Menopause maths: Vichy’s figures sum up the Irish experience

Anna Mooney.

We love a good survey here at Second Spring Towers, so we were delighted to crunch the numbers on Vichy’s new Irish menopause survey and see if they reflected anecdotal experience of Second Springers.

But first - consider this. 100% of women in Ireland go through menopause. A quarter of a million of us right this second. 80% experience symptoms and half of those really suffer.  20% will find their relationships are negatively affected. Half say menopause has impacted their self-esteem. Seven out of ten women say they didn’t piece the menopause symptoms together to realize they were going through ‘the change’.  

Lost count?  Let's sum up the maths of menopause like this: menopause mutiplies myriad unpleasant symptoms, subtracts confidence and libido, can divide couples. That adds up to a pretty big deal.  So why is it such a secret?

Menopause, in an age where everyone is happy to share their most intimate daily habits on social media, is still taboo, spoken in hushed tones by women who "have it" for fear they may be outcast to an old crone colony of society, rendered invisible, irrelevant, asexual.

The glaring conclusion is: ignorance is not bliss, silence is not golden and the positive aspects of the "change" can't be tackled until we are happy to air the tougher stuff first. 

The beginning of the end?

Start the discussion though and women start to open up, about how the change has changed them.  

Hot flashes, weight gain, low libido, disturbed sleep, brain fog – taken individually they may seem inconsequential but ask any midlife woman who is enduring the rigours of four or five of these at a time – sometimes for up to 5 years – and there is the "change" - you hardly know yourself, whether your coming or going, which end is up.

The best part of campaigns like Vichy’s ‘No Pause at Menopause’ study of 500 women in Ireland aged 45 and over is that they are surely heralding the beginning of the end – of secrecy, of the taboo, and of the isolation a lot of women experience when they feel they've just landed on planet menopause, population: 1.   The trouble with menopause is that it's a dead giveaway for a woman's age - and honestly, who has wanted to talk out loud about growing older in recent years? 

What they found

See if you find yourself in the findings of Vichy survey:

·       The starkest comparison that is found is the expected age at which menopause will start.  For women who haven’t experienced the menopause, only 7% of them think that it can start between the ages of 45 to 49, and a further 63% expect it to start from age 50 to 54. 

·       The average age for menopause in Ireland is 53 according to the study, but for one-third of women going through the menopause it started as early as 45. 

·       When asked how long they expect symptoms to last, half of women (46%) said between 1 and 2 years.

·       Almost half (47%) of women going through the menopause feel it has had a negative impact on their self-esteem.

·       1 in 5 (19%) confess that menopause has had a negative effect on their relationships - most commonly with their partner (85%).

·       Half of women (48%) said that their friends are the most understanding when they are going through the menopause while 1 in 10 said no one understood what they were going through.

·       Just 2% of women going through the menopause felt that their healthcare professional was understanding during this phase of their lives.  

·       Weight gain topped the list of physical changes brought on by menopause (52%), followed by loss of sex drive (33%) and the quality of their skin (30%). 

·       Unsurprisingly, hot flashes topped the list of uncomfortable symptoms (61%) followed by night sweats (53%) and sleep problems (48%).

·       2 in 5 (38%) women felt the best thing about growing older is being more self-confident while 1 in 3 (33%) are excited about having more time to explore their interests. 

·       Younger women (aged 45-54) are most likely to look forward to having more confidence as they get older, while those in the older age bracket of 65 + are most positive about exploring their interests.

Vichy’s new range for menopausal skin

There's no getting round the fact that as you get older your skin looks older. Making a commitment to look after it a little more can go a long way to improving its appearance and preventing its deterioration. And that can have an important effect on self esteem – when you look good, you feel better.

Vichy Neovadiol Compensating Complex range includes day and night moisturisers, and combines ingredients that mimic the youth hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Clinical trials have shown significant  increase in hydration, thickness of skin and a decrease in pigmentation and the ‘papery’ appearance that can characterize skin at menopause.

Where to buy Vichy Neovadiol Compensating Complex: 

To support women through menopause Vichy have set up a ‘Change Hub’ on with tips from Irish experts:

·       Dr. Katherine Mulrooney, Dermatology Expert for Vichy  

·       Zoe Clarke, Professional Make Up Artist for Vichy

·       Sarah Keogh, Dietician for Vichy

·       Laura Murphy, Vichy Training Manager


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