Friday, February 20, 2009

Menopause And A Few Myths About It

Menopause, it must be borne in mind, is not a disease, it is just "the next stage in your life". Here are some of the common myths:

Myth: It is believed that when you reach menopause that your ovaries dry up and waste away.

This is not true, what actually happens is that the ovaries gradually reduce the production of the hormone estrogen. This happens because the body does not require the high production of the hormone anymore.

Myth: Women lose libido at menopause.

Research has shown that there is no link between disinterest in sex and the low level of estrogen during menopause. Fifty percent of women are found to have no marked changed in libido during menopause.

Myth: Menopause causes depression.

Not true. Studies have shown that there are a greater percentage of depressed women in the thirty age group rather than in the menopausal age group, which is in the fifties.

Myth: The loss of estrogen during menopause does not have any serious consequences.

The loss of estrogen can bring about major risks in a woman's life. For example, she runs the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, colon cancer, just to name a few.

Myth: There is weight gain during menopause.

Some women actually lose weight, while some will gain weight, but it is not necessarily related to menopause. What will make you fat is probably not eating healthy food. Therefore, you should have a well balanced diet.

Myth: All women have symptoms.

It is generally thought that all women who reach menopause have the symptoms of mood swings, depression, hot flashes etc. Studies have shown that about fifteen percent of women do not have symptoms of menopause. The only symptom would be the stoppage of menstruation.

Myth: In hormone replacement therapy, the hormone estrogen is a natural hormone.

This is not true. All the hormonal drugs used in hormone replacement therapy are manufactured and are synthetic.

Myth: Menopause occurs at the age of 50.

There is no specific age for menopause. There is great variation. The average age is about 52. About one percent of women reach menopause at about 40 years or even younger. The average age span for menopause today is around 45 years of age to 55 years. However, if you have had your female reproductive organs surgically removed then you would automatically have reached menopause.

Myth: Menopause lasts only a few years.

Menopause can last from anywhere from six to fourteen years.

Myth: Menopause is very commonly mistaken for a disease.

It most definitely is not a disease; it is just another normal phase in a woman's life.

Myth: There is memory loss during menopause.

There may be occasional mood swings but there is no memory loss. Memory loss may be attributed to the aging factor and is not directly related to menopause. As men and women age, the brain reduces in size.

Myth: After menopause, women cannot enjoy sex.

It has been found that the majority of post menopausal women enjoy sex more than before menopause. This may be due to the fact that they do not have to worry about unwanted pregnancies.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Menopause

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