4 Myths About Menopause Every Woman Should Know! / by Dr. Natalia P Zhikhareva

Loyal readers of my blog know that I love nothing more than to debunk the myth!  Churchill knew what he was talking about when he said; “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on”  So let’s debunk one more myth and give the truth a chance.

Today's expose – drumroll – menopause!   Oh yeah!  That inevitable part of aging.  A natural process that happens to every woman.  Did I say EVERY!?

Lets begin by a simple fact.  Menopause is the end of your monthly period.  NOT the end of your life!  Nor is it the miserable experience it’s often made out to be.  Here are four common menopause myths discredited.

MYTH #1:  MENOPAUSE MAKES YOU FAT!

Relax!  The truth is many women gain weight between the ages of 35 and 55 despite menopause.  Although hormonal changes in your body make you more likely to gain weight – especially around the abdomen – there’s no solid evidence that menopause causes you to get fat.

It’s no news that women tend to be prone to weight gain as they get older.  Hence the need for increases in exercise and decrease in calorie intake.  A 2003 study of 535 pre-menopausel women showed that women were able to maintain their health weight following a low calorie diet and exercise. 

MYTH #2:  HOT FLASHES AUTOMATICALLY MEAN MENOPAUSE!

While hot flashes are an inevitable part of menopause – many symptoms – can be a sign of menopause.  Just how many you might ask?  Lets take a look:

  • Fatigue
  • Irregular periods
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Fuzzy thinking
  • Low libido aka sex drive
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of sexuality
  • Heavy menses

With such a wide variety of symptoms I began to feel hot flashes myself!  Pay attention to your physiological and psychological changes.  When in doubt, consult your doctor.

MYTH #3:  SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR SEX DRIVE! (For obvious reasons my favorite myth so far!)

Remembe - sex can be enjoyable and healthy at any age!  And certainly is – after the menopause. 

The reason this myth even exists is due to the vaginal dryness resultant of decreased estrogen levels.  This can make sex painful.  And if intercourse hurts, who wouldn't have a drop in sexual desire?  But this doesn’t have to happen.  Using a vaginal lubricant is an easy fix.  Just read my post on Everything You Need To Know About Lubricants, AND More!

MYTH #4: MENOPAUSE MEANS YOU’RE OFFICIALLY OLD!

Yicks!  What a nasty, nasty myth!  Not to mention that menopause begins at 50, or at 42, or 35, or 61.  You know what menopause means?  It means absence of a menstruation for a period of one year.  Buy no means does it mean you are officially old.  And if you think it does – well – maybe you need to reexamine the meaning of ‘old.’

Sources

Simkin-Silverman, L, R., Wing, R, R., Boraz, M, A., and Kuller, L, H.  Lifestyle Intervention Can Present Weight Gain During Menopause: Results From a 5-year Randomized Clinical Trial.  Annual Behavioral Medicine, 2003.

Foley, S., Kope, A., and Surgue, D, P.  Sex Matters for Women: A Complete Guide To Taking Care of Your Sexual Self.  New York, 2002.

Dare to bare and share your fears about menopause?