5 Menopause Myths Debunked
Whether you’re approaching “the change” or are experiencing it first-hand, you might have heard rumors about menopause. From hot flashes to bad sex to other lousy symptoms, everyone experiences it differently. Providers at Women’s Care Florida clear up some of the top misconceptions. Here are five of the top menopause myths debunked.
Myth #1: Hormone Replacements Are Dangerous
Temporary use of low-dose hormone replacement is safe for the majority of women. You can use hormone replacement therapy to help with hot flashes, lack of energy, decreased libido, and vaginal dryness. Therapy could even reduce your risk for osteoporosis or heart disease, especially if you start menopause before age 45.
However, some women, such as women with a history of breast cancer or stroke, should avoid hormone replacement. Talk to your doctor about possible risks and benefits so you can decide if hormone replacement is right for you.
Myth #2: Major Menopause Weight Gain
Although menopause changes where you may gain weight (your abdomen instead of your breasts, for instance), aging is the real culprit behind middle-aged weight gain. All people are likely to gain fat as they age due to decreased muscle mass, less physical activity, and poor sleep.
To combat weight gain, exercise more often. Include activities that help you maintain muscle mass, such as lifting weights. You should also change up your diet by eating fewer calories and more fruits and vegetables.
Myth #3: Menopause Ruins Sex
Changes in hormones can affect your libido and lead to changes in your vagina. However, not all women experience these problems. In the top menopause myths debunked, ruined sex takes the cake. Many women enjoy sex more after menopause because they don’t have to worry about becoming pregnant and, without children around, have more time to enjoy their partners.
If you are experiencing problems with sex due to menopause symptoms, don’t be shy; talk to your physician. Certain lubricants, creams or other treatments can help you experience more sexual satisfaction. With no period to worry about, you may find that menopause and sex in your fifties is the best sex you’ve ever had.
Myth #4: I Don’t Need Contraception After Menopause
While it’s true you can’t get pregnant after menopause, that doesn’t mean you don’t need contraception. Sexually-transmitted diseases, including HIV, are on the rise in people over 50. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seniors have the same risk of getting HIV as young people—but are more likely to be diagnosed later when medicines can’t help.
Feel free to throw those birth control pills away, but always use a condom to protect yourself from syphilis, HIV, and other diseases.
Myth #5: I Got My Period Young So I’ll Start Menopause Early
Though this myth sounds like it makes sense, it’s simply untrue. There’s no set number of periods to get through before you reach menopause. Even if you started your period at age 11, you’ll likely start menopause at around age 52 like the average woman.
Want to learn more about menopause and treatments? Schedule an appointment with a doctor here.