For most women, menopause is a difficult phase in their lives. It is the time when the ovaries cease to function causing a series of changes in the body functions. The menopausal transition starts with varying menstrual cycle length and ends with the final menstrual period.

The average age of menopause is 51 years. However, most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but menopause may occur as early as the mid-30s or early-40s. In some women, it does not occur until they get to their early 60s.

If a woman experiences an absence of menstruation for period of 12 months, she is considered to have reached the menopausal stage. Many women experience a decrease in sex drive during menopause.

Menopause also results in an array of discomforts - both physical and mental – for women ranging from hot flashes to mood changes. And many women frequently find it difficult to cope with the menopausal outcomes.

Symptoms of menopause are managed through various medications that include hormone replacement therapy to substitute the shortage of hormones due to the stoppage of ovary function. There are, however, certain simple, natural ways to deal with the problems arising out of menopausal onset:

* Eat foods that are essentially easy to digest. Try to avoid taking foods that are refrigerated and re-heated.

* Experts recommend that women close to menopause keep off cold foods and iced beverages once their periods get irregular.

*Reduce sugar intake and start consuming carbohydrates in moderation. Higher intake can result in poor metabolism.

*Take more fruits and vegetables. Prefer coconut, figs, papaya, raisins, juicy fruits and anything else that aids digestion and elimination.

*Take plenty of rest in the knowledge that the extra hours will take care of your discomfiture during the occasional menstruation.

*Engage in activities that are least strenuous. Try out leisurely walks for between 15 and 30 minute and go for some moderate stretches.

*Try to practice meditation. Keeping the thoughts in control helps reduce tension and come with the menopausal stress.

*Take up a warm oil massage whenever it is feasible. Use of warm massage oil often helps soothe the nerves and balance the emotions related to menopause.

*Ensure that you get at least seven hours sleep each night. If you can afford to take a couple of cat naps during the day, do not shy away.