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Hello I’m Eileen and welcome to A.Vogel Talks Menopause. I’m going to be talking about Menopause Myths today. There is so much information out there, that really isn’t true and I thought I would just go through some of the ones I have come across, that people tend to get very confused over.
Myth No. 1 – you will start the menopause at 50
Well this just isn’t the case. Every single woman will have an individual menopause and the average age is between 45 and 55, so you can start at anytime then. Some women will start a little younger and there are a few women who will actually start the menopause quite a lot later.
Now a little tip, it can be hereditary, the age that you actually start the menopause. So if you find out when your mum or your grandmother or your sisters or your aunties started the menopause that actually might give you a little bit of a clue.
But, there are certain things that can bring on an early menopause. Smoking can bring on an early menopause, certain chronic health conditions can also do it as well and if you are really overweight, that can actually trigger an early menopause as well, regardless of what age you would have had it normally.
Myth No. 2 – you’re going to put on weight during the menopause
Now this can happen, hormonal changes in the menopause can affect your metabolism. But if you think about it, when you are starting the menopause, say around about 45 to 50, your lifestyle often changes at that particular point. Now I get an awful lot of women who say ‘but I’m not eating anything extra’, but you may be sneaking a few things in here and there that can make quiet a big difference.
We’ve also got the fact that we tend to be a little more sedentary as we get older so we are not exercising, we’re not active as much as we used to be. So these things do need to be taken into account and it can be a combination of hormones, lifestyle and diet.
Now one of the things I actually recommend is to just slightly tweak your diet. There can be problems with carb metabolism when you start the menopause and I normally say, cut down on the carbs, go for less but go for really good quality wholegrains, up your protein a little bit because this is needed a lot during the menopause and increase your fruits and vegetables.
A lot of women find that just this little change can make quiet a lot of difference to keeping the weight off and being able to control it a lot more at this particular time.
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Myth No. 3 – Your sex drive is going to get up and go
Now this is a bit of a tricky one because in theory falling hormones can lower your libido, but again it’s to do with lifestyle and what you are doing at this particular point in your life.
The menopause itself puts tremendous pressure on your body, which can cause fatigue. You can be running round like an idiot all day, a really busy job, you might have family as well, some women in the menopause tend to get low mood.
So if you put all this together, fatigue, low mood, just feeling really down, then no wonder you don’t actually feel like doing anything. Now herbs such as maca can often be really useful and our Menopause Support can help to balance oestrogen and that can be of help too.
Myth No. 4 – The first symptom you are going to get is the hot flush
Not true! 75% of women will get flushes but the other 25% of women will not get hot flushes or night sweats at all. Now a lot of women will actually get symptoms while they are still getting periods and these symptoms can include things like fatigue, low mood, joint pain, bloating, breast tenderness, irritability and very often because they are still getting periods, they don’t actually associate these symptoms with the menopause.
So if this is you, have a little think whether the symptoms you are getting are actually falling into this type of pattern.
Myth No. 5 – If you have your periods earlier, you’re going to have an early menopause and if you start your periods later you’re going to have a later menopause
This isn’t the case at all. It really depends on how many eggs you are born with to start with. So if you’re born with fewer eggs, you will have an earlier menopause, regardless of when you started your period and if you are born with more eggs, you will tend to have a later menopause.
Now certain things like pregnancy can be taken into account as well, and very often that will shift the age up very slightly as well.
Myth No. 6 – you’re only going to get physical symptoms like hot flushes and night sweats
Again this is not the case. You can get a whole combination of symptoms ranging from psychical ones to emotional ones as well, so you can get a real mix. And again, remember you are an individual going through the menopause and you’re not going to be the same as everyone else.
Myth No. 7 – by the time you get through the menopause and you have had all these symptoms, life is never ever going to be the same again and that’s it over
Believe me I do get a lot of women who think that is going to happen. Now for the majority of women, once you have been through the menopause and not had a period for a couple of years, your symptoms should start to tail off and the majority of women will start to feel fine again.
And if you look after yourself well – good diet, sensible exercise and plenty of rest and relaxation, then you can feel just as good, if not better afterwards and you have got a whole life to look forward to after that as well.
Myth No. 8 – every woman will get symptoms and every woman is going to face the most awful, terrible, nightmarish time through the menopause and there is no escape
Well luckily this just isn’t the case. The majority of women will get through the menopause with minor symptoms and sometimes quite happily as well. But what we have noticed is that those women, who take care of themselves, do tend to have an easier time through the menopause.
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