Menopause is one of a woman’s most important and natural events. Despite this, there is still a lot of misinformation about menopause. In this blog, we’ll be debunking common myths about menopause so that you can feel more informed about what it means to go through or have gone through menopause.
MYTH: Menopause is a sign of aging.
Fact: Menopause is a natural part of aging, but it’s not something every woman experiences. Women are fertile until menopause, which means they can get pregnant until then. Menopause is the point in time when a woman stops having menstrual periods for 12 months or more and cannot get pregnant anymore because her ovaries have stopped producing eggs (ova).
MYTH: Menopause is the end of a woman’s journey.
Fact: Menopause is not an end but a new beginning! It signifies the end of fertility but opens doors to new possibilities and opportunities. Women can continue to lead vibrant and fulfilling lives, embracing their wisdom and enjoying newfound freedom.
MYTH: Menopause only happens in your 50s.
Fact: While the average age for menopause is around 51, it can occur anywhere between your 40s and early 60s. Each woman’s journey is unique, and hormonal changes can happen at different ages. It’s important to understand and embrace this natural process without stigma or fear.
MYTH: You will gain weight during menopause.
Fact: Menopause itself doesn’t cause automatic weight gain. This misconception has been around for years and has been repeated so often that it’s become accepted as truth. In reality, no evidence exists that menopause causes weight gain or makes women more likely to gain weight than before their periods stopped.
What does happen in many cases? Women tend to eat more during this time because their hormones are changing, and they’re dealing with new physical symptoms like hot flashes or night sweats–and sometimes those extra calories add up over time! Also in your midlife we lose muscle mass at a 2-3% rate each year. Losing muscle mass slows the rate at which the body uses calories, which increases weight.
Hormonal changes can lead to weight redistribution, but a healthy lifestyle that includes balanced nutrition and regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight. Empower yourself with self-care practices that support your overall well-being. (1) (2)
MYTH: You can’t have children after menopause.
Fact: Menopause is not an end to fertility. The average age for menopause is 51, but it can occur as early as 40 or as late as 55. A woman’s ability to conceive after menopause depends on her age and overall health.
Women who are older than 45 years have an increased risk of Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities in their babies when they get pregnant after menopause. However, this does not mean you cannot become pregnant! Women over 45 years old should discuss their options with their doctor before trying to become pregnant because there may be some additional tests needed before conceiving a child after menopause.
MYTH: Hot flashes are caused by low estrogen.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of hot flashes and menopause, let’s discuss what they are not.
Fact: Hot flashes are not caused by low estrogen. Hot flashes are a symptom of menopause; they’re not a cause. Instead, hot flashes happen because your body temperature suddenly increases due to changes in the brain that lead to sweating and flushing–and all this happens without any warning or obvious trigger (i.e., there’s no reason why you should be getting hot). Hot flashes usually occur at night when you’re sleeping, which means that if you have one during the day–or even want to avoid having one at night–it can sometimes feel like there’s nothing else you can do except wait until bedtime rolls around again!
But what exactly causes these sudden spikes in body temperature? It turns out that scientists aren’t sure yet…but here are some of their best guesses.
MYTH: Estrogen therapy is the best solution for hot flashes.
Fact: Estrogen therapy can be helpful for some women, but it’s not the best solution for everyone. For example, if you have a history of breast or uterine cancer and are at high risk for developing more tumors, estrogen therapy isn’t recommended because the hormones increase your risk of these conditions.
If you do take estrogen pills or patches, they don’t cure hot flashes–they just reduce their frequency and severity by replacing some of the hormones that decline during menopause. However, there are other treatments available: lifestyle changes such as exercise and stress management; nonhormonal medications like gabapentin (Neurontin) or clonidine (Catapres); antidepressants such as bupropion (Wellbutrin), which have been shown to reduce hot flashes in some studies; botanicals like black cohosh root extract; acupuncture; hormone creams applied directly onto the skin.*
MYTH: Hot flashes are the only symptom of menopause.
Fact: Hot flashes are prominent, but menopause encompasses a range of other changes, such as mood swings, irregular periods, lack of energy, brain fog, vaginal dryness, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. By understanding these symptoms, women can find ways to manage them and improve their quality of life. Awareness of these symptoms allows for proactive management and seeking support from healthcare professionals when needed.
MYTH: Menopause means the end of intimacy.
Fact: Menopause doesn’t signify the end of intimacy! While hormonal changes might affect desire and comfort, open communication, patience, and understanding with your partner can ensure that intimacy remains a fulfilling part of your relationship. Explore new ways of connection and keep the flame alive. Remember, intimacy is about emotional connection and staying connected with your loved one.
MYTH: Menopause only happens to Women.
Fact: While menopause is commonly associated with women, men can go through a similar hormonal transition called “andropause” or “male menopause.” Just like women, men experience a decline in hormone levels as they age, specifically testosterone. This can lead to a range of physical and emotional changes. (3)
Remember, knowledge is power!
Some common myths about menopause are true, but many are not at all. The truth is many myths about menopause are just not true. However, some of the most common myths about this stage of life are actually true.
I hope this information has shed light on the common misconceptions surrounding menopause. It’s important to remember that menopause is a transformative phase of life, and it shouldn’t be feared. Instead, let’s work together to create a supportive community that celebrates women’s health and well-being. With this empowering mindset, you can thrive and live your best life at any age. Let’s embrace menopause, knowing that it’s a part of our journey towards self-discovery and fulfillment.
If you feel stuck, frustrated, or lost in your Wellness journey, I can Help! I can help you fill your Health & Wellness gaps by customizing your coaching needs. So you can start Thriving & feeling more Confident, Stronger, Healthier, & Sexy NOW in Midlife & Beyond!