Your Mother’s Menopause and You

Friday, May, 1, 2015 < Back to Blog Posts

Did you see your Mother go through menopause? According to a review of research published in the Journal of Women’s Health, if your mother had hot flashes, you are four times more likely to have them too. 
I didn’t live in the same area as my Mom and it wasn’t something we talked about, so I’m not sure about the details of my Mom’s menopause. I was also very busy raising small children when she would have been in menopause and I didn’t pay much attention. She passed unexpectedly a few years ago so my time to ask  her more questions has passed.  If you have the ability to still ask your Mom about her menopause experience…make sure you do! I’m making a point of  telling my daughter the details of my menopause experience, including making sure she knows the age I started. That’s important information for her as its most likely the same age she will begin menopause. As a thirty-something right now, my daughter may think that menopause seems a long time in the future, but I know that it’s important for her to have this information about me, especially if I don’t happen to be here to tell her when she starts menopause. (Believe me, I fully plan on being here if I have anything to say about it!)
If you did witness your Mother’s menopause and did get to talk with her - the attitude you saw her exhibit can also influence your feelings about your menopause.  If your Mom was distraught, you may have a big dread of the whole experience. For example, if she verbalized “losing her youth” or something similar…you might have seen menopause as the ticket to being an elderly lady!  If your Mom saw some of the upsides of menopause…you might have a more friendly relationship with your experience.
You can’t entirely rely on your Mother’s information being exactly how you will react because there are social and lifestyle factors that can also affect your journey.  For example, if you are a smoker (please quit!) or overweight, it can influence the severity of your hot flashes and menopausal experiences.
Most women start perimenopause somewhere between ages 39 and 51. It generally takes around five years from the start of perimenopause for a woman to stop menstruating. Once you have not had a period for one full year, you have moved from perimenopause to menopause. If your mother and other close relatives had an early or late menopause, you probably will too. However, you may be leading a very different life than your mother when it comes to lifestyle decisions regarding stress, diet, and exercise.
The truth is it’s only in more recent years that we as women more freely speak of menopause. Even 10 -15 years ago, women did not say the “M” word in public, choosing to hide it – a denial of this time of life.  It’s also the reason many women have very little information about menopause in general. Our Moms and the school system made sure we knew there was a period to arrive at some point, but often in our age group, no one mentioned menopause.
Today, you have options. You have a great resource in the Remifemin® website – You can also vent, learn, and express your feelings at our Facebook page. And if you still have your Mom, make sure and talk with her about her experience with menopause. It might lead to some interesting, and even funny conversations!
Michele is a real person who is experiencing menopause just like you. If you have a menopause-related question, a story to share, or you just need to vent, go to our Remifemin Facebook page.