Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Menopause: An Equal Opportunity Annoyer

All of my life I’ve faced some type of discrimination. Either I wasn’t the right sex, race, or age; or in some cases I was shunned because I chose to be a working mother.

But here I am today, proud to say that as a woman going through menopause, I am not being discriminated against. Menopause is an equal opportunity annoyer. Now I know someone is reading this and saying, “Menopause does discriminate because MEN don’t experience it.” But I’m here to tell you that men have their own midlife issues and while they may not be identical to what I experience as a woman, they’re going through their own version of menopause.

September is Menopause Awareness Month---a time when we should educate ourselves on the facts surrounding the subject.

According to the National Women’s Health Resource Center, age at menopause is not influenced by race, height, the number of children a woman has had or whether she took oral contraceptives for birth control.

Some women go through menopause before age 51 and some experience it a bit later. Early menopause is defined as occurring at any age younger than age 40. Early menopause can occur naturally, but premature menopausal symptoms may signal an underlying condition, so it is important to discuss any symptoms with your health care professional.

What does influence the time of menopause? Genetics are a key factor. The age at which your mother stopped her periods may be similar to when you stop your menstrual periods. And women who smoke cigarettes experience menopause two years earlier, on average, than nonsmoking women.

The good thing to know is Menopause is controllable with good nutrition, exercise and a healthy, positive mental attitude. So “Enjoy Your Menopause!” And I hope to see you in Daytona Beach in March.

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