6 Surprises About The Menopause You Didn’t Know!

6 Surprises About The Menopause You Didn't Know!

OK so it really does get a bad rap, menopause, and to be honest, it deserves it at least to some extent. With the frustration, hot flushes, pea soup fog in the brain slowing down your every thought, mood swings and weight gain too…

But let’s not take it too much to heart, the change doesn’t have to be that big, menopause doesn’t have to be the thing you suffer or battle through with fear.

About 65 percent of women say that they feel completely unprepared for the menopause and the changes that come with it. Menopause is not like pregnancy or puberty, you actually have a lot more control over how you weather it, according to Sarah De La Torre, M.D., an ob/GYN in Seattle.

What we have below will empower you to deal with menopause, make them your best years yet!

1. Menopause symptoms could last for around 7 years.

In fact, you actually reach the big MP after 12 months without having a period, a milestone most women hit at about the age of 50.

6 Surprises About The Menopause You Didn't Know!

However it’s not hard to stop, it’s a slow and quite gradual process says leading expert Felice Gersh, M.D., an ob/GYN, a director of the Integrative Medical Group.

A study shows that the average length of the whole affair, with hot flushes to boot, is 7 and a half years, roughly, in total. In those precious years before your menopause, your cycle can get a little erratic, and your periods may get to be a bit heavier or lighter.

You could have hot flushes and trouble getting to sleep, mood swings, after the menopause, according to Dr. Gersh the symptoms linger as your body adjusts to them.

2. Surprisingly, No! Hot flushes aren’t random.

Around the 80 percent mark of women who are pre-menopausal and also 65 percent of post-menopausal women experience this awful symptom.

Yes, while you may not be able to entirely avoid hot flushes, there are many ways you can reduce their effect on you.

Dr. De La Torre tells us:

“Triggers such as stress, hot drinks, caffeine, and sleep deprivation can definitely kick off hot flashes and make them worse and more frequent,”

Spicy foods and hot rooms, as well as tight clothes,  ramp things up too, so steer clear of these things, and instead get more sleep, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of moderate exercises too!

3. You can still make love and enjoy it too!

Dr. De La Torre tells us:

“A lot of women feel like making love won’t be as good after menopause, or that it will be painful,”

Yes ok, your hormones can leave your lady bits a little drier and less elastic, however, you don’t have to stay like that, dry we mean, or let it kill your lovemaking either!

Dr. De La Torre says:

“Oestrogen inserts, lubricants, and red light therapy can all help improve the health of your [lady bits] and maintain you’re [life of love making],”

About 50 percent of women experience this type of dryness down below and can find it painful to make love, also as many as 90 percent don’t get any help at all.

4. You can actually still get pregnant, surprise!

Dr. De La Torre tells us:

“I’ve had quite a few 44-year-olds with surprise pregnancies …I think some women get more casual about birth control in their 40s, thinking there’s no way they could get pregnant …but you’re still fertile, just less so.”

So the good reason for taking birth control is twofold, besides the obvious, it also helps ease the path to menopause, such that your body will not notice the steady decline in estrogen and progesterone.

So in effect, your symptoms could be far less erratic…

5. Menopause affects more than your reproductive system.

Oestrogen is the aptly called the master of metabolic homeostasis, we like to call it the balance! Well, actually Dr. Gersh tells us that what she calls it.

When hormone production ceases, it filters down to everything from fat production and storage, appetite hormones and thyroid function, all the way to energy levels, sleep, mood, inflammation, and so on and so forth.

Consequently, 90 percent of women gain weight after menopause, you can feel hungrier and more tired too. Blood vessel walls are not kept so flexible any more by those hormones, so the incidence of heart disease is higher too.

The bottom line is you really got to start to look after yourself now!

So now you really need to look after yourself, eat plenty of veggies and some fruits too, exercise and get plenty of good sleep, reduce your stress levels, to keep yourself ahead of the game.

6. Mental health is a concern.

Us women have twice the risk of depression and anxiety than men do, and the menopause adds extra stress as well as if the kids are leaving home too….

So… be positive and every day look after yourself! Now you’re prepared to know what to do for the best, you just have to go and do it!