So, I thought I'd do you a quick video MYTH BUSTING!
You can watch the video in this post, or read the text below. However, you wish.
I'm currently in the dawn years of peri-menopause with the odd mild hot flash and more frequent night sweats. So I thought I'd impart some wisdom on a few things to watch out for.
Here's my top 7 Menopause Myths, busted right out of the water.
1. You'll gain weight, especially round the mid section.
While it is true that our metabolisms slow down as we age, it doesn't necessary mean that we will gain weight. Keeping active, limiting simple carbs, and eating more fruits and vegetables can make the world of difference. It gets harder to metabolise carbohydrates as oestrogen levels fall, but by sticking to whole grains and lots of whole foods, that needn't be a problem.
2. You'll have menopause symptoms forever
It's true that some women are unlucky and experience things like hot flashes/flushes for many years (my mum being one of those people - she occasionally still does at nearly 70 years of age) most women only experience the extreme symptoms in the first few years. Many women also report having very few symptoms at all.
3. You'll lose your sex drive and become a wizened old washer woman
NOT TRUE. Yes, you may experience some loss of libido and it seems that the more extreme your symptoms are, the lower the libido will be. However, the main culprit when it comes to lower sex drive is less to do with hormone levels and more to do with the loss of collagen.
Collagen is the stuff in our skin that makes it stretch. The skin in the vagina is no exception. Less collagen can mean that the tissue is thinner and therefore can be less sensitive to stimulation. Dryness can also be a problem which can make intercourse very painful.
Try using a lubricant or oil or the dryness.
Tiredness and body image can also play a big role in how we feel about sex. Relaxation techniques, mediation and simply talking to your partner can help to soften those barriers. How we feel about ourselves should be top priority. The better we feel about ourselves, the better others will perceive us.
4. Bleeding during menopause is normal
This is not true. Bleeding during peri-menopause is normal. While the body is working out what is going on. But if you haven't had a period for 12 months, and you suddenly start to bleed, see your gynaecologist. It could be nothing, but it could be a red flag (no pun intended). So get it checked out.
5. There is nothing you can do about hot flashes.
Sooooo, no true. About 75-80% of women experience hot flashes and very few of them seek advice.
If your flashes are mild, some simple life-style changes can help. (I have a free download which details some of those changes available here https://www.pbhomeopathy.com/managing-your-hormones)
If your flashes are severe, your doctor might want to put you on HRT or even mild antidepressants. But remember, if you do go down this route, you're looking at taking, at least HRT, for the rest of your life! If you stop HRT, you will re-start your menopause.
And in comes Homeopathy. Time and time again we hear, "I don't know what else to do. I'm at the end of my tether." I take their individual case, a remedy appropriate for the patient is prescribed, and their symptoms improve. Over and over. That's were 'Master your Menopause' came from on this site.
The mission is to help as many women as I can. (Pop yourself in for a FREE chat: https://calendly.com/philippabennetthomeopathy/15min)
6. HRT is the best way to reduce symptoms
Following on from number 5, not always. HRT replaces the lost oestrogen and progesterone, therefore alleviating the symptoms caused by their absence.
However, firstly, there are MANY symptoms of menopause which can't be attributed to lowered oestrogen. Many strange, weird and wonderful ones. HRT does not solve those.
Secondly, there have been studies linking HRT to an increased risk of stroke, heart attacks and breast cancer. A good doctor will likely not prescribe HRT to someone with a history of breast cancer in the family and furthermore should only ever prescribe it as a short term solution for extreme symptoms.
HRT should be the last resort when all else has failed.
7. And last but not least, there is NOTHING good about menopause.
Well, for many women the freedom from having a period every month is the thing they've waited their whole lives for. Also freedom from getting pregnant. (that's not a pass to go pouncing on every young thing you can BTW)
It is also a transition to elder and wise woman. You have a whole life of wisdom and experience to pass on to the younger generations. You are the head of the table. Impart your wisdom well.