Nearing Menopause- How Your Body Changes After 40

Menopause is perhaps the biggest transition for any woman. It signals that your biological clock is close to stopping, and your reproductive ability is nearing closure. The change does not happen overnight and may take years to complete. But its signs show up right at the start when your body undergoes visible and subtle changes. For most women, it starts at the age of forty. It is often a milestone that indicates the beginning of your menopause. Here are the changes you can expect to notice in your body after forty.

Unpredictable period

Menopause entails cessation of the period, but it does not happen at once. You go through perimenopause in your forties and gradually move towards menopause years later. But your period starts getting unpredictable after forty. They may get closer together or farther apart. You may experience a difference in flow patterns and even skip a month or two to resume again. Your gynecologist can recommend remedies for chaotic menstrual cycles, though you can let it progress naturally too. 

Bladder control issues

It sounds hard to believe, but you may have to deal with bladder control issues after crossing forty. The problem can get more pronounced as you age. It happens due to a decrease in estrogen production, which weakens the muscles supporting the bladder. You can experience urine leakage even with common activities like coughing and laughing. Fortunately, you can deal with incontinence with some simple remedies. Cutting down on alcohol and caffeine helps. Weight loss and Kegel exercises are also effective. 

Vaginal dryness

A decrease in hormone levels is normal as you get closer to menopause. It results in thinning of vaginal walls, and menopausal vaginal dryness follows eventually. You may also experience a loss of libido because the condition often leads to pain. Vaginal exercises can help by stimulating blood flow in the area. It also tones up muscles and maintains the elasticity of the vagina. Get recommendations from your gynecologist and start early to prevent the problem from aggravating. 

Consistent hair loss

Another visible change you will probably notice in your early forties is thinning out of your hair. Most women do not lose enough to cause bald spots, but consistent hair fall is often a concern. Hair loss increases as you approach menopause because estrogen production decreases drastically. Good hair care can alleviate the issue significantly. Use quality hair care products, cut down the use of styling tools, and limit chemical treatments like coloring. 

Slow metabolism

As you grow older, your metabolism tends to slow down. The efficiency with which your body produces energy decreases. Even as you have the same routine, you burn fewer calories, and the surplus ones turn into fat. Not surprisingly, women often gain weight after stepping into their forties. You can make some changes in your diet and exercise routine to counter the effects and help to build up a healthy metabolism. Work up to creating a calorie deficit and burn more of them with regular exercise. 

While these are some common changes that women come across after forty, the experience differs from person to person. If you are lucky enough, the transition may be the smoothest. Conversely, you can seek help if these signs become bothersome. 

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