There is a lot of information out there about the menopausal transition, and it can be overwhelming. If you read long enough, it may all start to sound like a repeat of the same information.
In this article we've put together six little-known facts about menopause that may surprise you. These facts may help you understand more about menopause, avoid possible triggers, and ease its symptoms.
Women Say That Menopause Did Not Decrease Their Quality of Life
In fact, not all women experience menopause symptoms. For those that do, only 1 out of 10 report feeling clinically depressed.
Hot Flashes Are Almost Universal
Although they vary in frequency and intensity, hot flashes are among the most common menopause symptoms, experienced by 9 out of 10 women. If you're already experiencing menopause, the good news is that they tend to decrease over time. Typically, a woman has the most severe hot flashes at the onset of menopause.
Soy's the Trick
Women who live in Asian countries report fewer hot flashes. Researchers are investigating whether the cause of this phenomenon is due to the greater amounts of soy consumed in Asia. Even if it's not, soy has a lot of great nutrients, so adding a bit into your diet can only help.
Smoking Can Make You Menopausal
Women who smoke reach menopause earlier in life than their non-smoking counterparts. During menopause, smoking can actually trigger certain symptoms like hot flashes, making them more intense.
Perimenopausal Women Are at High Risk for Accidental Pregnancies
Don't throw out those contraceptives and condoms just yet. Not only can you get pregnant during perimenopause, but perimenopausal women have one of the highest rates of unplanned pregnancies of any age group. Women 40-44 have the same abortion rate as women under 16, and there has been a significant increase in pregnancies in the over 35 demographic. Menopause only takes place when you've had a year since your last period - and you can get pregnant right up until then. You should always talk to your doctor to confirm what stage of menopause you're at.
Your PMS Isn't Over Yet
Not only do you have to contend with periods that may be extremely irregular, but your PMS symptoms may actually get worse. Also, if you're prone to mood swings during premenstrual syndrome (PMS), you're more likely to suffer from mood swings during menopause.
More Information about Menopause
Although menopause is different and unique for each woman, there are some symptoms which are more common, such as hot flashes. Menopause symptoms are caused by hormonal changes, which can begin many years before menopause itself. To sail through menopause without experiencing severe menopause symptoms, it's important to maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and consider natural supplements. Click here to read more about how to manage menopausal symptoms.
- FPA. Conceivable? - Unplanned pregnancies in the over 35s. retrieved August 5, 2015 from www.fpa.org.uk/contraceptive-awareness-week/conceivable-unplanned-pregnancies-over-35s
- National Health Service UK.(2014). Menopause. Retrieved August 5, 2015 from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/Pages/Introduction.aspx