People talk about menopause like they are experts and know all the facts. The reality is that unless you have gone through it, you have no idea. Not only does each woman experience different effects, what they need to get her through will be different as well. The untruths that are floating through the Internet and everywhere else are mind-boggling. Here are seven myths that you can now know the truth about.
MYTH 1: All women lose interest in sex or anything remotely sexual once they hit those menopause years.
TRUTH: Well, there is some good news out there for everyone that will make all people sigh in relief. It has been proven that estrogen is not the culprit inhibiting a woman’s sex drive, nor has it been proven that libido and estrogen have any link with each other what so ever. Therefore, it is clinically proven that a woman’s sexual drive is not going to crash with her estrogen levels during menopause regardless of what other people may say. Very few women report a lowering of sexual desire after menopause starts at all. The ones who do, tend to have other underlying issues that caused it not the menopause itself.
MYTH 2: Menopause always causes weight gain.
TRUTH: Not all women gain weight like crazy after menopause hits. It is very true that lowering estrogen levels can affect the digestive system and make it more sensitive. A woman can find a healthy diet that does not make her gain loads of weight, but not so easy to find foods that agree with an estrogen-free body. Exercise will also help keep a woman happy and healthy in many ways. Some women gain, some lose, and some do not change at all.
MYTH 3: A woman’s menopausal craziness is in direct proportion to the PMS issues she suffered from before hand.
TRUTH: No way! There is no reason to assume that a woman will have any more emotional issues after menopause than she did before. In fact many women have less now that their hormone levels are no longer fluctuating through out their cycles. Some woman will carry their issues into their menopausal years but that is neither emotional nor physical. How a woman responds to the changes she is going through will depend on:
- Individual medical status and her reproductive life
Health of female ancestors and living female relatives
Past dietary habits and present diet
Past and present tobacco use
Past and present alcohol use
MYTH 4: All women experience menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, depression, etc., for years on end.
TRUTH: Every woman gets symptoms of menopause in different ways. Not every woman gets hot flashes or vaginal dryness. In fact, research shows that many woman are completely symptom free at menopause other than not having a period any longer. The majority of women who do experience symptoms only have hot flashes and nothing else.
MYTH 5: Menopause invariably occurs at age 50.
TRUTH: The age of onset of menopause varies greatly from woman to woman. The age that a woman starts her journey through the change will depend on how many eggs she had at the beginning of puberty and their quality, hereditary factors like when her mother went through it, and medical issues that may cause an early removal of the uterus such as fibroids or cancer. Some women go through menopause very early in life while others are still fertile in their early fifties. The current average age for menopause is around 52 years old but the normal span is between 45 to 55 yeas of age. Some will go through menopause earlier if they have had their uterus and/or ovaries removed for what ever reason.
MYTH 6: Menopause lasts a few years.
TRUTH: Actually menopause can last up to thirteen plus years for some women with the average duration between 6-13 years after onset of symptoms. This is not a biological process that happens overnight for sure.
MYTH 7: Women can cure themselves during menopause of their moodiness and irrationality by opting for estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) and/or other forms of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
TRUTH: Menopause is a natural process and not a disease, so there is no cure. Women’s hormone levels vary greatly woman to woman. Many women never need to have any type of hormone replacement at all while others need everything from estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. When a woman is treated with HRT it is not a cure, it is a way to reduce symptoms that naturally occur in some women.
Photo by Woo