Change can be scary, but proper guidance can help make any transition an easier process. Perimenopause and menopause mark a major shift in a woman’s life, but proper care and a few lifestyle changes can help alleviate some symptoms.
Perimenopause vs. Menopause
First thing’s first: let’s go over the difference in perimenopause and menopause. Perimenopause is the first stage of when a woman’s body naturally transitions toward infertility. This period of time is marked by changes in estrogen levels and menstrual cycles. On average, perimenopause lasts about four years, but it has been known to span over a decade.
Once a woman has gone 12 straight months without a menstrual period, she has reached menopause. The average woman usually hits this stage around her early 50s, but it some people may reach menopause as early as their late 30s or as late as 60.
Perimenopause and a menopause can cause several changes in a woman’s body. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to
• Hot flashes
• Breast tenderness
• Lower sex drive
• Vaginal dryness
These effects can be unpleasant and unavoidable, but there are many ways that a woman can manage menopause systems to improve the quality of her life during this important stage.
Cancer of the cervix is the third most common cancer in women worldwide. Human papilloma virus (HPV) is linked to more than 99% of cervical cancers. Routine cervical cancer screening with Papanicolaou (Pap) tests can help detect early changes that could lead to cervical cancer if left untreated.
What is a Pap Test?
A Pap test is a microscopic exam of cells taken from the cervix. It is done during a routine physical exam with your doctor. Pap tests are recommended in women who are 21 years old or older. Based on new recommendations, routine Pap tests are no longer recommended in women under 21 whether or not they are sexually active. Between the ages of 21 and 29, routine Pap tests every 3 years are recommended. After the age of 30, Pap tests are usually done every 3-5 years.
If you are 65 years or older and have had previously normal Pap tests, usually cervical cancer screening with Pap tests can be stopped. Women who have had a hysterectomy (removal of uterus) only need to continue Pap tests if the cervix was not removed during surgery (called a partial hysterectomy).
What Are The Risk Factors Of Cervical Cancer?
Risk factors include:
- Sexual intercourse at a young age
- Multiple sexual partners
- Partner with known HPV infection
- History of sexually transmitted infections (HIV, herpes, chlamydia)
- Weakened immune system
As a first-time mother, or during any pregnancy, it's important to eat healthy.
Good nutrition during pregnancy improves your chance of having a healthy baby, and may even reduce the risk of other conditions in your child later in life.
We’ve collected a list of foods to eat-- and some to avoid-- when you are pregnant. At the end we’ve also included a few recipes that incorporate some of our suggested foods. Enjoy!
If you have more specific questions about proper nutrition during your pregnancy, contact your physician.
How to Eat Healthy When Pregnant
Eat foods packed with key vitamins & minerals.
Folic Acid, Omega-3 fatty acids
Vitamins A, B, C, E
Iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium, calcium
Fruit & Veggies
Mangoes, Avocados, Broccoli, Carrots, Edamame, red pepper, spinach