phase in a woman's life. Women are now free to enjoy their changing bodies, and can live an abundant and joyful life. There is life after menopause, and you may find it far more exciting than you thought possible!
Society and Menopause
Even as recently as the 1980s, menopause was looked upon as a scary, and even disgusting change. Women who were going through menopause were "cursed" to a life of solitude and asexuality. You may remember your mother or grandmother refusing to talk about menopause - she may not even have acknowledged that she was going through it. This was because society looked down on menopause as unnatural. No books or pamphlets were available to read, and if you so much as snapped at someone, it was evidence that you were definitely going through "the change."
Nowadays, we are witnessing a huge change in the perception of menopause. In part, this is due to that fact that women live over a third of their lives after menopause, in a period called postmenopause. Also, large numbers of women are now entering menopause thanks to the "baby boomer" generation. Women who are postmenopausal no longer have to be the old spinster. Postmenopausal women can be business people, homemakers, writers, travelers, and lovers. If you are postmenopausal, you now have the freedom to enjoy your life without having to hide your body or your emotional self. Society no longer views menopause as a sign of asexuality, but instead as a natural part of womanhood.
Well-Being after Menopause
If you are going through menopause or perimenopause, you may still be worried about what your life is going to look like after it's all over. You are probably a little scared about how your body will feel, how your mood will be, and whether or not you will be able to enjoy life in the same way. Well, put your fears to rest, because life after menopause can be quite enjoyable.
Physical Well-Being: As you were going through menopause, you probably suffered from quite a number of unpleasant symptoms. From hot flashes to depression, you may have felt it all. Well, postmenopausal life should be a lot more comfortable for you. Symptoms of menopause will begin to decline and stress will fade, leaving you much more relaxed (and less hot)! As your body becomes accustomed to your new hormone levels, you will begin to feel more comfortable in your body. You may notice a few changes, including weight gain, but this is natural and nothing to be ashamed of. Be proud of your body and remember, you are still the same person you were before menopause, only with some great new features!
Sexual Well-Being: Many postmenopausal women wonder what their sex life will be like once they have completed menopause. Some worry that they will lose their libido or that their partner will no longer be interested in them sexually. However, a recent study in the UK found that most postmenopausal women actually have a better sex life than they did before menopause. 65% reported being happier in their sex lives and this may be due to the lack of concern over an unplanned pregnancy. Postmenopausal women may find themselves free to enjoy sex now that many of the worries associated with it no longer apply. Postmenopausal women also seem to have an easier time reaching orgasm, and are more likely to experience multiple orgasms during intercourse.
A small percentage of women do experience a reduced sex drive during and after menopause. This may be due to physical changes in the body, such as vaginal dryness, which can make sex uncomfortable. Emotional concerns can also impact your sex drive after menopause. If you are worried about the way your body looks or the way your partner may react to your body, this could impact your sex drive negatively. Health concerns such as heart disease or osteoporosis may also affect your desire to have sex. If a lowered sex drive is becoming a problem for you or your partner, discuss it with your health care provider, as treatments are available.
Emotional Well-Being: After menopause, you may find yourself experiencing new levels of satisfaction in your life. In a recent study, more than 75% of women reported that they were having more fun in their everyday lives, and 93% reported an increase in their independence. Menopause can be a time when new doors open up for you. You may find yourself having the freedom to explore new job options, travel, or leisure activities. Many women also find that they have time for greater self-exploration.
Some women will find that their mood may lower at certain times after menopause. Increased financial responsibilities, health concerns, and work problems can all contribute to low mood. Pile this on top of the menopausal changes that you have undergone and it just may be too much. If you find yourself very unhappy, speak with your doctor, as treatments are available. You may also want to look into joining a menopause support group.
Chat with other menopausal women about life after menopause in our menopause forum.