We’re breaking the glass ceiling on taboo topics once and for all by discussing them openly—starting with everything you never learned about menopause.
Women’s magazines and general discourse surrounding our bodies have come far in recent years, we will admit that. There are, however, quite a few topics that seem to carry a stigma even today. Among those topics are things like how to choose a tampon size, how to keep your vagina healthy, but also the ins and outs of menopause. We all deal with these issues, so why are they still taboo? We’re breaking the glass ceiling on these topics, once and for all, by discussing them openly—starting with everything you never learned about menopause.
Your mum likely told you about her first period, but did she tell you about menopause?
First Off—What is it?
Menopause is a naturally occurring phenomenon that your body goes through when it stops producing eggs. During this time, your body will stop getting a period (which lasts for the rest of your life); and your hormones go through a lot of changes as you go from being naturally fertile to naturally infertile.
How do you know it’s menopause?
Your body goes through a lot of changes when it stops producing eggs - in the same way that your period caused a lot of changes in your skin, mood, and overall health. There are dozens of signs that signal your body is going through menopause. Some of the most famous signs are hot flashes, mood swings, and frequently missed periods, but some of the lesser known ones can be anything from bladder control issues to general aches and pains, more sensitive and dry vaginal skin or even an inexplicable racing heartbeat.
What many women often don’t expect about menopause is that its effects can begin as early as age 30, sometimes sooner (though those cases are very rare). Many women assume that they’ll wake up one day and have all of the tale signs. But the truth is that these often show up slowly over a long period of time. Where you may begin noticing changes in your thirties, it may not mean your body is fully going through menopause until much later. In many cases, signs can occur for up to 10 years before you’ve completely gone through menopause.
Menopause is not an exact science
One of the unfortunate things about menopause is that doctors don’t explain the phenomenon fully - considering the infinite forms it can take from a woman to another. There are dozens of symptoms; and while most women don’t go through menopause until well after age 40, there are rare cases that can see women entering menopause as early as in their twenties. All of these discrepancies and a general lack of studies on the subject have made it hard for doctors to get a firm understanding of the phenomenon.
Because there are so many changes associated with menopause, it can be hard to recognize if that is, indeed, what is going on. A simple blood test from your doctor can help diagnose whether or not you are beginning to go through menopause; but even once you’ve been diagnosed, it’s hard to tell how long it will last.
Regardless of what doctors know now, one of the best ways to make menopause less scary for other women is to start talking about it now. Share your concerns with your doctor early on and discuss what you’re going through with the trusted women around you—it may not only help you get to know yourself a little bit better, but help another woman identify her symptoms and get the right approach as she enters menopause, too. Another way is to prepare your body and skin for the changes they are going through – something Rejuvenate can help you with.
If periods are becoming increasingly less of a taboo subject, we believe that menopause should as well. Not every woman is the same, and neither are their experiences with menopause. Sharing your experience and taking care of yourself will help make this unavoidable transition more empowering and reassuring!
by J. Buchwald-Sachs