Guest Author - Tammy Elizabeth Southin
Menopause is not a black hole although it can feel like one. Menopause myths arose over the years that still persist today and affect how women and society view the whole aging process. Now is a good time to tackle these views and perceptions.
Myth: Menopause will change me into a crazy lady
From old stand up comedians to television and movies, menopause has provided many laughs; all of those laughs coming at womenísí expense. Humor can help difficult situations, but the past efforts showed aging women as crazy out-of-control characters low on appeal and high on hormone-fuelled rants. Add this to a youth-worshipping society that prizes beauty, what chances do women have against a tide of negative attitudes?
Yes, menopause and hormones may affect women in different ways. And there are a few women who will end up dealing with mood swings, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. But these are not givens during menopause. This is a time where women can take stock of their lives and examine what is really important at this stage. Getting older does come with challenges and frustrations to be sure, but it is not all doom and gloom.
Menopause and middle age find many women torn between looking after aging parents and raising children. Lifeís complications and turns can test the patience and resolve of anyone including women. Yet similar to adolescence, menopause is a natural transition that brings positive and negative events. Attitude goes a long way in coping with menopause and life in general.
Myth: Menopause means I am no longer attractive
It is hard to feel attractive when the pounds creep up on waistlines or the hairs turn gray. But some women report that menopause signifies a new phase of life free from worry about monthly menstrual periods and birth control. These women indicate that menopause is a time to rediscover a relationship or perhaps enter a new one. It does not have to be a time to view sensuality as something in the past.
Healthcare professionals have numerous solutions to deal with the challenges of a low libido or genital dryness. Additional help provides women with resources to understand what is happening to their bodies and the end of the childbearing years. Free from the worries of pregnancy, women begin to enjoy a more qualitative if not always quantitative love life.
Or women may decide they do not feel this part of their lives matters at this point. The main thing is that women can make these decisions rather than just letting menopause dictate the norms.
Myth: Menopause-my life is over!
Whether careers, families, friends, relationships, or health issues there is no denying menopause does mean changes. Some of those changes are liberating, some are confusing, and some are annoying. No one wants to see youth and energy slip by only to be replaced with old folks stuff.
Still, menopause is just one part of life that sets women up for the years beyond the last menstrual period. Since life expectancy rates have increased, it is not unrealistic to think of life after menopause in terms of decades.
Not all changes need to be miserable. Attitudes towards aging have greatly improved in the recent past as Baby Boomers ditch the rocking chairs for greater adventures. Parachuting and rafting aside, old does not automatically equate uselessness. There are still years to be lived.
Getting old is not for sissies, as the saying goes. If anything, menopause affirms that women are strong and capable of dealing with this phase. Will it be easy? Not always. Will it be worth it? Absolutely. Because little if anything worthwhile is ever easy.