At some point in every woman’s life, her hormone production drops below the level required to continue her periods. Some women welcome the end to monthly bleeding, bloating, and inconvenience.
But others find that menopause affects: their sex life,triggers mood swings,causes debilitating hot flashes, or even takes them down the road to bone and heart problems.
If menopause happens suddenly (caused by breast cancer treatment), leading to uncomfortable side effects and even dashed hopes of having a baby, it can feel like a disease even worse than breast cancer.
It’s these menopausal changes that may interfere most with day-to-day quality of life.
There are different kinds of menopause. If you have breast cancer, it is important to understand which kind of menopause you may be experiencing:
natural menopause, a normal part of the aging process
medical or surgical menopause that is the result of chemotherapy or ovary removal
“cold turkey” menopause that is the result of being taken off menopausal hormone therapy after you were diagnosed with breast cancer.
But the good news is that there are ways to manage symptoms and live more comfortably with menopause.
You can do many things to help ease your way through menopause. Lifestyle modifications (diet, exercise, smoking cessation, attitude) may be just as important and effective as medications in helping you feel better and live longer.