Women that are HIV positive need to know how this disease will affect them at all stages of life. This includes when they are going through menopause. Some of the symptoms of this change are similar to the conditions of HIV. A woman needs to be able to treat this disease and keep it under control as she goes through natural changes.
Menopause Happens to All
Menopause happens to all women between the ages of forty and up. This is when the body is no longer able to bear children. Women that have HIV can face additional emotional and physical changes. They need to be aware of these changes so they are prepared to handle them.
Hair Loss and Menopause
A woman can expect certain physical changes on the outside of the body when she is going through menopause. The skin will become dry and also become less firm. The hair on her head may become brittle and for some women will even thin out. Due to HIV medications, the woman may notice she is losing a lot of hair and it may fall out in clumps.
To avoid additional hair loss the woman may have to stop straightening, braiding, or dying her hair. Stress can increase the rate at which the hair fall out. It is important to try take measures to relax and to help with anxiety. There are best menopause supplement such as vitamin B that can help reduce the dryness of the skin and help make hair stronger.
Common Sleeping Problems with Menopause
Insomnia and night sweats are common with menopause. Women with HIV may experience insomnia before menopause since it is a common side effect. To get through the night a woman should avoid flannel and heavy sheets to become more comfortable and keep a fan near the bed to cool down. She should also drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated.
In addition to the physical changes, a woman will be going through some emotional struggles. She may feel irritable and her moods may change from happy to angry without warning. Those with HIV often have additional issues with depression. This is when it is important to use coping skills and relaxation techniques. It is perfectly fine to speak to a trusted person about these struggles and ask for advice.
When going through menopause may women get hot flashes. This is when a hot sensation moves through the body. This can last several seconds to several minutes and is uncomfortable.
Many women report they have trouble breathing when this happens. They may sweat and get the chills afterward. Women who have HIV may also feel nauseous, bloated, or have feelings of dizziness. These women may also have lipodystrophy which is when the areas of fat distribution may change. If a woman notices fat building up in one area of the body she needs to contact her doctor to help with weight management before it becomes an issue.
Memory Troubles with Menopause
Women may be being to experience short-term memory loss. She may also notice she has trouble concentrating on one thing for a long time. If this happens to a woman with HIV she needs to contact the doctor right away as this may be a sign of early dementia. Forgetfulness concentration and memory loss are common in people with this disease and may be activated during menopause.
Stay Safe and Aware
Menopause is a change that all women go through. Those that have been diagnosed with HIV may notice additional changes and increased symptoms. It is important to stay in contact with a healthcare professional to monitor the changes. The woman also needs to learn relaxation and distressing techniques so she can keep her mental health strong as she goes through these physical changes.
A woman can still infect her partner during and after menopause so it is still very important to practice safe sex. Knowing her body and the symptoms will teach a woman how to stay safe after menopause.