Symptoms: Not every woman experiences every symptom, thank goodness, but the most common ones that will sneak up on you are irregular periods, hot flashes, headaches, night sweats, and loss of sex drive. There are natural and hormonal therapies to help you manage – see your doctor. What’s the positive? You save money on sanitary products, you can take that Alaskan cruise now and stay warm and your husband will become more attentive, helpful and romantic as he tries to woo you.

Changes: Your sleep patterns will change, your weight will go up and your hair will find new places to grow and not to grow. Your nails will get brittle, your body odor will change and your memory . . . um, I forgot. The upside? You can spend more time at the beauty parlor or spa and not feel guilty or indulgent. The memory thing is a great excuse for missing Stan’s slideshow presentation. A magnifying mirror and a good tweezers will take care of the chin hairs. And as for the weight gain . . . oh, shoot, I forgot again.

Pain: This is the worst part. Aches and pains are a part of aging for men, too, so are indigestion and (horrible, horrible) heartburn. Good news – drugs. Keep the antacids handy and watch what you eat. Hey, the heartburn might actually help you curb your appetite and lose those extra pounds. Other pains may crop up, like in your breasts, joints and muscles, but seriously, would you rather be having monthly periods?

Problems: Oh, there are digestive problems, gum problems, sexual dysfunction problems, weight problems, money problems – hey, how’d that last one get in there? Well, it all boils down to attitude and that’s what you have to remember. You are a strong, vibrant, modern woman who has lived an interesting, adventure of a life. Forget the problems; there are so many good things to look forward to at this stage of your life that they far outweigh the negative and I can sum those things up in two words: Retirement! Grandchildren!

By Debra Chapoton, the author of several fiction and non-fiction books. You can visit her site at or

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