Possibly the biggest myth about menopause is that it’s the Beginning Of The End. That may have been the case centuries ago, when the onset of menopause coincided with or often surpassed a woman’s life expectancy. Women today are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. An American woman can now expect to live on average about 1/3 of her adult life after menopause, which typically begins around age 51. For many women, those years are a time of growth and opportunity.
Myth: Menopause begins at 50
Although typically women enter menopause after 50, it is impossible to predict when an individual woman will begin the process. The age when she went through puberty is also not related to the age she begins to go through menopause. It may arrive as early as her 30s or 40s, or not until a woman reaches her 60s. Women do tend to experience menopause at an age similar to that of their mothers. Menopause begins when an individual woman’s body is ready. A woman will officially be in menopause when she hasn’t had a period for 12 full months.
Women frequently experience symptoms long before the onset of menopause. They may experience fatigue, hot flashes, irritability, and weight gain, even though they are still menstruating.
In this case, a woman may be in perimenopause, the transition time leading up to menopause. Perimenopause can last as little as few months or as much as 13 years before menopause. They may experience more symptoms during perimenopause than menopause because during this time their sex hormones — estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone — naturally fluctuate more.
Myth: Weight gain is unavoidable
Unexpected weight gain is common during menopause, because the reasons for gaining extra pounds are more complicated than just calorie counts. During perimenopause and menopause, the ovaries lower production of sex hormones, causing a hormonal imbalance. The body may attempt to protect itself by storing fat, especially around the waist, hips, and thighs. Fat tissue in these regions also produces estrogen, which in turn, leads to more fat production. Women can achieve a healthy weight, using good nutrition to help balance their hormones and heal naturally.
Myth: Menopause makes your bones brittle
Bone loss is a natural part of menopause, but you can help keep your bones strong. A healthy lifestyle is a great way to start. The sooner you take steps to prevent bone loss, the lower your risk of osteoporosis later in life. And if you already have risk factors for bone loss, have your bone density tested.
- Some risk factors for bone loss issues:
- Women who weigh less than 120 pounds
- Those who worry or suffer a lot of anxiety
- Drinking more than one soda per day
Only about a quarter of your bone health is determined by these factors. You can improve your bone health with Calcium, Vitamin D and exercise.
Myth: Sex drive will disappear
Decreased sex drive is frequently a sign of hormonal imbalance, which can lead to both physical and emotional symptoms that affect your sex life. About half of post-menopausal women will experience vaginal dryness which can make sex uncomfortable.
While the state of her relationship, age, medications, illness, other factors are involved, one of the best predictors of a women’s post-menopausal sex life is her activity and sexual satisfaction prior to reaching menopause.
Despite having high levels of sex hormones, a woman may have no sexual interest because she is with a partner she doesn’t respect, feel close to, or find attractive. Therefore, a woman’s lifestyle, emotional and physical health, as well as the availability of a healthy, desirable partner may play an even larger role in her sexual activity than does her declining levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Sex can be fun and healthy at any age!
Myth: Hot flashes are the first warning sign
Hot flashes equal Menopause? Maybe, but the first sign of menopause could be any of these:
- Irregular periods
- Irritability, mood swings, depression and/or anxiety
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Unusual cravings
- Low libido
With a wide range of possible symptoms, women may not connect them to perimenopausal hormonal imbalance.
Myth: Your body stops producing hormones after menopause
The production of reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone does decline at the end of a woman’s reproductive years because they’re needed less. But the body still needs them and produces them, just in lower amounts.
For some women, symptoms of hormonal imbalance disappear post-menopause. For others, symptoms continue and may include vaginal dryness, hot flashes, urinary incontinence, and weight gain.
Myth: The older a woman when she gets her first period, the older she will be when she reaches menopause
Often, it’s just the opposite. If a woman began menstruating later than average, they may begin menopause sooner.
There are some factors which may affect when menopause begins:
- A mother’s age at menopause is the best indicator of when it may start.
- Smoking may bring about menopause earlier.
- Drinking alcohol can mean later menopause.
- More pregnancies suggest later menopause.
Myth: The best course of action is to take hormones
You always have choices when it comes to your body and to your health.
Considering options is particularly important when it comes to hormone replacement therapy because of potential risks and side effects.
We recommend starting with the natural approach. Our experience shows the most thorough and lasting way to manage symptoms of hormonal imbalance is to listen to your body and build a strong foundation through lifestyle and nutrition.
For most women, quality nutrition and herbal remedies are enough.
Menopause and the symptoms associated with it can severely disrupt your quality of life.
A wonderful natural formula to help you live a longer, healthier life is Women’s Natural Balance (click here to view), a safe, and effective daily supplement that contains many of the top ingredients. This specially blended formula contains many safe and all natural substances that include black cohosh, soy isoflavones, red clover, Mexican yams and red raspberry extract.