5 Menopause Myths — Debunked

1. Menopause Makes You Fat

Stop the menopausal weight gain rumors right here and now! Although hormonal changes in your body make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen than other parts of your body, there’s no solid evidence that menopause causes you to get fat.

However, your food choices and level of physical activity do influence your weight gain during menopause, as they do at any other time in your life. If you find yourself skimping on cardio or being less mindful about what you put in your mouth, don’t be surprised by what the scale reads. Your best bet for maintaining your weight is moderate daily exercise and a portion-controlled healthy diet.

2. Menopause Starts at Age 50

There’s no magic number that signals the official onset of menopause. Women generally enter menopause between the age of 45 and 55, but in rare cases women can experience menopause as early as their 30s or as late as their 60s. Also, keep in mind that menopause technically occurs once a woman ceases to have her period for 12 consecutive months. Until then, a woman is considered perimenopausal.

3. Menopause Symptoms Are Only Physical

It’s hard to look beyond the many uncomfortable physical symptoms of menopause such as breast soreness and vaginal dryness, but menopausal hormonal changes also manifest in mental ways including depression and mood swings. On a physiological level, menopause occurs when a woman no longer produces enough estrogen and progesterone to have her period. Some scientists believe that a decrease in estrogen causes brain changes leading to depression whereas others believe that depression is influenced by the physical symptoms a woman experiences. Either way, it’s common for women to feel the effects of menopause on an emotional level.

4. Menopause Causes Urinary Incontinence

Although between 10 and 30 percent of women age 50–64 experience urinary incontinence, the condition is not related to menopause. Instead, factors that contribute to urinary incontinence include excess weight, weakened pelvic muscles due to childbirth and aging, bladder infections, and other medical conditions. Practicing Kegel exercises, staying hydrated, and maintaining good vaginal hygiene can help alleviate incontinence.

5. Menopause Kills Your Sex Drive

Menopause does not rob you of your mojo! Many women find a newfound sense of creativity and heightened self-confidence during midlife as they begin to focus more attention on their own needs and relationships which can do wonders for their sex life.

Decreased estrogen levels can cause vaginal dryness, but using a vaginal lubricant is an easy fix. To make yourself feel sexier, buy some lingerie, pay attention to your vaginal health, eat healthfully, and exercise. Don’t deprive yourself of healthy, enjoyable sex — at any age.