Misconceptions and Myths About Menopause Stages

There’s a lot of information out there regarding menopause. It can get confusing. Between obligations at work, responsibilities at home and trying to maintain a social life—here comes another hot flash—keeping track of the facts and myths of menopause can get tricky!

Don’t worry. Open a window, pour yourself a glass of ice water and let’s straighten out a few misconceptions about menopause.

Myth: Perimenopause starts at 50.

Perimenopause is the time during which a woman’s body begins the menopausal change. It’s actually easier to understand how it starts than when. Common symptoms of perimenopause may include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Vaginal dryness or discomfort during intercourse
  • Forgetfulness
  • Fuzzy thinking
  • Hair loss
  • Urinary issues

Enough symptoms for you? You might experience all, some or only one of these. There are also hormonal changes that can show up in a blood test that you may not even be aware of right away. Perimenopause is a gradual change that could begin at 50. For others, it could start at the age of 35.1 It’s different for everyone…except for what happens at its end.

Myth: Menopause happens when menstruation ends.

This is one of the easiest things to be confused about, because there are actually two definitions of menopause—and it depends who’s answering:

  1. A doctor’s definition is very specific: A woman is considered to be menopausal when she has gone 12 consecutive months without a period.2 That doesn’t mean that it’s been irregular for a year, or that your flow has been getting steadily lighter. It means no periods for a year. Period.
  2. Many people commonly use the term “menopause” when referring to the process of change a woman’s body goes through to become menopausal. In this respect, “menopause” refers to an entire chapter that encompasses three phases: perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause.3

Think of it like moving to a new home. You say, “I’m moving,” but when exactly is it technically considered that you have moved? Is it when you start looking for a new house? When your address changes? When you set up a new utilities account? When you actually move your clothes and furniture? Moving is a process that can take a long time, but if you ask the mail carrier, or the cable company, or the IRS exactly when you’ve officially moved, they have their own definitions. We can understand menopause the same way—it’s both a specific point in time and a process.

So when does menopause start? It could happen at 40, it could happen at 60.4 It’s different for everyone. You’re an original! Remember the official rule though—twelve months, no period.2 Period.

Myth: Hormones disappear during postmenopause.

Hardly! While there is typically a significant decrease in the amount of estrogen and progesterone produced by the adrenal glands, this doesn’t mean the story’s over.5 You’ve got an exciting stage of your life ahead of you and you may have some other health matters that need attention, too.

You are now officially in “postmenopause.” It may seem a little familiar at first, as far as symptoms go:

  • Vaginal dryness and itching
  • Urinary issues
  • Sleeplessness

Hormone levels, while lower, will still fluctuate. This is a prime time for postmenopausal women to discuss the heightened risk of osteoporosis and high blood pressure with their primary care physicians.6

Fact: Estroven® offers relief.*

You have a wide range of options available for menopause symptom relief, from diet and lifestyle changes, to acupuncture and massage, to safe, drug-free supplements.7 That’s where Estroven® comes in, with a wide range of products specially formulated to provide relief for your most bothersome menopause symptoms.*

Estroven® is with you every step of the way with safe and trusted products to help relieve your most bothersome menopause symptoms, helpful tips, expert advice, blogs and much more.*

Menopausal Transition


Estroven® is a trademark of DSM.

1https://www.womentowomen.com/menopause-perimenopause/menopause-myths/
2http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/perimenopause/basics/definition/con-20029473
3http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic-what-is-perimenopause-menopause-postmenopause
4http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/menopause
5http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/perimenopause/basics/causes/con-20029473
6http://menopause.northwestern.edu/content/stages-menopause
7http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/postmenopause.htm