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Menopause myths vs. facts: What every woman needs to know

(NC) Did you know there are over 4.5 million Canadian women, between the ages of 48 and 67, who are or will soon be going through menopause? However, despite the importance of understanding the changes to their bodies, reality is that many of these women may still believe some of the old myths that exist about menopause.

Dr. Wendy Wolfman, Director of the Menopause Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, says it is important for women to understand the differences between myths and facts about menopause, so they can make informed decisions on the best treatment options that are available to help them live active and healthy lives. Women shouldn't be making decisions about their health based on outdated information, added Dr. Wolfman.

Myth: Menopause means “I'm old.”

Fact: Women can go through menopause starting in there forties and symptoms can last into there sixties. Women of these ages are still active in careers and their community and the end of menses does not mean that a woman is old and needs to slow down.

Myth: Menopause is an illness.

Fact: During menopause, all women can encounter changes to their bodies, such as hot flashes, mood changes, and sexual changes. But those are a natural part of life and not an illness.

Myth: Once a woman is menopausal “it's all downhill.”

Fact: Some things clearly decline during menopause -- estrogen, menstrual flow, egg production and vaginal lubrication. But it's misleading to believe it all goes downhill. According to a recent Ipsos-Reid survey, ninety per cent of menopausal women see the upside of this phase of life and agree that it's a relief not to think about periods and contraception anymore.

“My advice to women is talk to your doctor and get the facts on menopause,” says Dr. Wolfman. “Women need to know that there are options available to treat their symptoms, such as non-hormone-based prescription medications, healthy lifestyle changes and choices, selective alternative therapies, and hormone therapy. By having the right information, women can lead healthy lives during this phase of life.”

Word count: 397

Sources: 2011 Census of Canada.

The North American Menopause Society, NAMS and MORE Magazine Collaboration.

The North American Menopause Society, NAMS and MORE Magazine Collaboration.

The North American Menopause Society, NAMS and MORE Magazine Collaboration.

Ipsos Reid Survey Results Factum 2013

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