Some women barely realise that menopause is upon them. Other women, however, are less fortunate. If you’re one of the latter, take on board these few ways to make your experience easier on yourself:

  • Understand and accept that you’re going through a natural transition, much like puberty. Fortunately, you’re older and wiser now than you were back then and better placed to deal with all those hormonal upheavals. Also like puberty, menopause is not just a time of change with your body; it is also a time of change with your life.

  • Make sure that you have a doctor with whom you can really communicate; that means that your doctor listens to you, you listen to him or her, and that you are comfortable with and confident in taking your doctor’s advice.

  • Re-evaluate the lifestyle you have. If you continue with any bad habits you have now, your body will let you know about it far sooner than it ever did before. The need for healthy eating, frequent exercise (that means going for it at least five times a week), and enough sleep has never been so important. Maintaining a healthy weight helps you avoid a variety of serious medical conditions.

  • Ask your doctor for a regular gynaecology examination and general check-up. If you experience any symptoms – physical and mental – track and discuss these with your GP.

  • Be patient with yourself. Look for ways to relax and reduce stress. Stress makes many menopausal symptoms worse and makes your body more susceptible to disease. Unwind – take the time to do things you enjoy, whether that be visiting your pals, joining a pilates class, going for a hike, or do voluntary charity work. Spend time doing whatever makes you feel really good about yourself.