Menopause: How’s Your Knowledge? Let’s Start A Conversation.

Dee McCrea speaking to bpw hawera about menopause

One of our goals at MenoMe® is to encourage women to talk more about menopause.

And by talking I don’t mean the usual jokes or a quick mention about hot flushes, I mean really talk about how menopause signs affect you on a day to day basis – at home, work, and socially.

We’re hearing some pretty tough stories from women reaching out to us and there seems to be a common theme… lack of knowledge!

Let’s Talk About It

I talk about menopause constantly these days. I’ll meet someone in the street and they’ll ask how it’s going and I’ll reply “great… really busy, especially with this menopause thing”. That’s all I need to say and the conversation begins. But I have to tell you what I’m hearing is a lot of misinformation and a lack of information.

As I mentioned in a recent radio interview many women don’t realise there are three stages of menopause and many women – especially women in their 40’s – think you’re only in menopause when your periods stop.

You can listen to my radio interview here…

The Danger Of Not Being Knowledgeable

The danger of not being knowledgeable about menopause is not realising you are actually going through it and putting normal menopause signs down to something else or being misdiagnosed and put on incorrect medication. And from feedback from the MenoMe® community we’re hearing this story a lot.

The Signs

There is far more to menopause than hot flushes, night sweats and periods stopping. There are in fact 34 documented signs ranging from the well-known hot flushes and mood swings to the lesser known sleeplessness and menopause induced anxiety and depression.

If You’re Around 50 You Will Experience It!

I recently spoke to a business women’s group on this very topic. You can see the video of my talk below. During it, I mentioned that when we’ve (MenoMe®) raised the menopause subject to women aged 50+ some have said: “Oh I never ‘had’ menopause”. Like it’s an illness they have avoided. We actually think they’re saying – we’re one of the lucky ones who never experienced hot flushes.

Let me assure you, menopause is not an illness and cannot be avoided (while you’re alive). If you are female and around 50, then you have experienced at least one of the stages of menopause – perimenopause, menopause or post-menopause irrespective of whether you have experienced hot flushes or not.

Our message to women, especially women in their early 40’s approaching this life stage is to learn as much as you can about menopause now, so you are aware of what is about to start and can make the necessary choices and life changes to alleviate and manage signs and avoid future health risks.

Menopause Is The Gateway To Healthy Ageing

If we miss the call and carry on living as we have done we may not be taking the best care of ourselves.

The change of life can be the Time of Your Life® Click To Tweet

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Post-menopause


This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.

Perimenopause

Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.