Last month, we asked you tell us about your experience with the menopause in an online survey. We've gone through all the numbers and feedback and can finally share the result with you!
More than 70% of menopausal women were not prepared for the debilitating symptoms that ‘the change’ can bring, new research finds.
According to an online survey by Live Better With Menopause - 71% of menopausal women aged between 34-74 years old felt they did not know what to expect, with many citing they were only prepared for hot flushes but no other side effects.
More than 1.7 million women any time are going through 'the change' in the UK and symptoms can last up to a decade. Despite being an experience that every woman in her life will go through, for the vast majority, menopause is very much still shrouded in mystery.
One participator told Live Better With Menopause: “I wish someone had told me that it could affect every aspect of your body and mind. I had no idea how bad it could be and how much turmoil it would cause.”
Another agreed: “I only had heard about missing periods and hot flashes - none of which I experienced for the first 3 years. I wish there was more information so that when other symptoms began, women would not feel so anxious and scared.”
The average age for a woman to go through 'the change' is 51, but it’s not uncommon for young women to find themselves catapulted into early menopause by way of illnesses or medical treatments such as cancer therapy.
A woman is only considered postmenopausal when she has not had a period for 12 months. In the lead up to this – a stage of life known as the perimenopause - the physical symptoms of menopause, from hot flushes to aching joints and sleepless nights, can be crippling.
From those surveyed, women admitted experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, insomnia, mood swings, fatigue, depression, loss of libido, weakness and aches, foggy brain, incontinence and changes to their skin, hair and nails.
The survey of more than 200 women aged between 34 and 74 also asked participants to rate their symptoms by intensity. From those experiencing a loss of libido, 48% rated it as severe while two-fifths experiencing weakness and aches also said it was severe.
The research also found:
Live Better With founder and CEO Tamara Rajah said: “Menopause is so much more than hot flashes. It can cause nausea, insomnia, night sweats aches, fatigue, itchy skin, a host of sexual issues, brain fog, weaker bones and memory loss.
“But from our research, it’s clear that women are not prepared at all for what’s to come.”
Raja continued: “We have curated hundreds of practical products to help tackle these side effects - including vaginal lubricants, hot flash sprays, essential oils and sleepwear. We’re also producing guides with valuable information and reaching out the community to share tips and advice.”