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5 Myths About Menopause



5 min read

five myths about menopause blog

by Team Thinx | 02/14/2024

Medically reviewed by Dr. Saru Bala

Menopause is a natural stage of life and a sign to embrace a new beginning. However, when menopause myths are confused with scientific research, it proves to be damaging in figuring out what appears to be true and what contributes to harmful stereotypes surrounding menstrual health. With information on both the internet as well as from friends and family, it is important to take a closer look at 5 common menopause myths and use scientific claims to debunk them.

Myth #1: There’s nothing you can do about menopause

While menopause symptoms vary, for some people they can be quite severe but may go untreated due to misunderstanding about what options are available.

Many people are only familiar with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a possible treatment for menopausal symptoms–a treatment that at one point gained a negative public opinion. For some, public concern around specifically hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has overshadowed its potential benefits, as well as the possibility of seeking other treatment options. While menopause is a natural and normal process, distressing symptoms sometimes associated with it can be aided by medical and lifestyle interventions. For instance, simple lifestyle changes like relaxation techniques and prioritizing a balanced diet can help alleviate menopause symptoms in both physical and mental health areas of concern.

Myth #2: It’s something you don’t need to think about until you’re older

The health education many of us receive starts and ends around puberty, which can lead us to lack understanding about significant hormonal and reproductive changes that occur later in life too.

Learning about changes like perimenopause, and early menopause on can help us better understand how our own bodies work, and even grow respect for and better anticipate the seasons ahead. Additionally, perimenopause often starts between younger women ages 40 to 44, and can begin as early as your 30s for some people. Knowing what to expect before your menstrual period and hormones begin to change at this stage can help you understand, prepare for, and manage any menopause symptoms related to the transition.

Myth #3: Menopause means hot flashes and mood swings

The prevalence of jokes about hot flashes and erratic middle-aged and older women culturally can minimize our understanding of what menopause really is, and reduce it to a caricature that limits our understanding. 

While hormonal changes can cause effects that include temperature, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood changes, these symptoms have gained an outsized negative connotation. Most people experience menopause around the same age that they may be at the height of their careers, yet this may come at a cost as research has shown that menopausal women are falsely perceived as less confident and less emotionally stable. Stereotypes around menopause can reinforce the idea that women lack leadership qualities and even reduce the likelihood that those qualified to advance into top leadership positions will be promoted.

Myth #4: Menopause is just when your period stops

Menopause is the point in time when a person’s period has not occurred for over 12 months and permanently ends. However, the process and potential symptoms related to that eventual change can last for years.

Leading up to menopause, perimenopause is the period of time during which a person’s ovaries gradually stop working and your body’s production of hormones including estrogen and progesterone fluctuates. Experiences during this time may include changes to your menstrual cycle, sleep disturbance, urinary incontinence, skin, hair, and other internal and external differences. Its effects vary for everyone, but often occur over a span of 2 to 10 years and may be wide-ranging in how they appear before menopause occurs. The process is much more than an end to your period.

Myth #5: Menopause means you’re old

Negative stereotypes about menopause due to its associations with aging and women’s roles can lead to shame and embarrassment around menopause.

At one point in history, menopause was treated as a neurosis by medical professionals and it is still understudied today. Cultural associations with women’s roles and value being related to their fertility, which ends with menopause, adds to a negative cultural view of the transition as well. This taboo can prevent individuals experiencing menopause, and our wider society, from acknowledging menopause as a natural transition into a new stage of life wherein many people are relieved to no longer be encumbered by more difficult aspects of menstruation, and gain confidence and self-assuredness that can come with age.

Check out our educational video hub on YouTube to learn more from experts like Dr. Bala, a Naturopathic Doctor and Thinx Partner specializing in women's hormonal health, and join our mission to debunk menopause myths and empower all who pee and bleed with shame-free body literacy education. 

The information contained in this article should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your health care professional.


by Team Thinx

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