WebMD.com posted an interesting page called By the Numbers: Menopause-Facts and Stats by Heather Hatfield. The one in the magazine had circles and boxes, which I cannot reproduce, so I am listing them in somewhat random order with photos of older women from the ‘Net. This is Menopause Awareness Month, so I found this just in time and coupled it with the helpful and creative Lunar Calendar.
Facts & Stats plus My Comments & Suggestions in Italics
A woman is in menopause after she has no menstrual period for 12 months,
so keep track!
I recommend the ’17 Lunar Calendar: Dedicated to the Goddess in her Many Guises created by Nancy Passmore. This calendar shows lunar phases, different from the Day 1- Day 30/31 of the standard calendar, helping you track the changes in menstruation To order, go to www.thelunapress.com. Calendar also has poetry and information you will enjoy. Makes a great gift for a friend or daughter going through menopause.
Also, you may like to check out: http://www.epigee.org/menstruation_lunar_fertility.html for information on the link between the menstrual cycle and the moon.
A hot flash can last from 30 seconds to 10 minutes.
75% of women who are going through peri-menopause (transition to menopause) have hot flashes or night sweats.
Hot flashes can continue for three to five years, but the length of time varies since every woman’s experience is different.
6,000 women reach menopause each day in the U.S.
Two million women reach menopause each year in the U.S.
42 million women in the U.S. have already reached menopause.
Most women enter (natural)* menopause between the ages of 48-55 years of age, with 51 being the average age.
(There are lots of us! es) *Hysterectomy or other health changes may bring on menopause sooner.
40% of a woman’s life is spent post-menopause.
51% of postmenopausal women report being happiest and most fulfilled between the ages of 50-65.
(I don’t agree with this fact. I know many women over that age, including myself, enjoying PMZ, Margaret Mead’s term for post-menopausal zest! )
55% of women do not treat their menopausal symptoms (which I call signs, since The Big M is not a disease. es) This includes vaginal dryness, night sweats, and hot flashes. Get help so you can enjoy PMZ!
My additional thoughts: Although menopause is a natural occurrence, not a disease, does not mean that ignoring the signs will make them go away. There are many natural remedies for treating peri- and menopause and lots of information out there, now that people don’t go around whispering, “She’s in her change of life,” as in my mother’s time. Many women suffered needlessly.
Also consider that our stressful lifestyle may add to these health issues, as indicated by my friend Dr. Wanjiru Kamau, who went back to her native Kenya to do her dissertation on menopause in her village and found women hardly noticing any changes. So stress may well add to the hot flashes and other changes.
Awareness that your body is changing is part of staying healthy—eating whole foods, getting enough rest, exercising regularly, pursuing your interests, etc.—- so if you are in peri-menopause or menopause, talk with your female friends and also seek advice from trusted health professionals, especially women practitioners who have already experienced menopause. My favorite book by Dr. Christina Northrup is called The Wisdom Menopause, because she noted in the Introduction that she did not want to write this book until she herself had experienced menopause. Very wise indeed! es