Guest Author - Tammy Elizabeth Southin
Menopause happens. Once it does there is no going backwards. Many myths surround the change and add to the confusion of what menopause means to women. Will my health suffer? How will I change as a person? Is my life over? By addressing these and other illusions about getting older, you can deal with the fear and uncertainty of this natural life phase.
Myth: Menopause is all pain and suffering
For some women this one will be true because their menopause will feature severe symptoms including hot flashes, irritability, sleeplessness, and low libido. But for the majority of women menopause brings discomfort, not debilitation.
Most of the time, no two days will be the same. There will be irregular periods and night sweats. But symptoms can come and go during the years leading up to menopause or what is now called perimenopause. You may go several weeks or even months with few issues, then find that you have to deal with several weeks or months of difficulties. The good news is that most women can manage their symptoms and for those women with more troublesome problems, there is help available in many forms from healthcare professionals.
Myth: Menopause means hormone replacement therapy
For some women, this is true because menopause symptoms interfere with daily life. But not all women have to choose hormone replacement therapy. There are varieties of routes to take, from simple health and lifestyle adjustments to a range of alternative natural remedies.
The most difficult part is selecting what to take if anything. Talking to a doctor or specialist can help explore the various options, their pros and cons, before making a decision. Hormone therapy helps many women but it is not the only treatment.
Myth: Menopause ruins a woman’s health
Menopause gets blamed for many things including weight gain, lack of energy, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other illnesses. The reality is that while many of these issues can appear during perimenopause or postmenopause, menopause itself does not directly cause poor health.
Several years of unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, lack of exercise, and poor diet are what really cause increased risk of health issues with age. By blaming everything on menopause, women give away their power to take responsibility for their health. Adopting good health habits at any age, the earlier the better but it is never too late, makes for an easier time during and after menopause.
Menopause myths are largely built on fear and ignorance. In the past, little if anything was understood about menopause and aging, so it is only natural that certain thoughts developed. Now with better medical and social knowledge, menopause does not have to be feared or despised. There will be days that test even the most optimistic woman and those around her. Menopause can be a deep mystery at times. It can also be an incredible journey.