I was 48-years-old when I started experiencing symptoms that I later discovered were the early symptoms of menopause. Perimenopause is what it’s called. To tell you the truth, I was so glad there was a name for what I was going through, because I thought I was having some kind of mental and physical breakdown—something only Prozac and a shot of Brandy could cure!
Once I discovered I was entering the “change,” I began to read and research all about menopause. What I found was there are quite a few myths, so I’m writing this to set the record straight.
Myth #1: When you go into menopause your sex life is over.WRONG!
One of the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause is vaginal dryness, and the hormonal imbalance can trigger a lack of desire. But, just like everything else, you can overcome it.
There are plenty of vaginal creams on the market to help soothe the dryness, and a vitamin E pill inserted in the vagina can also do the trick.
As far as the lack of sexual desire, you may have to work a little harder on creating the mood mentally and physically, but it can be done. Take yourself back to a time in your relationship when the lovin’ was incredible and meditate on that. Also, don’t be afraid to let your mate know what you like and don’t like. If he loves you and wants to please you, he shouldn’t have any problem doing it your way. Learning how to communicate effectively in the bedroom helps.
Myth #2: If you haven’t had a period in several months, you can go off the pill and assume you’re in menopause.WRONG!
For many women, irregular periods may last several years. The best way to determine whether you have gone into full-blown menopause is when you have gone one complete year (12 months) without having a menstrual cycle.
Going off the pill during your erratic periods is not a good idea because you may be vulnerable to getting pregnant.
Menopause Myth #3: There is a cure for menopause.
No, there is NO CURE but there are measures you can take to ease some of the symptoms associated with menopause. For example, to relieve hot flashes, cut back on spicy foods and alcohol. In the summer, wear lighter clothing. Also, wear brighter colors. Dark colors like black and brown draw heat and can make you even more uncomfortable.
Get up, get out and exercise, and make sure you pump some iron. Also, it’s equally important to maintain a healthy diet, which should include lots of green vegetables and grains.
Menopause Myth #4: If you’re under the age of 45, you’re TOO YOUNG to be menopausal.OH, SO WRONG!
It might be unusual for a woman to go through menopause before the age of 45, but it’s definitely not impossible. There are women in their mid to late thirties who have been known to experience what is known as perimenopause. The symptoms include:
- mood swings
- tension headaches
- vaginal dryness
- lack of sexual drive
- inability to focus
- night sweats
- hot flashes
- sleep problems
- joint and muscle pain
- irregular periods
There are actually 34 symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause.
If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms, talk with your doctor. There is a test you can take to confirm whether or not you’re going through the change. And don’t accept medication as the end-all answer for what ails you—especially if someone wants to give you anti-depressants.
Menopause Myth #5: Menopause leads to other deadly diseases.
First of all, menopause is NOT a disease. It is a natural occurrence in a woman’s life. It is a part of the aging process. Depending on how intense your menopausal symptoms are, you may want to seek some type of treatment. I don’t advocate synthetic drugs, but that’s just me. I have found natural herbal supplements coupled with a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruits work wonders for me.
OK…so now that you know go out and enjoy your menopause!
What is important to remember is you should take good care of yourself by eating healthy and getting some exercise. When I exercise on a consistent basis, my hot flashes are kept to a minimum. Exercise is also a wonderful way to help you maintain a healthy weight. Excess fat CAN lead to other medical problems.