If we searched the words “female climacteric”, “physical activity” and “physiotherapy” in a search engine today, we would obtain more than 30,000 entries. There is a lot written about it, and not without good reason, since these are three very interrelated and important concepts.

The female climacteric is the transition period in a woman’s body between the reproductive and non-reproductive stages of her life that begins approximately 5 years before menopause (last menstruation) and lasts about 10 years.

About the estrogen

During the female climacteric, estrogen (the female sex hormone produced in the ovary) decreases drastically, while the ovary stops producing eggs. The decrease in estrogen produces a deregulation of the menstrual cycle, leading to anovulation (lack of ovulation and infertility) and amenorrhea (lack of periods).

Estrogens intervene in multiple functions of the female body apart from fertility: they intervene in the cardiovascular system, in the bone and muscular system, in the trophism of the genital apparatus, which results in a decrease in muscle tone that leads to prolapses, incontinence, lubrication, sensitivity, and pain issues. Also, estrogens play an important role in the control of the metabolic system, in the distribution of body fat, and interfere with mood (anxiety and depression disorders) and behavior in women.

The climacteric is not an easy stage in a woman’s life but it eventually comes to an end, and what we must do is try to live it with the best possible attitude, disregarding the many preconceived ideas and harmful stereotypes about it.

There are several risks of the female climacteric: decreasing estrogen levels in the body increases the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and other health problems. In this sense, physical exercise can help prevent or reduce these risks by strengthening bones and muscles, improving cardiovascular health, controlling chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and helping to maintain weight, physical fitness, and health leading to a healthier mood.

About the exercise

Engaging in or increasing physical exercise during female menopause can be beneficial for overall health, and can also help relieve some common symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and depression, and improve sleep quality and the quality of life in general.

It is important to speak with a health professional before starting an exercise program during menopause, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. The healthcare professional can help design a safe and effective exercise plan that is tailored to individual needs and abilities.

Strength exercises, practiced regularly, are good hormonal and metabolic regulators, therefore, it will be the best medicine to contrast and regulate many of the side effects of this stage and to have a better state of health in general. Here are a few other recommendations in this regard.

– Practice sports 2-3 days a week, including strength exercises.

– Have a balanced diet (fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and eggs), avoiding processed foods and sunbathing.

– Eliminate toxic habits such as smoking, coffee and sugary drinks consumption.

– Exercise your pelvic floor. However, it is very important to consult with a specialised physiotherapist first, to find out the state of your pelvic floor and to only follow an exercise routine adapted to your specific condition. It is very easy to hurt yourself by carrying out the exercises incorrectly or by using devices marketed for pelvic floor exercise.

– Take care of yourself emotionally, living the process with a positive outlook.

This way you will be able to deal with the dreaded hot flashes, night sweats and sleep disorders, osteoporosis, incontinence, overweight and localized obesity due to metabolic causes, psychological changes such as irritability, stress, and secondary depression.

The medical professional can be of great help at this stage of life through consultation, control, monitoring, supplementation and intervention.

For his part, the physiotherapist can help both in the specific pathologies that are subsidiary to intervention and in the planning and supervision of the personalized maintenance plan.