While there is no shortage of observations regarding millennials and the way they are changing the social and economic landscape, a new survey has found a majority of the generation doesnt know much about perimenopause and menopause, symptoms of which some of them are beginning to experience.
A survey conducted by Amberen and Wakefield Research surveyed 500 menopausal women in the United States to analyze their knowledge about menopause and the impact it has on their daily lives. Researchers found 73 percent of survey recipients believed menopause started earlier than they realized or expected it would. More than half of those surveyed didnt understand how perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause differ from each other.
While most women in the U.S. experience menopause between ages 40 and 58, perimenopause symptoms can begin as many as eight years earlier, meaning many millennials may unknowingly be entering this stage of life. Strauss and Howe determined the millennial generation includes those born between 1982 and 2004.
[Perimenopause] can hit in the late 30s, Holly Dubrey, a registered nurse, told FoxNews.com. Some women are experiencing these symptoms and not even realizing theyre experiencing menopause they think its symptoms of getting older.
Dubrey is a part of Amberens NurseAid, a team of registered nurses who provide free one-on-one phone consultations on perimenopause, menopause and related issues for women who have questions about symptoms or treatments. She regularly fields phone calls from women seeking an explanation for their night sweats, mood swings, hot flashes and fatigue. While some individuals are relieved to receive a diagnosis, others are shocked to learn they may be experiencing perimenopause.
That really is a surprise to most people, Dubrey said. It is something that generally people dont really register right away because they are in their 30s, theyre not thinking necessarily that it is menopause thats not something that pops into their heads.
One of the challenges, Dubrey said, is the topic is not discussed openly between mothers and daughters, or even with physicians. Dubrey said there arent many resources available for women at this stage of life that can adequately explain the changes happening, leading some to falsely believe theyll go through an experience similar to their mothers.
When it comes down to it, Ive spoken with mothers and the daughter in the same family, and the mother dealt with symptoms for a few years, but the daughter dealt with them for 15 years, Dubrey said. Its difficult because you should theoretically have a similar menopause to your mother, but that is not the case based on my actual conversations with people.
Another question Dubrey often gets is how long these symptoms will last, which can differ for each individual. Menopause occurs when a woman has missed her menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months. While medical interventions, such as the surgical removal of both ovaries, or cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation, can induce menopause, the average age women in the U.S. experience menopause is 51.
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