9 Myths About Menopause, Debunked by Experts
With decades of periods under your belt, you might be ready to wave goodbye to menstruation. After all, for many women, the idea of life without monthly cramps, cravings, and mood swings may sound nothing short of relieving. Before you can experience relief, however, you'll need to experience menopause—symptoms and all.
A quick refresher: Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstruation ends—it occurs 12 months after her last period. It's marked by a natural drop in reproductive hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that are produced by the ovaries. Collectively, the years leading up to the point of menopause are known as perimenopause, or menopausal transition, according to the Office on Women's Health. The hormonal changes that happen during this time are responsible for irksome symptoms like hot flashes, anxiety, and trouble sleeping, just to name a few.
Menopause is completely normal and natural. But even still, it can be a confusing time for many women, especially if they've never spoken to female friends or relatives about it. Unfortunately, the conversation around menopause is pretty limited—which means there are a lot of myths and misconceptions floating around out there. To help you navigate this major (and inevitable!) life transition, we're debunking some of the most common menopause myths, with the help of doctors and health pros.