Turning 40 is a milestone and often a time of transition. Your children may be growing up or you may be caring for your parents or considering a career change. One change that is inevitable in the women's life  at this stage is menopause.

The average age of menopause for Indian women is 51, with most women reaching this milestone somewhere between ages 45 and 55. A women is considered to attain menopause if she does not have a period for 12 consecutive months. Many women experience a number of changes before getting there and this is called as the premenopausal stage. 

As you are getting there you will observe a change in every part of your body , in your looks, in your heart, in your bones. This whole change is due to the change of oestrogen levels in your body. Lets look at some of the changes you will experience:

  • Your periods will become  heavier or lighter, shorter or longer than you're used to
  • You may have one or more missed menstrual period followed by a regular period
  • You may feel flashes of heat (Hot flashes)
  • You may tend to be more irritable
  • Your sexual drive may decrease
  • And, you may have a problem sleeping

While these are just the outward  manifestations  your body is going  through a massive change internally. Your metabolism continues to slow during this  period, your weight gradually shifts from your hips and thighs to your abdomen, shoulders and chest.

Yearly screening
It is recommended that you  see your doctor once in a year after 40 and get your self screened for the following
  1. A pelvic examination
  2. A mamogram
  3. Blood sugar levels
  4. Bone density test
  5. A thyroid function test
  6. A clinical breast examination
  7. A Pap smear

Must do things after 40

  1. Start a regular regular aerobic exercise and  strength training program, to maintain a healthy weight and a well toned body.
  2. Eat a lot of fruits and green vegetables and cut down on sugar, junk food, alcohol & smoking.
  3. Find ways to relax, pursue your hobby, like dance, music, painting, yoga etc.
  4. Talk to your health care professional as and when needed.