The average age for women to hit the menopause is 51, according to the NHS, although the end of women’s menstrual cycles can occur anywhere between the ages of 45 and 55. But can you delay Menopause? Dr Marilyn Glenville thinks so...
Much has been written on the menopause and the steps menopausal women can take to ease symptoms ranging from hot flushes to depression, from herbal remedies (opens in new tab) to breathing techniques (opens in new tab), but new research has also been examining the factors that could have an influence on when the menopause starts.
This has included everything from whether you live in a rural or urban area (opens in new tab) to new procedures that can trick our biological clocks (opens in new tab) into thinking our bodies are younger than they are.
Now leading nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville (opens in new tab), author of Natural Alternatives To Dieting and expert speaker at The Get Well Show (opens in new tab), has added to this idea, revealing that making simple switches at home could hold the key to delaying the menopause. Here’s how:
Dr Marilyn Glenville's guide to delaying menopause
Pick the right pots and pans
PFOAs (a synthetic chemical used to repel grease and water) is found in some cookware. It can build up cumulatively in our bodies over time and has been identified as a hormone disruptor; though it’s full health impact is still unknown.
‘Using the right kind of pots and pans to cook your food may be important because the actual surface of the pan that you are using can end up being absorbed into your food when heated to high temperatures,’ says Dr Glenville.
‘Try to avoid any non-stick pans or utensils completely as it’s just not worth having the possibility of that toxic exposure. It’s just as easy to cook with stainless steel, cast iron or glass cookware.’
You’ll find a number of PFOA-free pans in our guide to the Best Induction Pans (opens in new tab).
Fill up on fish
As well as being a healthy source of protein, it’s thought that omega 3 oils in fish help the pituitary gland in the brain to stimulate a woman’s ovaries, and in turn support continued egg production.
‘The Omega 3 fatty acids should be added separately because they are not usually included in a multivitamin and mineral and if they are, the levels will not be high enough,’ says Dr Glenville.
Cut out cling-film and plastic storage
Like PFOAs the chemicals found pliable plastics used for cling-film and more have been found to disrupt the hormonal systems in animals and children.
‘Although it’s not yet clear how this would affect the hormones of older women, some experts advise a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach — pointing to the rise in health problems such as breast cancer and other oestrogen-dependent conditions like fibroids or endometriosis, which are possibly linked to these chemicals,’ says Dr Glenville.
‘Remember to never heat food in plastic — and if you must buy food wrapped in it, remove the packaging when you get home. Instead, store food in the fridge in a dish with a saucer covering it or use greaseproof paper.’
Buy into natural beauty products
A group of chemicals called phthalates – found in four out of five beauty products such as foundation, lipstick and nail varnish – can interfere with hormonal balance.
‘Think more carefully about the products you regularly put on your skin. As your skin is the most absorbent organ of the body, do you really need or want all these chemicals entering your blood stream?
‘Check the ingredients list properly and, where possible, stick to natural, plant-based products,’ advises Dr Glenville.
If you are struggling with menopause, or if you have any concerns make an appointment to see your GP.
Miriam worked for woman&home for over five years and previously worked on the women's lifestyle magazines Woman and Woman's Own.
Prince Harry to keep Royal Family ‘at a distance’ until his memoir is published
The Duke of Sussex won't reunite with his British relatives until after his memoir is released later this year, according to a royal insider
By Emma Dooney • Published
Ewan McGregor describes divorce as 'a bomb going off' in his children's lives
Ewan McGregor's divorce came after images of him kissing Mary Elizabeth Winstead headlines - he addresses family fall out for first time
By Aoife Hanna • Published
Wondering if you're postmenopausal? These are 9 ways your body changes post-menopause
These are the body changes you can expect if you're postmenopausal
By Lauren Clark • Published
Can you get pregnant during perimenopause? Here’s how your fertility changes from your 40s
If you’re wondering can you get pregnant during perimenopause, we’ve got the expert verdict
By Lauren Clark • Published
What are the main menopause symptoms? Find out the signs and when to see your doctor
A team of experts outline common menopause symptoms and how to deal with them
By Stacey Carter • Published
Here's how to tell whether you're experiencing menopausal weight gain—and what to do about it
If menopausal weight gain is knocking your confidence, this is everything you need to know...
By Lauren Clark • Published
How to calm down hot flushes if you are going through the menopause
Hot flushes are thought to be caused by hormonal fluctuations—these are the best ways to ease them...
By Lauren Hughes • Published
The health benefits of protein powder for women over 50, according to a nutritionist
We've got the scoop on the benefits of protein powder when it comes to your health
By Lucy Gornall • Published
Menopause needs an image rebrand—let’s celebrate rather than fear it
A convincing argument on why menopause can be a positive stage of a woman's life
By Michelle Hather • Published
Menopause support groups—how to find the right community for you
Menopause support groups are a fantastic resource for people experiencing the hormonal change
By Amy Hunt • Published