Other than the usual hot flashes and decreased oestrogen levels, do you actually know much about menopause? There are just so many misconceptions about menopause, especially since it’s something most women don’t need to think about until they’re 50… right?
Below are just 5 myths about menopause that just aren’t accurate, and when it’s time, will show you that menopause is nothing to fear.
1. Symptoms are only physical
Not exactly. Many of the other symptoms of menopause can often range from feelings of depression to severe mood swings. Although it might seem that these symptoms are quite broad, it is important to listen to your body and note any dramatic changes.
But don’t neglect those physical symptoms either! The most popular include breast sensitivity and vaginal dryness, which are both very unpleasant. Sometimes altering lifestyle factors such as food and exercise can help to diminish these symptoms, or at least make the bearable.
2. Menopause happens suddenly
Actually menopause is a subtle transitional period where the body settles into a peri-menopausal state, and the hormonal shifts begin to change. This could be anything from irregular periods, hot flashes, and even mood swings which we earlier mentioned. Nothing should feel completely sudden though – you will often notice that these changes have all happened with time.
3. You lose your libido
This myth most likely stems from the drop in oestrogen levels which leaves causes a sometimes painful vaginal dryness for women. But this doesn’t mean that your libido will decrease with it!
There are many ways around this, such as tablets, oestrogen creams and of course natural ways to balance your hormones through healthy eating and exercise. Entering a new stage in your life doesn’t mean that your sex life has to end, communicate your feelings with your partner, and you will certainly find that it is nothing to be scared of.
4. Menopause causes urinary incontinence
Probably one of the biggest misconceptions of menopause is the link to urinary incontinence. In fact, these two topics are not even related! 10-20% of women aged between 50-64 experience this problem due to ageing, but there are definitely ways to avoid this earlier in life.
Kegel exercises are quick, painless and discreet ways to keep the pelvic floor muscles doing their job correctly. All you need to do is contract and relax the muscles, and this will prevent any leaking during laughing, sneezing or coughing.
5. You only get it at 50 years old
A better statistic is that most women enter the period of menopause between the age of 45-55 years old. Although this of course can vary, it’s always a good idea to take symptoms into consideration, and see your doctor if you are constantly feeling under the weather. Some women 30 or 60 years of age can have menopause as well.
Image via CC Herb