How much did your mother tell you about menopause? Chances are, she didn’t tell you much, if she talked about it at all. The people now entering menopause were raised by parents who considered such topics taboo and would never have even considered broaching such an uncouth topic.
Unfortunately, that means that most women have no idea what to really expect during menopause. When you only see it portrayed in fiction, television, and movies, you can’t possibly have a realistic view of this period in your life. Here are some things you probably thought you knew that are completely wrong, and what you can actually expect.
You can’t go through menopause before the age of 50.
This is the myth that causes the biggest problem. Many women start the process of menopause in their late 30s through 40s. In fact, you can start menopause even younger if you have some risk factors like ongoing medication therapy or certain medical conditions. Women who have a partial or total hysterectomy may also go through menopause early and suddenly.
Your periods stop when you get your first symptoms and don’t come back.
A lot of women believe that when you get your first symptoms of menopause your body will shut down your period forever right then and there. That is so far from the truth. You can continue to have periods, normal or irregular, for years after you start getting hot flashes, night sweats, acne, and all the rest.
The entire process of “the change” is called menopause.
The actual definition of menopause is the ceasing of your menstrual cycle. The gradual decrease of sexual hormones and all the symptoms that come with it is part of a process called perimenopause. This simply means that your body is preparing for ceasing your periods forever. The duration of this process and how long it takes for periods to stop completely depends on many factors, some of which can’t really be known.
If you are worried about menopause symptoms but were afraid to say anything to your doctor, you could be missing out on very helpful hormone replacement therapies that could make your symptoms more manageable. Contact us today for an appointment to discuss your options and discover if you are having perimenopause.