Bloating, headaches, mood swings and pain – all familiar symptoms for women, but most expect them to stop after the menopause. Sadly for many women these symptoms still persist – and they can be frustratingly difficult to treat, resulting in emotional and physical discomfort that can significantly impact upon their day to day life.

Here we share some tips and advice for dealing with PMS-like symptoms post-menopause.

What is happening during the menopause?

During the menopause women may no longer menstruate or may have irregular, short periods – but many still experience the symptoms they’re familiar with just before their time of the month, such as bloating, irritability, anxiety and pain. This can be confusing and concerning – especially if you no longer menstruate.

As all women are affected differently by the menopause, which itself is influenced by a number of different factors, it’s not always easy to pinpoint why symptoms occur. Doctors believe that like pre-menstrual symptoms, these effects are caused by constant hormonal changes within the body which take place throughout the process.

Why do I still get PMS-like symptoms post-menopause?

PMS-like symptoms experienced after the menopause are not actually true form – instead, they’re actually signs of Post-Menopausal Syndrome (also known as PMS). Despite the name, PMS can occur throughout the menopause and symptoms can be observed in women who are pre-menopausal, peri-menopausal and post-menopausal.

It is thought that hormonal fluctuations cause these symptoms, as the body readjusts during this transition phase.

Symptoms of post-menopause syndrome include:

*Hot flashes and night sweats

*Irregular moods and mood swings

*Sleep disturbances, such as difficulty getting to sleep and waking up

*Vaginal dryness

Managing PMS-like symptoms after menopause

1/ Get out in nature

Nature really can be healing – grounding both body and mind. Fresh air, sunshine and the physical benefits of being outdoors can all influence mood, stress levels and sleep quality.

2/ Avoid alcohol and smoking

Alcohol and smoking have been shown to worsen symptoms of hormonal imbalance, in particular during the menopause. Cutting down on your consumption of alcohol and quitting smoking will help to ease your symptoms.

3/ Incorporate regular exercise

Even when you might not feel like it, moving your body can help to ease many of the symptoms of the menopause. A walk out in nature, a quick jog or an exercise class can also help to release dopamine and endorphins, lessening the impact of menopausal mood swings. Yoga and Pilates can be particularly useful for women during menopause, as they offer a low-impact, holistic workout that improves strength and flexibility.

4/ Manage stress

Stress directly influences our hormone balance, worsening the symptoms of any existing fluctuations where it is chronic or intense. Stress management will look slightly different for everyone – but popular methods include meditation, breathwork, yoga and journaling.

5/ Try essential oils

Several essential oils have been shown in studies to help alleviate many of the most frustrating symptoms of menopause – and some suggest they could even have a positive impact on hormones, too.

Clary Sage has been shown to aid with the discomfort of hot flashes and ease feelings of anxiety. Meanwhile lavender and peppermint can also have a cooling effect, and wild orange lifts mood.

6/ Eat well

Drinking plenty of filtered water and eating wholefoods as much as possible (think the 80/20 rule – eating healthily 80% of the time, with 20% for treats) will help to ease symptoms of hormone imbalance. Gut health is also key when it comes to hormone balance – so if yours needs a helping hand, try a probiotic supplement like our Belly Fix to realign and restore optimal digestive function.