Myths About Menopause You Have To Stop Believing

Menopause might seem like a big scary change in a woman's life, but don't believe everything you hear. While it's a time of transition and perhaps uncertainty, it doesn't have to be something to fear. There are some popular myths you should stop believing to get the facts straight about menopause.

Menopause happens when the hormones estrogen and progesterone decline considerably, usually between the ages of 45 and 55 (via Office on Women's Health). While you're technically in menopause once all menstrual bleeding stops for at least 12 months, the transition time lasts an average of four years. This stage is called perimenopause, and you might experience irregular periods, hot flashes, trouble sleeping, vaginal dryness, and decreased libido. Less estrogen in the body can also mean that your bones begin to lose density, which can increase your risk for osteoporosis.

Once you've gone 12 months without any bleeding, you're officially in menopause. This means you can no longer get pregnant and won't have periods anymore. The average age to go into menopause in the U.S. is 52 years, but it can range anywhere from 45 to 58. You're more likely to enter menopause earlier if you're a smoker, haven't had any pregnancies, or if you have certain health conditions.

Don't believe these myths

There are plenty of myths out there about menopause, but you don't have to believe them (via WebMD). A common misconception is that it makes you irritable and moody, but this just isn't true. If anything, hot flashes and night sweats can mess with your sleep, which can lead to more irritability during the day. Some people often equate menopause with no more sex life, which also isn't true. While decreasing levels of estrogen can cause a lower sex drive and vaginal dryness, it's still possible to maintain a healthy sex life with lubricants and even hormone therapy.

Another perpetuated myth is that it makes you gain weight, but this isn't a given. While many women do gain weight later in life, this is more likely due to aging and decreasing metabolism rather than menopause. Some people also believe that menopause makes women forgetful, but experiencing memory loss is not a symptom of menopause. While you can definitely feel foggy, this may be due to your brain naturally aging. Lastly, some women believe that they need to go on hormone replacement therapy to deal with menopause symptoms, but this is just one tool. You can also make lifestyle changes, use vaginal lubes, and try acupuncture or relaxation techniques.