18 October is International Menopause Day and experts say that more awareness should be raised about how the menopausal years affect mature women.
The South African Menopause Society (Sams) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to women's ongoing health from 50 onwards.
Sams President Dr Peter Roos explains that menopause is a natural event, although it may have some side effects and symptoms.
Menopause is nature's way of saying let's stop having babies and have fun.— Dr Peter Roos, President of the South African Menopause Society
Menopause is the period in a woman's life cycle when menstruation ends, and Dr Roos advises the transition between pre and post menopause can be managed healthily.
He says that there is a lot of misinformation regarding menopause and shattered some myths:
- menopause does not refer to an age or era in a women's life, it just marks one day when one has their last menstrual period.
- shortly prior to menopause and until a year after, a woman is considered to be perimenopausal when her period becomes irregular
- perimenopause can be worse than postmenopause because hormones fluctuate in conjuction with other life events during that age
- menopause and ageing (or life expectancy) are not necessarily linked
- menopause symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbance
- some women have menopause and never have any symptoms, while others experience them for prolonged years
- women who choose not take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) must take extra care of their health to curb diseases such as osteoporosis and heart disease
He fielded several questions from listeners during the Family Matters feature.
Dr Roos unpacked the subject in great detail on the The Pippa Hudson Show: