8 things every woman should know about menopause, according to an expert.

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I managed to avoid thinking about menopause until the first hot flush hit.   

Then I had to think about it. It’s pretty hard to ignore a hot flush. It’s like somebody has turned up your body temperature with a remote control you didn’t know existed. 

But I wondered – was I really experiencing hot flushes, or were they too short to count? If they were hot flushes, how long was I going to keep getting them for? Weeks, months, years?

I realised I’d never talked to anyone about hot flushes, and barely said the word “menopause” out loud. Maybe because in my head I’m 19, even though I’m actually 51.

Apparently I’m pretty typical. Women's health and reproduction expert Natasha Andreadis says most women don’t want to talk about menopause. 

“They don’t want to think about it because they equate it to ageing, and we’re so ageist in our society that we don’t want to know anything about it,” she tells Mamamia.

So here are 8 things that we really all should know about menopause. 

1. Why menopause actually happens.

Menopause happens because your ovaries stop releasing eggs and your oestrogen levels drop. There’s a very specific time when it’s said to have occurred. “Menopause is, by definition, when a woman hasn’t had a period for one year,” Natasha explains. 

2. The average age we go through menopause.

The average age Australian women go through menopause is 51 or 52. “But it can occur a lot earlier than that,” Natasha adds. When it happens before the age of 45 it’s called early menopause, while before the age of 40 it’s called premature ovarian insufficiency.


3. Perimenopause starts in your 40s.

You’ll most likely start experiencing symptoms well before menopause. That time of life is called perimenopause. “The perimenopause stage can start between five to eight years before that last period, and so it generally starts when women are in their forties.”

4. Symptoms vary from person to person.

During perimenopause, most women’s periods will become irregular. “Their cycles might get shorter and then they might get longer and then they might not get a period at all.” 

The big symptom most women report is hot flushes, which might happen as often as every hour or only very occasionally. Other possible symptoms include night sweats and low energy. Some women also report sleeplessness, irritability, mood swings, anxiety and joint pain.  

5. There's more than one way to treat symptoms. 

When it comes to menopause, Natasha says women can use a range of different cognitive therapies like meditating through hot flushes. “There are herbs, there are supplements, there are complementary therapies that women can utilise,” she adds. 

Black cohosh, also known as Actaea racemosa, is a herb native to North America and has been used by women for many years for the relief of menopause symptoms. 

“Actaea racemosa can be beneficial,” Natasha says. “It definitely is an option for women, and it can tide them over for months, if not years."

Ze 450 is a specific extract of Actaea racemosa, and is the key ingredient in Flordis Femular® and Femular Forte®. These are clinically researched complementary medicine options that can be recommended through a healthcare professional, from pharmacies Australia-wide. 


Femular® products have been clinically proven to relieve a range of menopause symptoms, including hot flushes, night sweats, irritability, mild anxiety, sleeplessness and fatigue.

6. Now, hot flushes.

Women can experience hot flushes for years – and an unlucky few experience them for decades. “Ten to 15 per cent of women continue to have ongoing hot flushes.” 

It can affect women’s performance at work. “They’ll say things like, ‘I will be giving a talk, and I’ll be hot flushing in the middle of this talk,’ and that for them is distressing,” Natasha adds. “Because when you have a hot flush, you turn a different colour, you start sweating, you lose concentration.” 

7. Menopause can impact your mental health.

Many women experience mental health issues around this time, but it might not be all down to hormones. “Definitely, irritability, low mood, and mild anxiety is more common in this stage of a woman’s life.” Natasha says women should look at “everything” when it comes to dealing with those issues: “the mental, the physical, the emotional, the spiritual."

8. Menopause runs in the family.

To get an idea of what age you’re likely to go through menopause, talk to your mother. 

“If my mum, for example, went through the menopause at 35, then I’m more likely to go through the menopause at 35. If my sister and my mother have both gone through the menopause at 51, then I’m more likely to go through the menopause at 51.”


Natasha wants to see more women talking about menopause, “to each other, to their partners, to everyone… men in workplaces understanding what it means for a woman to be going through the menopause.”

She believes women from their twenties onwards should be learning about what lies ahead.  

“There is a lot you can do to manage your menopause, and it doesn’t have to be a terrible time.”

The reality is, when it comes to our health especially menopause, so many questions run through our mind and the uncertainty of it all is just a little overwhelming. But the best thing we can do is consult the professionals to get the best answers possible - it's the only way to put our mind at ease.

Flordis Femular® will be hosting a free educational webinar on November 25th to answer all our questions about menopause. You can register for the event at the new Flordis Femular® Women’s Menopause Hub today.

The Femular® range is available through healthcare professional recommendation, in pharmacies Australia wide. For further information about Femular®, consult your GP or pharmacist. 

These medicines may not be right for you. Read the label before purchase. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.

Feature Image: Getty.

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