C is for contraception..

Being peri-menopausal means your fertility is reduced but not entirely gone. Contraception is still required to prevent those unwanted little additions

Think you’re menopausal? Here’s why you shouldn’t ditch precautions.

According to Dr. Roger Henderson, unintended pregnancies in older women occur as often as they do in younger women!

“I am sometimes asked by women who are going through the peri-menopause – the time when their hormones are changing as they head towards menopause – if they still need to use contraception and they are often surprised when I say to the vast majority of them that they should.

They are even more surprised to learn that spontaneous pregnancies have occurred up to the age of 59, and that unintended pregnancy rates in older women occur at levels similar to those in young women.

As a general rule, reliable contraception should be used until the menopause is confirmed either by periods having stopped totally for 2 years before the age of 50, or for 12 months after this age.

So, what types of contraception should a woman entering her menopause consider? Fortunately, there are many possible options here and each case needs to be taken on its own merit, so always discuss this with your doctor in order to help make an informed decision.”

N.B. For women who use hormone based contraceptives, such as the pill, mini-pill, injection, Mirena coil, etc, you may not be able to tell when your last period occurred as the hormones mask your natural cycle. You should ask your doctor when you can stop using contraception during your usual check ups. Bear in mind too, that condoms are also a safe guard against sexually transmitted diseases at any age!

Whatever choice you make, do not always assume that the start of the menopause means you no longer need contraception – you do!

B is for bone health

Bone loss accelerates during and after menopause for about five to seven years. It's vital to take care of your bone health in menopause.

Normal bone loss accelerates during and after menopause for about five to seven years. You can lose as much as 35 percent of your bone density during those few, short years…many people have weak bones and don’t even know it! Hormone imbalance, due to low levels of progesterone, over-acidic diet, nutrient deficiencies, smoking, excess alcohol, and sedentary behaviour are common osteoporosis risk factors. The good news is that there’s lots you can do. Healthy progesterone levels are vital and a healthy diet that includes calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, and magnesium, an organic progesterone cream and regular weight-bearing exercise also help to support bone health.

What is bone?

Bone is a living substance that contains blood vessels, nerves, and cells. There are two types of cells that control your bone structure:

▪ Osteoblasts – cells that build your bones

▪ Osteoclasts – cells that break down old or damaged bone to make room for new bone

Strong bones protect your heart, lungs, and brain from injury.

4 Steps to Help Protect Your Bones in Menopause

One of the best ways to achieve bone health in menopause (or any other time) is a diet rich in fresh, raw whole foods. In addition, you need healthy sun exposure along with regular, weight-bearing exercise:

  • Optimise your vitamin D3 either from natural sunlight exposure, a safe tanning bed or an oral vitamin D3 supplement. Check your blood levels regularly to make sure you’re within the optimal range.
  • Optimise your vitamin K1 through a combination of dietary sources (leafy green vegetables, fermented foods like natto, raw milk cheeses, etc.) and a K2 supplement, if needed.
  • Make sure you do weight-bearing exercises.
  • Consume a wide variety of fresh, local, organic whole foods, including vegetables, nuts, seeds, organic meats and eggs, and raw organic unpasteurised dairy for calcium and other nutrients. The more of your diet you consume RAW, the better nourished you will be. Minimise sugar and refined grains.

N.B. Osteoporosis Drugs

Contrary to what you’ve been told, most osteoporosis drugs actually weaken your bones. Bisphosphonate bone drugs impact your normal bone repair process by killing off your osteoclasts, and do make your bones denser, but because the osteoclasts are killed the bone is actually weaker as it is not remodelled properly.

AND REMEMBER!…it’s never too late to start! 

A-Z of menopause: A is for anxiety…

We were inspired by a recent blog to write a an A-Z of menopause – Thanks Simply Ceremonies. It’s such a wide ranging subject so there’s lots to learn. Keep coming back as we work our way through the alphabet. Let us know if there’s a subject you’d like us to tackle by emailing us at info@menopausematters.guru

A is for anxiety

One of the most common symptoms of the menopause is anxiety.  Worry, tension and fear have a really negative effect so it makes sense to reduce them as soon as possible.  If you have felt more anxious than usual try these 5 ways to alleviate it

1. Meditation – Calm your mind by developing a meditation habit. Select a quiet, comfortable place and meditate for a few minutes each day. You don’t need any special equipment, just a quiet space. Getting out in nature helps too. You can find plenty of meditation videos on You Tube. One we recommend is https://relaxlikeaboss.com/the-art-of-mindfulness/ We welcome feedback, so let us know what you think 🙂

2.  Take time out –  Where possible remove yourself from the situation which is making you anxious. Listen to music, get a massage or learn relaxation techniques.

