If you are in your forties, then, first of all, you are fabulous! It’s an honor to make it to middle age! Honestly, with advanced healthcare and technology, forty really is the new thirty! Your forties are often a phase where women are more comfortable with who they are and making significant progress in their professional and personal lives.
Forty is also a time of significant change. These changes are commonly found in personal or family life, perhaps a change in your career, and change within your own body and health. Let’s take a look at some factors you should be aware of as you step into this new phase of your life.
Peri-Menopause: What is it?
Women in their 40’s who are in peri-menopause, also known as the transition phase right before menopause, are likely to experience all kinds of symptoms. These symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, sex drive changes, and overall bodily changes.
No one knows your body better than you. After all, it’s been yours for forty-plus years! Pay attention to any changes or challenges, and be sure to talk to your provider about what you’re experiencing. Remember, being embarrassed or not saying anything can be detrimental to your health.
As cycles change, women may start experiencing hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood changes. Please know that this is entirely normal, but these symptoms should also be discussed with your provider. There are several treatment options to help adjust to these changes that are taking place.
Be sure to keep track of your monthly cycle and be prepared to answer questions about its regularity and any pain or discomfort you might be feeling before or during your menstrual cycle. There are several apps available to do this quickly and efficiently!
There are some women in their 40s who are ready to have a child, and some who are ready to stop having kids altogether! Looking to start a family at this stage? Make sure you’re still adhering to your pap smear schedule and look for preconception counseling to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
If you want to avoid pregnancy, make sure you’re up-to-date with the birth control your comfortable with and explore alternatives with your gynecologist if you’re not sure.
Sexual Wellness and Beyond
Sometimes other topics that you might consider embarrassing need to be discussed during your annual visit too. Issues like libido, urinary leakage, or prolapse (when reproductive organs are beginning to move in the wrong places) should all be addressed if needed.
Are these topics uncomfortable to discuss? Yes. However, it’s far worse to live in discomfort every day. Your provider is here to help you and provide relief, so you can go about your life and regular routines.
Other Health Topics to Look out For
Make sure you get your timely mammograms, bone density screening as well as diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure check-ups. In short—an annual woman’s annual exam is a must! More information on women’s health in their 40s.
A gynecologist’s office should be a safe space for you. If it’s not, consider changing providers. As we grow older, it’s only natural that our body changes, and with those changes, we often seek answers to many, many questions. Be prepared to ask those questions and act upon the suggestions your providers will give to you. Hera Healthcare in Thousand Oaks is your safe space for women’s health. We specialize in gynecological health, sexual health and wellness and aesthetic wellness.
Life is full of change, and with change comes excellent progress! Remember to take care of yourself, and be proud of the progress you’re making in your own life!