Myths and facts of menopause
Myth: The older you start menstruating, the older you are when you go through menopause
Fact: The age of the onset of menopause is unpredictable. There are many women who start menstruating late and have menopause earlier. There are some factors that may affect the onset of menopause: · Smoking leads to earlier menopause. · Drinking alcohol is associated with later menopause. · Having more babies may be linked with later menopause. · If the mother has an early menopause, the daughter may follow suit.
Please also refer to” timing of menopause “under the article “Menopause”
Myth: You can still get pregnant after menopause.
Fact: During the phase leading to menopause called peri-menopause, your ovary may still release the egg once in a while and you can get pregnant as a result. It is important to note that peri-menopause can last from a few months to a few years .You should consult your gynaecologist regarding methods of contraception. Once menopause sets in, i.e. after menstruation stops for 12 months, you will not get pregnant anymore.
Myth: Weight gain is inevitable in menopause.
Fact: As you transit from peri-menopause to menopause, your ovaries produce less sex hormones resulting in hormonal imbalance. Fat starts piling up especially around the waist, hips, and thighs. Studies have showed a change in body composition after menopause, including increases in body fat percentages and decreases in lean body mass. But if you eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly, you can still maintain a healthy weight.
Myth: All women experience unpleasant symptoms during menopause.
Fact: Menopausal symptoms vary from woman to woman. Some may have severe and unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, depression and mood swings. Others may have mild, or no symptoms, except for the absence of a period.