"Male menopause is a lot more fun than female menopause. With female menopause you gain weight and get hot flashes. Male menopause - you get to date young girls and drive motorcycles." ~ Author Unknown

Menopause: The "change of life", being irritable, annoyed, bitchy, sad, quarrelsome, snappy, gloomy, sour, bad-tempered, tough, unsociable, sarcastic, distressed, scared, depressed or agitated. 

For those of you who breezed through menopause without any symptoms, I give you my heartiest congratulations. You have escaped something akin to an alien invading your body.

Prior to menopause, we had another "change" when we were young girls.  It was called "menstruation" or, as some mothers used to call it, "the curse."

When I was in the sixth grade, my parents signed a permission slip for me to see a "special film" at school for girls only.  The title of the film was It's Wonderful Being a Girl (Johnson & Johnson, 1968), and taught us how our bodies were changing and how these changes were preparing us for womanhood.

The town in the movie looked like Mayberry, and the females reminded me of the movie The Stepford Wives – all perfectly coiffed young girls smiling and skipping while menstruating.

What a pretty picture.

So, was it wonderful being a girl? After experiencing monthly cramps, bloating and irritability I wasn't sure.  But I felt better gaining the knowledge that my body would be changing in the coming years. At least now I knew what to expect.

"You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation." ~Brigham Young

I once watched a program on PBS featuring Dr. Christiane Northrup, an authority on women's health and wellness. Dr. Northrup made the point that women need to make peace with their menopausal symptoms since it's a natural occurrence taking place in their bodies. As part of the aging process, it's something we need to embrace and not fight.

Hormonal changes, an inability to achieve the proper amount of sleep, depression, dry skin, loss of sex drive, hormone replacement, fluctuations in weight, sadness and forgetfulness are just some of the issues associated with menopause.

When I first heard Dr. Northrup say I should make peace with menopause I thought she was crazy. Make peace with feeling like an extraterrestrial creature?

It's always been my belief that each day is a gift. Carpe Diem. But how can you seize the day when your hormones are raging?

The more I read Dr. Northrup's book, The Wisdom of Menopause, the more at ease I feel about my menopausal symptoms, and the positive side of menopause:

  • Better sex
  • Taking better care of our bodies
  • Feeling more fit and energetic
  • Stronger sense of self-esteem and confidence
  • A better awareness about our changing bodies  

Here are a few tips for you on dealing with your menopausal symptoms:

  • Communication is important as we age, so discuss menopausal symptoms with your friends.  Discussing your physical and emotional issues with people you trust is vitally important.
  • If you're looking for natural alternatives to ease your menopausal symptoms, I suggest you take a look at the WomensHealth.gov website for more information.
  • If you want to explore hormone replacement, I suggest you investigate bioidentical hormones. I recommend a book written by Suzanne Somers called "Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones."

Speak with your doctor before taking any supplements. You should also discuss hormone replacement, bioidentical hormones, loss of libido, night sweats/hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, fatigue, hair loss/thinning, sleep disorders or any menopausal symptoms that are troubling you.

"The older we get, the better we get at being ourselves. We're not busy being born, but busy being born again." ~Anna Quindlen

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Cathy Chester blogs at An Empowered Spirit, which won third prize in Healthline’s Best Health Blog Contest in 2014, was named #2 of the “Top 10 Social HealthMakers in MS” by Sharecare “ and received a nomination for the past 3 years as WEGO Health’s Best in Show Blog. She is a contributor for The Huffington Post as well as a blogger for MultipleSclerosis.net and Boomeon. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Midlife Boulevard, BetterAfter50, Erma Bombecks’ Writers Circle, The Friendship Circle and Woman at Woodstock.