Menopause is a stage of life, not an illness. There are many symptoms that occur while transitioning into menopause that many women fear or even dread. But ultimately, menopause can be a wonderful phase in a woman's life. For one thing, menopause means no more menstrual cycles! For many women, as they approach menopause their periods become increasingly problematic – heavy, prolonged, irregular periods are extremely common and can profoundly interfere with their quality of life. After having cycles for approximately four decades, it can be a real relief to have those menses stop.
Some women may be very saddened by the loss of reproductive ability that accompanies menopause. Just like any loss, this may require some "mourning" or an adjustment period. It can be difficult to predict how any given individual may respond to this reality. But for most women, it can be liberating to not worry about or have to manage birth control any more. As we get older, some of the risks associated with hormonal birth control increase so many women want to get off their birth control as soon as is safely possible.
Finally, menopause marks a time of great transition into what many describe as the best years of their lives. Not only are you going through great physical change, but typically great social and economic change, as well. Children are getting older and becoming more independent. You may be starting to plan for retirement or downsizing your home. You've built a community of friends and family that you can depend upon. Many women report they feel more self-confident and secure at this age than any other life stage. So there is no need to fear menopause. Sure, there may be the need for support - psychological, nutritional, physical or even medical - to help cope with some of the symptoms that occur. But ultimately, like any life stage, it is a time of transition that, when all is said and done, can profoundly enhance your life in ways you may not have previously imagined possible.