Menopause is a rite of passage, like the first period, so why does society condition us to view it as more of an affliction than anything else? It might not be all sunshine and roses, but menopause has a lot to offer. Check out these cool benefits to look forward to:
Menopause isn’t all hot flashes and belly fat. Beyond finally freeing us from that monthly cycle of ups and downs, menopause can make our mammograms easier to take and read, reduce our breast cancer risk, cause fibroids to shrink and give us the opportunity to define a new chapter in life.
No More Periods
We're said to be "in menopause" when we haven't had a period for one full year. Menopause by definition then means the end of all periods, which can have some awesome advantages. No more periods means no more premenstrual moodiness or cramps. It means no more tampons, pads or menstrual cups. No more worrying over wearing white or scrubbing out underwear stains from leaks. No more ice cream period binges. No more need to carry Midol or Advil.
It also means we never have to worry about birth control again. How many women dream of the day when they can go condom-free with a trusted partner, without the need for birth control pills? Celebrate that freedom!
Sometimes we think of the way menopause "deflates" our breasts, but that idea is tied to the gaze of others. We want to look good for our partners, sure. But breast changes can mean some great things, too. Menopause reduces breast density, which means mammograms might get easier. Women with dense breast tissue tend to have more cysts and other issues that increase breast pain. The reduced density that occurs after menopause may reduce the pain in a number of ways, then. As an added bonus, mammograms may also become easier for the doctor to read.
Reduced Breast Cancer Risk
Reduced breast density may also mean reduced breast cancer risk. One study showed women who develop breast cancer tend to have breast densities of 50% or higher. And the risk increases with density: Women with breast densities of 75% or higher are nearly five times more likely to develop breast cancer than women with non-dense breast tissue.
Two-thirds of all breast cancers are also dependent on hormones that the body produces far less of after menopause. In fact, the earlier we complete menopause, the lower our risk of developing most forms of breast cancer. Keeping a healthy weight further reduces that risk as fat also stores estrogen.
5% to 77% of women also suffer from fibroids. These tiny tumors don’t always cause symptoms, but when they do, they can cause bleeding, pain, miscarriages and even infertility. Fibroids typically shrink in response to menopause, so for those who do suffer from them, they aren’t likely to stick around. Another win!
A New You for a New Chapter
Beyond these physical boons, menopause marks a new chapter in life, one that could define the whole second half of our journeys. More menopausal women than ever are learning to celebrate this turning point, welcoming the adventure, rather than dwelling on hot flashes and other perceived negatives. This time is a chance to discover a whole new life, so why not take it for all it’s worth and make it unique?
Now’s the time to define life beyond the kids and any other attachments that may have dominated those younger years. Embrace these five incredible benefits, and make a list of the many others then let the new horizon shine bright. There's no reason to view menopause as a bad thing.
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