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Very few women are given details on what to expect on the back-end of fertility. Mothers and doctors, alike, don’t do young women the service of explaining the range of experiences that results from hormone fluctuations and decreases in sex hormones that accompany perimenopause and menopause.

7 Things No Ones Tells You ABout Perimenopause AND Menopause

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The 411 on Post-Fertility Years & How Cannabis Could Help

If you’re like me, your mother told you that painful periods were just a part of being a girl. She may have warned you that breast feeding wasn’t easy. She may have explained the importance of not holding it when you have to pee. On the flip side, very few women are given details on what to expect on the back-end of fertility. Mothers and doctors, alike, don’t do young women the service of explaining the range of experiences that results from hormone fluctuations and decreases in sex hormones that accompany perimenopause and menopause. Here are 7 things about perimenopause and menopause I wish I had known:

7 Things to Know About Perimenopause & Menopause

START EARLY.

Menopause-related symptoms can surface up to 10 years before noticeable changes in your period. Starting a cannabis regime before menopause can decrease the early symptoms of perimenopause. Cannabis can help with mood swings, fatigue and minor aches and pains.

DON’T IGNORE BRAIN FOG.

Shifting hormones affect your brain and HOW YOU THINK. This can take the form of brain fog and a memory more slippery than black ice. Cannabis has been shown to reduce the inflammation of neurons that can play a role in brain fog. Additionally, THC and CBD have antioxidant properties and are known to protect against the degeneration of neurons and nerve cells in the brain.

SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 61% of menopausal women experience insomnia. Don’t back-burner sleep and don’t even think about feeling guilty for it, it’s essential for feeling your best. Studies show that cannabis improves insomnia symptoms and sleep quality.

HOT FLASHES AND NIGHT SWEATS ARE NO JOKE.

Hot-flashes, night sweats and periods of intense cold are part of the stereotypical experience. While the intensity of the thermal chaos is real, it won’t last forever. CBD/THC can help with temperature regulation so the swings in body temperature are less dramatic.

BALANCE YOUR HORMONES NATURALLY.

Cannabis is believed to balance your hormones. THC and CBD can be used to influence hormones like cortisol (the stress hormone), melatonin (the sleep hormone) and lastly but not limited to estogren (your sex hormone).

DON’T IGNORE CHANGES IN YOUR LIBIDO OR VAGINA.

It’s not fair to you, or your partner. CBD promotes vasodilation, sending blood flow to the genitals, boosting sensitivity, enhancing natural lubrication and arousal, plus it may enhance a neurotransmitter called anandamide (AKA the “bliss neurotransmitter”), which is associated with oxytocin (AKA the “cuddle hormone”)—a winning combination.

VAGINAL DRYNESS IS COMMON.

Typically, a thin layer of moisture coats the walls of the vagina. The female hormone estrogen is responsible for this lubrication, so when estrogen levels decrease, vaginal dryness tends to occur. While menopause is a primary cause of the dryness due to the drop in estrogen production, other causes include breastfeeding, stress, childbirth, immune system disorders, and smoking.  Vaginal dryness can be easily addressed with cocoa butter based suppositories and personal lubricant. 

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An EMpowering NEw Look on Life

Overall, aging isn’t the end and it isn’t scary. Yes, I’d prefer not to catch a glimpse of loose skin and sun spots, but I wouldn’t go back to having less say in my life, obligation-filled weeks, and being distracted from what makes me truly happy. 

Menopause can bring an empowering new outlook on life. Many women experience a freeing new phenomenon of caring less about what other people think, caring more about nurturing their authentic self, being original, speaking up and saying yes to the right things and no to the wrong ones. This new outlook inspires many to take on new challenges and pursue life-long dreams. What can be bad about that?

As a woman whose “been there, done that” I’d encourage you to care for yourself as you do your loved ones, appreciate your health, and look forward to your wise, seasoned years.

-Carrie Mapes

Finally, if you’d like to tackle perimenopause and menopause naturally, connect with a cannabis nurse. A cannabis nurse can educate you on The Endocannabinoid System’s (ECS) role in women’s various stages of reproductive life, how cannabis can be a plant ally for navigating hormone regulation and symptom management of cognitive function, hot flashes, libido, vaginal dryness, insomnia, pain/inflammation, anxiety/depression, and beyond.

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