3.  Diet – Choose foods to boost your mood. Foods rich in Vitamin B such as pork, chicken, leafy greens and citrus fruits. Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) have been linked with uplifted and enhanced moods. Try salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines. Avoid caffeinated drinks and sugar. Avoid processed foods. All foods should be organic to avoid the interfering effects of added hormones and pesticides.

4. Exercise – Evidence shows a link between physical activity and mental wellbeing. Try introducing more exercise into your day and making it a habit. You don’t need to go to a gym to work out, having a good time dancing, a brisk walk or even taking the stairs instead of the lift are all just as effective.

5. Sleep – Make sure you get enough sleep. Tiredness exacerbates anxiety and you can cope with life much better if you aren’t feeling tired and grumpy. If you’re having trouble sleeping try our article on sleep How to get a good night’s sleep

Have you noticed yourself feeling more anxious since peri-menopause? What have you tried? Share your remedies with us in the comments section or on our Facebook page

Pressing for progress on menopause – Happy International Women’s Day

How to have a stress free natural menopause. Happy International Womens Day

It’s International Women’s Day on Thursday 8th March, IWD is a global day celebrating the social economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also calls for gender parity. We have come a long way but there is still work to do. 

Each year there is a theme and this year it’s press for progress focussing on equal pay and recognition for women. 

 At Menopause Matters Guru we are pressing for progress to ensure women are enlightened and empowered about the menopause. Many women have been taught to fear the menopause believing that it is nothing but gloom and doom coupled with a huge mixture of horrible symptoms ranging from well known hot flushes and mood swings to the lesser known joint pain and burning tongue. With those thoughts in your head who could be blamed for dreading this time that all women experience?

 It doesn’t have to be like that.

 There’s lots you can do and you don’t have to resort to hormone replacement therapy or antidepressants. 

 We are great advocates of using natural remedies and holistic methods. We believe by taking a whole body approach you can have a stress free, natural menopause. 

 Start with what goes on in your head and work down. Just believing that the menopause is the start of all good things and freedom from lots of other parts of life that have been holding you back will help immensely. We regularly publish positive affirmations on our social media to get you on the right track. 

Hormone imbalance which is the cause of most menopause symptoms can be approached from a whole variety of angle. You can apply a natural progesterone cream which fits with your body’s own receptors. You should ensure it has the correct percentage of progesterone in it or it will be ineffective.

Next think about what you are fuelling your body with. If you feed it with junk food, highly processed foods and sugar, it doesn’t owe you any favours. Adapt your diet to contain more natural, organic vegetables, fruits fish and meat. The closer your food is to its natural state, the better.  The beauty of home cooked food is you know what goes in it. You can be sure there will be no nasty additives or artificial ingredients.

Take a good look in your cleaning  cupboards and the products you use for self care. Are they chemical cocktails of toxic substances. These all affect your hormone balance in the form of xeno-oestrogens. Check the ingredients and reduce harmful chemicals where possible by switching to natural alternatives. 

Exercise is also crucial to your wellbeing. You don’t need to do lots but it’s good to establish a regular habit. We like the 7 minute workouts which can easily be found on YouTube.

Lastly take time to relax and refresh your mind with some meditation. Just 5 minutes a day will soon get you feeling more chilled and less stressed.

Our blog contains lots of information on how you can make your menopause a happier, stress free time. Take a look through and feel free to email us with any questions at info@menopausematters.guru or join our Facebook group for mutual support and a safe space to share your wins and worries

Contraception and the Menopause

How long do you need to use contraception at menopause?

How long do you need to use contraception at menopause?

Although fertility reduces as you age, you cannot be certain that you are infertile. It’s vital to remember that, until your periods have stopped completely, it’s still possible for you to fall pregnant. Unless you are trying to have a baby (eeek!!) you still need to use contraception.

If you use a currently use a barrier method e.g. condoms, non hormonal IUD, you should continue taking precautions for 2 years since the date of your last period if you are 50 or under. If you are over 50 then you need to use contraceptives for 1 year after your last period.

For women who use hormone based contraceptives, e.g. The pill, mini-pill, injection, Mirena coil, you may not be able to tell when your last period occurred as the hormones mask your natural cycles. You should ask your doctor when you can stop using contraception during your usual check ups.

N.B. Bio-identical progesterone cream should not be used as a contraceptive.