Written by Teresa Isabel Dias
There are many menopause myths out there, one of the biggest myths being that menopause affects old women. The fact is that perimenopause (peri) can start in your late 30’s or early 40’s, a far cry from ‘old age’!
Most women start peri knowing little about what to expect. They probably know about hot flashes, however many other symptoms are also possible, and are rarely put into the context of the hormonal changes of midlife. These symptoms can include:
- memory problems
- mood swings
- anger and rage
- loss of libido
- aches and pains
- heart palpitations
Believe it or not, many women are diagnosed with a mental health problem instead of perimenopause or hormonal imbalance, and consequently prescribed inappropriate medication that won’t help and may even worsen the problem due to adverse effects.
Like many women you may be unaware of and unprepared for (peri)menopause. There are many reasons for this, including the secrecy surrounding menopause, embarrassment, lack of intergenerational sharing, and doctors’ lack of training about this natural and inevitable phase of a woman’s life. Too often, women in peri are told to “hang in there and this too shall pass”.
This short video from the Baroness Von Sketch Show is funny but also terrifying, sad, and upsetting because of the reality it unfortunately depicts when it comes to women’s realities with perimenopause.
Well, at least the doctor in the sketch was right about one thing: perimenopause challenges may last for several years; one more reason why women should get evidence-based, relevant, and up-to-date information and support to navigate peri.