What Your Dr Never Told You About The Menopause
Even in this age of information, studies show the menopause remains misunderstood by both women and the health practitioners.
A recent survey found one in three women wait a staggering three years before getting a correct diagnosis for their perimenopausal symptoms.
One reason for this is many menopausal symptoms are easily confused for common illnesses. Also, other myths about the menopause prevail.
Here are four myths about the menopause debunked.
- It’s not the menopause if you’re 40
The average age for the menopause is 51. However, the menopause can begin anytime between the ages of 40 to 60. Symptoms can last up to 10 years—this is called the perimenopause. There are many influencing factors when you start the process—for instance, lifestyle, environment, and genetics.
- Hot flushes are the only sign of menopause.
There are over thirty different menopausal symptoms. This means that not all women experience hot flushes (yes, you heard that right). There are other symptoms as debilitating. Yet, by their nature are easily dismissed or confused with other illnesses. These include migraines, brain fog, lack of concentration, depression, nausea, low motivation, tinnitus, and joint pain. Indeed, experiencing just one of these can indicate your body is entering the change, and you need to see your health practitioner.
- If you’re ovulating, you can’t have the menopause.
Err no. During the perimenopause, your ovaries start to produce less oestrogen, and as a result, women begin to experience menopausal symptoms. In fact, one of the first signs of perimenopause is a change to your regular menstruation pattern. Your periods may become irregular—you’ll experience an increase or decrease in frequency. For instance, you might get a period every few weeks and then not have one for months and months. Also, your periods may become lighter and shorter or heavier and more painful. This can last anything from 4 to 10 years until your periods stop for good.
- Don’t stop using contraception.
Even though fertility levels drop during the perimenopause, you’re still ovulating and therefore can still become pregnant. So, you need to continue using protection against unwanted pregnancy until you reach the menopause, i.e., when you’ve gone twelve straight months without having a period. And even afterwards, practising safe sex remains as essential.
Supporting your health during the menopause
At the end of the day, every woman will go through the menopause. But it doesn’t mean your life has to stop. This time of life is an opportunity for reflection and reprioritisation.
Most importantly, you must look after your physical and mental wellbeing during the menopause. A healthy diet, regular exercise, relaxation techniques, and a positive lifestyle can all help you better cope with symptoms.
Here at Kira, our range of traditional herbal remedies are designed to help women lead a more active, balanced & productive life.
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