Menopause and The Mansfield Herbalist
What is menopause?
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when she stops having periods and can no longer conceive naturally. The word menopause actually refers to the final menstrual period, and women are said to be ‘post-menopausal’ when they have not had a period for 12 months. The average age for menopause in the UK is around 51 years.
Generally, though, we refer to menopause as the transition stage in a woman’s life before and after the last menstrual cycle. This is a natural stage of a woman’s life, although some women experience an early menopause or ‘premature’ menopause. This can be due to genetic factors or might be as a result of illness or surgery.
Some women find their final menstrual period comes and goes almost unnoticed. However, many women experience difficulties such as hot flushes, mood changes, facial hair, vaginal dryness and loss of libido.
Do we know why menopause evolved?
Menopause changes occur due to fluctuating levels of hormones and although we have an understanding of what is happening to the hormones, there is no real theory explaining why it happens. Menopause is viewed differently around the world, and some women seem to experience no difficulties during the transition. It is tempting to assume this is due to their specific diet and lifestyle. However, there are so many different factors to consider that it is difficult to be sure.
Menopausal changes are usually noticed from around 45 years. The initial changes might be an altered menstrual cycle, maybe weight gain or changes to sex drive. Hot flushes can occur and might continue even after the final period.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or other hormonal treatments may be prescribed to ease the symptoms of menopause, and these can be helpful to ease symptoms.
Herbal remedies for menopause symptoms
Herbal medicine is an alternative choice for many women. When you consult a herbalist for menopausal problems, the herbalist considers various lifestyle factors such as your nutrition and general health, and help you develop a plan to manage the transition more comfortably. Sometimes simple changes can make a huge difference, but if herbal remedies are required, they will be prescribed on an individual basis, carefully considering your particular health needs and circumstances.
You might have been told that herbs don’t work for menopause, or that they are dangerous. Please take a look at the FAQ page for more information about this.
Loss of confidence during menopause
As a midlife woman myself, I feel strongly that menopause should not be medicalised. It is not an illness and although it can be a tiring and difficult time, it can also present us with opportunities for change as we grow older. This time of life can offer us new freedom and confidence and I love to see women developing a more comfortable and empowered approach to this transitional stage.
Women often come and see me due to loss of confidence in the menopausal years. It is easy to feel we have become unattractive and ‘invisible’ in a society where youth and beauty are so highly valued. If we add issues such as intrusive hot flushes or uncomfortable sex, life can become pretty challenging. In these circumstances I might suggest some simple, practical solutions alongside a herbal prescription designed to reduce the hot flushes and increase vaginal lubrication! Herbalists have been doing this for centuries. Women treating women for awkward and embarrassing complaints. Sometimes the simplest herbal remedies can work wonders and many of my patients are feeling much better within a few weeks.
How can The Mansfield Herbalist help?
I have a reputation for being a very common-sense practitioner. My nursing background has led to a solution focused attitude and people sometimes find the perception of their problem changes during the course of our consultation. The clinic is a safe and confidential environment and you needn’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk about the most difficult or intimate of issues. Following the consultation, we will agree a treatment plan which may include herbal tincture, herbal tea or possibly a different application of a remedy such as herbal pessaries.
Occasionally I might feel that herbal medicine will not be beneficial or is not appropriate for you. In these circumstances I will help you find a more suitable solution. Sometimes we might agree that you need to visit (or revisit) your GP and I am happy to liaise with your GP if necessary.
Menopause has been a taboo subject in society until very recently. Although we still don’t really know why it’s happening, I believe we can make the most of it, and make it into the best stage of our lives so far.
Give me a call if you’d like to chat about menopause or any health or wellbeing issue. My phone number is 07746 370515.
You can also get in touch using the contact me page, or via email at Eleanor@mansfieldherbalist.
The Lotus Therapy Centre at The Limes, 54 Nottingham Rd, Mansfield, Notts, NG18 1BN