our bodies

5 Myths About Menopause Debunked

July 06, 2021
Isabella Torchia

A few years ago, Gwyneth Paltrow made a statement we agreed with (no, really). While talking about her own experience with aging she explained, “I think menopause gets a really bad rap and needs a bit of a rebranding”. Say it louder Gwen! 

Perhaps some of the reason for the bad rep is the never-ending well of misinformation about menopause. For such a normal process in a menstruating person’s life, there are still so many questions surrounding it. From hot flashes to low sex drives to still being able to get pregnant (you heard that right), read on to debunk 5 menopause myths once and for all. Pro tip: you can also click here to get caught up on the stages of menopause first! 

Myth 1: Your Periods Will Just… Stop 

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And while you may have spent your entire adult life wishing you didn’t have to get your period every month, it’s not as easy as 1, 2, "No More Period for Me". Menopause doesn’t mean the change just happens over night! You’re considered in menopause when you’ve gone a full consecutive year without a period, but it takes some time to get there. 

During perimenopause (the transition to menopause), you’ll notice some changes to your typical period. Hormones oestrogen and progesterone regulate the menstrual cycle, and they fluctuate during this time period. This can cause your periods to be all over the map! They can get lighter, they may get heavier, they can become more irregular, you may spot. It’s all a bit of an unpredictable rollercoaster— but it’s rare the period stoppage happens instantly. 

Myth 2: Goodbye Sex Drive

Vaginal dryness where? Even though some people report a decrease in sex drive and arousal levels, some report the opposite— with an increase in libido! There’s something about a greater sense of freedom (hello empty nest) and relief from unplanned pregnancy fears that can really turn a person on. And some people’s sex life doesn’t change at all! Everyone’s experience will be different but sexual satisfaction doesn’t automatically nose dive the second menopause hits. 

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Myth 3: It All Starts at 50

Turning the big 5-0 doesn’t automatically mean the menopause engine revs up. It’d make things a lot simpler if you blew out all 50 candles and your menstrual cycle just stopped. While on average menopause begins at around the age 52, some people start experiencing symptoms in their 30s while some in their 60s! There’s no sure fire way to predict when the change will come down the mountain, but knowing when your mom started might help you at least guestimate. 

Myth 4: It’s Getting Hot in Here 

Is it hot in here, or is it just your menopause? Turns out, hot flashes aren’t the only thing being served on the menopause menu. Besides waning periods, menopause symptoms can really range. Night sweats, sleeping problems, bloating, mood swings, incontinence, achy joints, digestive problems (do we dare go on?) are all common amongst people working their way through menopause. While the phrase “This Too Shall Pass” could be applied to menopause symptoms, remember that if any of them start to affect your everyday life— checking in with your doc is a good idea.

Myth 5: You Can’t Get Pregnant 

Before you start getting real freaky with it, remember that menopause isn’t an automatic baby-off switch. You’re considered to be in menopause after 12 consecutive months sans period. So this means that you could be period-less for 11 months and still get pregnant. The irregularity during perimenopause leaves room for pregnancy to still occur, so take precaution if that isn’t for you. 

Keeping the Convo Going 

Kim Cattrall, (whose character of Samantha Jones went through menopause on SATC), told Cosmo that she felt proud to be able to depict the experience on TV: 

“Physically, it’s part of how we’re made; hormonally, it’s how we’re constructed; chemically, it’s how we work. Like anything in nature: The seed is planted, it grows, it comes to fruition, after a period of time it starts to change and age, and it’s scary. You wonder, will I be attractive, desirable? What is the next chapter of life? I think it’s one of the reasons why it’s so taboo is because we don’t talk about it". 

So let's keep talking about it! DM us @knix if you have any menopause questions we can help answer so we can explore the ch-ch-ch-change together.