If there’s ever been a reason to move to a different country, a study about menopause has finally given us one. According to researchers at Yale Medical School, where you live determines your menopause symptoms and just how much they affect your. And since menopause is just as much a fact of life as taxes and death, you may want to consider moving to Sweden or Italy.
The study surveyed the sex lives of 8,200 men and women who were in the midst of being of menopause age. Of course, men don’t experience menopause, but depending on how severe the symptoms their wife have, they can definitely be tormented in their own way. What was found was that women in the US, UK, and Canada fair the worst of certain symptoms, with Canadians, at 85 percent, really getting the brunt of it when it comes to vaginal dryness, a common side effect of menopause. In contrast, only 65 percent (the lowest percentage of all the countries surveyed) of Italians pointed to vaginal dryness being a problem, which just proves what I already knew: Pizza and pasta are great for every inch of your body.
When it came to other annoying menopause symptoms like weight gain, mood swings, hot flashes, and insomnia, women in Sweden and Italy were far less likely to experience those, too, than women in the US, UK, and Canada. It was also in these three countries that the men in the survey were most likely to complain about their wives symptoms, to which I say, “STFU, because dudes, this isn’t really about you.”
Denmark and Norway also found themselves on the list of countries where going through menopause wasn’t all that awful, but again, the US, UK, and Canada (also France!?) had many reports of menopause being even worse than they expected.
The researchers think the reason for these results is several things, including diet and exercise, but the most interesting cause is how the country, in which these women live, feel about aging and value older women. According to the study’s author, Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, “In societies where age is more revered and the older woman is the wiser and better woman, menopausal symptoms are significantly less bothersome,” because OF COURSE. The United States is notorious for shunning older women, even labeling them “old” by the time they hit mid-30s, so naturally a woman aging in a society that makes her feel ancient even before she even goes through menopause is going to suffer both physically and mentally when she finally does go through “the change,” as my Grammy refers to it.
Everyone gets old. It’s called the circle of life (that’s right, get that bad Elton John song stuck in your head), and it’s necessary to this whole humanity thing. Since we can’t stop it and probably can’t change the way society looks down on women, especially here in the United States, we have two options: We, as women, can learn to love ourselves, wrinkles, grey hair and all, so as not to fear menopause or we can move to a country where being old is actually considered awesome.
Personally, I already know what my choice will be… so perhaps I’ll see you at a pizzeria in Naples in 20 years. Just remember you better order your own pie; I don’t share pizza. Ever.