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Understanding the dreaded M word…Menopause

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You hear the word menopause and you stop in your tracks.

Many people do and that’s okay. It’s the dreaded word you never want to hear, talk about or let alone experience. For many women, there is not a lot of education surrounding this stage of life so it can seem scary. When our bodies change it can feel embarrassing and taboo, because who really wants to talk about the weird symptoms we are having? 

You might feel like the only one going through it, but trust me you are not. Understanding your body is the key to feeling comfortable in your own skin. Starting menopause does not have to be as nerve wracking as it seems, and many organizations are working to help women overcome the stigma surrounding it. 

Knowing your perimenopause and menopause symptoms, how to manage them and educating future generations is vital to breaking this cycle of insecurity. Each woman’s process through menopause is different and it’s okay to have questions. Menopause is not a bad word, it is simply a new stage of life that you get to experience and tackle head on. 

Identifying Your Symptoms

The first step to understanding menopause is knowing key differences. Perimenopause is when your body begins to transition to menopause, signaling the end of your reproductive years. Women in their 40s, even mid-30s can start to experience the first perimenopause symptoms. Perimenopause symptoms can be confusing because they are so similar to your regular period symptoms. Irregular periods, hot flashes, mood changes, and changes in sexual function are all signs of perimenopause. 

Menopause is simply one day. It is when a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without a period. Understanding these differences helps you learn more about your body, so that you can narrow down what questions you have and ask your doctor. Many people think menopause is the whole transition of losing your period, but that is not the case. These common misconceptions lead to confusion and signals that women’s health needs to be talked about more. 

“Menopause can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, your body is going through unexpected changes, but there are ways to take back control and feel empowered during this stage. Think of menopause as a right of passage,” Amy Beckley, Ph.D and CEO at Proov.

When you understand your symptoms and what your body is going through, you will have an easier time finding ways to manage it. 

Managing Your Symptoms

You do not have to let your body changes, change you. New research is helping women understand their bodies and giving helpful advice to overcome the challenges they face. Perimenopause testing or even holistic efforts can help you be more in tune with your symptoms. Because each person and experience is different, finding what works for you is important.

“You have done so many wonderful things throughout your life, you have conquered hard obstacles, so starting menopause is just another test of your resilience. Menopause is not avoidable, but feeling bad during it is. There are resources out there that will support and educate you, so you can feel like your true self even when your body is changing.” 

Perimenopause testing, like Proov, can help give you accurate answers on your transition, and lead you to other outlets for advice. Other things like exercise, supplements or acupuncture can also help give you some much needed relief from your symptoms. Knowing where to start is the key to feeling confident. 

Educating Future Generations

Once you have a handle on your symptoms and journey through menopause, the next step is to break the cycle of misinformation. We need to educate younger generations so they can feel prepared for when they enter this stage of their lives. Being open and honest about your body can be difficult, and maybe it’s not something you are comfortable with, but if you do feel like it’s something you can talk about, don’t be afraid to use your voice. There needs to be more transparency surrounding women’s health, and what better way to learn than from a woman herself?

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