Here are seven common menopause myths, and the way things actually are.
1. WEIGHT GAIN IS INEVITABLE
Menopause itself doesn’t cause weight gain! Hormone fluctuations during menopause cause your metabolism to slow, making it tough to keep the pounds off. Choosing a balanced diet, paying close attention to portions, and staying active are all important steps you can take to maintain a healthy weight during “the change,” regardless of your hormones.
2. MENOPAUSE HAPPENS AT AGE 50
On average, menopause begins around age 52, but every woman is different. Your transition may begin anywhere between your 30s to your 60s. In addition, menopause isn’t something that just “happens.” It’s a process that can stretch out for years, so don’t assume that once you hit 50 you’re post-menopausal. You can experience hot flashes, mood swings, irritability, and more for years before you’re actually “in menopause”.
3. ONE DAY, YOUR PERIOD WILL JUST DISAPPEAR
Menopause is technically defined as the absence of menstruation for 12 months. But before that, hormonal swings leading up to menopause can cause your period to be all over the place. Cycles might be irregularly close together, far apart, lighter, heavier, or spotty before they’re actually gone.
4. YOU’LL KNOW IT’S REAL WHEN YOU GET A HOT FLASH
Hot flashes are common symptoms of menopause, but they aren’t necessarily the only symptom or the first symptom. You might experience sleep issues, fatigue, anxiety, irregular periods, irritability, mood swings, fuzzy thinking, and more before you experience a hot flash.
5. YOU’LL NEVER WANT TO HAVE SEX
Often a low sex drive after menopause can be attributed to moodiness, depression, and physical changes that can make sex uncomfortable. The good news is that these side effects are treatable.
6. YOUR BODY STOPS PRODUCING REPRODUCTIVE HORMONES
Your ovaries still produce some estrogen, as do your fat cells. Estrogen and progesterone are still important for functions other than reproducing, so your body never stops making them.
7. MENOPAUSE MAKES YOUR BONES WEAK
If you’re nearing menopause, you’ve already hit peak bone mass, but you can prevent excess loss of bone mass and the development of osteoporosis by consuming adequate calcium and vitamin D (Cal-EZ can help with that) and exercising regularly.