Middle Age and the Pill
It seems that a lot of women in their 50s who are no longer taking the contraceptive Pill are finding they have new beauty problems. Their hair thins. Skin loses its elasticity. They lose weight, but usually in the wrong places.
These problems are not necessarily caused by the pill. However, a woman who stops taking it after a period of 10 or 15 years is suddenly without the hormones it contains. A host of ailments may then be accentuated.
Some women lose large amounts of hair and a few go nearly bald. But if there is one thing worse than hair falling out, it is the sudden explosion of hairs where they are not wanted. The face, particularly the part between the upper lip and nostrils, and the chin, seems to be most vulnerable.
Also, the body’s fat deposits seem to shift. Often the breasts seem to atrophy, they shrink or become unattractively pendulous. Or breast fat accumulates, and some women develop massive matronly chests.
Others develop fat deposits on the buttocks and abdominal wall. Many develop the abdominal apron, this can hang down in front of the body in a most unattractive manner.
Or, if a diet is followed, the tissues around the neck, face and limbs often become wrinkled and sinews protrude. Wrinkles become more prominent (See “Facial Exercises to Reduce Wrinkles“), yet the backside and stomach regions defy the weight reducing programs.
Intercourse can become uncomfortable. Sometimes lubricating glands at the vaginal entrance do not produce enough fluid to facilitate penetration. Or the vaginal linings tend to thin, and become dry and sensitive and may bleed easily.
Fortunately, many women find their sex lives tend to improve after they the age of 50. With the fear of pregnancy removed, subconscious fears and stresses are reduced and a happier, more comfortable relationship often results.
A few women develop hot flushes, usually of the face, upper neck and chest region.
Psychological symptoms can also have a profound effect on a woman’s looks, her life and the way she feels.
“Many women experience bouts of depression, irritability, feelings of tension, anxiety, emotional conflicts,” says “A Medical Guide To Good Health” in describing women in their 50s. “They believe their life is at an end, and it holds no more meaning for them. Arguments and misunderstandings often flare.”
In many cases, while the wife has remained at home bringing up the children, the husband has climbed the ladder in the business or social world. His interests and mental capacity have often developed with his job. He cannot understand his wife’s problems, nor does he want to. So tensions occur, rifts are common, and the separation and divorce rate in this age group is high.
In an effort to overcome their problems, many women take to alcohol, finding some sort of solace in alcohol and the temporary mental relief it seems to impart. Vitality and good looks suffer further.
Others find relief in a similar but more socially accepted way, the use of legal drugs. Sedatives and tranquilizers are used but, like alcohol, they offer temporary respite only.
Here are some suggestions that could help.
MEDICAL CHECK. It is worth having a full medical check. This could pick up any latent disorders that may prove to be positive aggravating factors. For example, deficient thyroid glands are a common cause of prematurely falling hair and dry, coarse skin. Once diagnosed, treatment is very straightforward and extremely effective in restoring hair growth.
After years of menstrual blood loss, and in many cases this may be heavier about the time of the menopause, anemia may be the problem. Iron therapy often produces amazing results.
A regular pelvic and breast check is also recommended. This is part of a full medical check-up, but should also be done on a regular basis as cancer of the breasts and womb is more common in older women. The pap smear test can pick up cervical cancer 10 to 15 years before symptoms set in.
Any bleeding occurring after periods have ceased means an immediate medical examination is essential. This is often the first and only sign of cancer of the endometrium, the inner lining of the womb, and this will not be shown on the usual smear test.
UNWANTED HAIR. On the face, electrolysis is perhaps the best method and most permanent, but go to an experienced beautician. Creams are probably best for underarm hair, waxes for excess hair on the limbs.
WEIGHT. Apart from sensible revision of the food intake (See “Healthiest Foods For Losing Weight“) and getting adequate exercise, there is no simple remedy for the weight business.
APPEARANCE. Cosmetic surgery can help unsightly fat deposits, baggy areas around the eyes, droopy eyelids, wrinkly necks and triple chins can be removed.
HORMONES. This has been a major controversy over the past few years. Once given freely they are now prescribed far more stringently. However, for people with very troublesome symptoms, many doctors prescribe small amounts for short periods of time, and this appears safe. Generally, they are not prescribed over long periods nowadays.
SEX PROBLEMS. Often local hormonal therapy can restore the vaginal area to normal, and facilitate intercourse. The use of suppositories (containing hormones) and creams applied to areas of irritation can also give favorable benefits, but this must be carried out under proper medical supervision, and as with any hormonal therapy, short courses are preferred today.
PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS. Getting involved in new interests is essential. Join a club, have a few sessions of medical hypnotherapy from a qualified doctor, this is often extremely rewarding in reducing stresses, mental torments and anxieties. Go lightly on drug therapy of all kinds and simply don’t get hooked on alcohol.