8 Menopause Myths Debunked
Many women feel some shame around menopause. They shouldn’t! But they do. They don’t like that it is a reminder of their age, they think it makes them less attractive to men, and maybe it steals their dreams of having more children. For these reasons and more, many women don’t talk about menopause as much as they should, and, as a result, there are a lot of myths floating around about it. Here are eight of them, debunked.
Myth: An early period means early menopause
Many women believe you can predict when you’ll begin menopause based on when you first started having your period.
Truth: That has nothing to do with it
Here are things that actually impact when you will begin menopause: Do you smoke? Do you drink a lot? Did your mother start menopause at a young age? All of these things can mean that menopause may start earlier. On the flip side, if you’ve had several pregnancies, your menopause may begin later in life, according to Everyday Health.
Myth: The weight gain is your body slowing down
Weight gain is common during menopause, but it’s not as simple as your body or your metabolism slowing down.
Truth: Your body wants to stay fertile
What’s actually happening is that your body senses it isn’t producing as many sex hormones, but it wants to try and remain fertile. It does this by storing fat around your waist, hips and thighs. By doing so, your body produces more estrogen, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Myth: Menopause only happens after your period ends
Many women experience symptoms of menopause like fatigue, weight gain, and hot flashes and still think, “There is no way I’m starting menopause—I’m still getting my period!”
Truth: Symptoms can come early
Women can start to experience menopause symptoms months or even years before their period goes away entirely, according to the National Institute on Aging. Some even experience symptoms earlier than a year before their period ends. And some even experience an especially heavy flow right before menopause.
Myth: Menopause starts at 50
Most associate menopause with the mid-life point. If they experience symptoms any earlier than 50, they go searching for other answers about their health, sure that it can’t be menopause.
Truth: Menopause can begin earlier than you think
Some women enter menopause as early as their 30s, and some don’t start it until their 60s.
Myth: Symptoms will be the worst during menopause
If you experience terrible symptoms during perimenopause (right before actual menopause), you may think, “If symptoms are bad now I can’t even imagine what they’ll be like during actual menopause!”
Truth: Perimenopause can be worse
According to experts, many women experience their worst symptoms during perimenopause because that’s when their hormones fluctuate the most.
Myth: You have to exercise like crazy
It’s true you have to take in fewer calories (or burn more) than usual after menopause in order to keep extra weight off. So you might be tempted to exercise like crazy.
Truth: Food is your ticket to a tighter tummy
Your number one friend actually isn’t exercise—it’s food. Many women, so long as they have excellent nutrition, can balance out their hormones and get back down to or stay at a healthy weight. Good nutrition also gives us the energy to exercise more, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Myth: All hysterectomies lead to menopause
It is true that after a woman undergoes a hysterectomy, she will feel the immediate onset of menopausal symptoms. That’s because she has removed organs that produce and house a lot of her sex hormones.
Truth: Not all hysterectomies are created equal
The type of hysterectomy a woman has will determine the level of menopause she feels, according to the Mayo Clinic. A woman who has had a full hysterectomy (removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries) will experience more severe symptoms than one who only had her uterus removed.
Myth: After menopause you lose interest in sex
Many women fear that their relationships are at risk after menopause because they’ve heard they’ll lose their sex drive.
Truth: Sex can be less enjoyable, but it doesn’t have to be
A woman doesn’t lose interest in sex after menopause—you will still want to get it on. But your body might experience some emotional and physical symptoms that make sex less enjoyable according to experts. Vaginal dryness and feelings of depression set on by hormonal imbalances can, of course, make sex less enjoyable. But with the right hormonal treatment and products, you can have a happy and active sex life after menopause.