Lisa Curry on the taboo topic that's still 'swept under the rug': 'Frustrating'

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·Features and Health Editor
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It's something that every woman will experience as she gets older and yet three-time Olympian Lisa Curry can't really believe that the topic of menopause is still considered such a mystery.

The average age of menopause for Australian women is 51 years, but the first signs can occur between 45 and 60 years of age and yet, shocking new research has found that 80 per cent of Australians don’t actually know what exactly menopause is.

Alarm clock and word menopause on a pink background.
October is menopause awareness month. Photo: Getty

Two-thirds can’t tell the difference between peri-menopause and menopause, and sadly, half don’t think it’s an important stage in a woman’s life.

"I really didn’t know too much to be honest. People hardly ever talked about it when I was younger because it was so taboo," Lisa Curry, 59, tells Yahoo Lifestyle, of how much she understood the transition before going through it herself only recently.

"It’s actually a bit frustrating to me that in this day and age, topics like menopause are still swept under the rug."

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Lisa and her team at Happy Healthy You are shining a light on menopause to highlight the fact it's a "completely natural transition process" that no woman should be "ashamed or embarrassed" about.

"All women eventually go through it," Lisa adds. 

lisa curry
Lisa Curry opens up about her own experience. Photo: Supplied

Integrative healthcare brand Flordis Femular surveyed 3,000 women of menopausal age, with 80 per cent feeling menopause is a taboo subject that can’t be discussed in day-to-day life.

The research also found that 48 per cent experienced menopause symptoms before the age of 45; with one quarter not knowing what symptoms to look for and 40 per cent didn’t know the different ways menopause could impact their life.

Many women experience symptoms such as menstrual cycle changes - becoming more or less frequent - hot flushes, night sweats and insomnia, muscle and joint pain, vaginal dryness, and mood swings.

Lisa, who is married to Mark Tabone and is mum to Morgan, Jett, who recently stared on SAS Australia, and Jaimi, who tragically passed away last year, says her family played a huge role in supporting her through menopause.

"I have always suffered from PMS and symptoms seemed to be getting worse. In fact, they seemed to be lasting longer and I was experiencing the traditional emotional shifts throughout the entire month with an escalation premenstrually," she explains.

"For someone who had always been in control of my life, I was experiencing feelings of anxiety, irritability, anger, teariness and was feeling emotionally imbalanced.

"Thankfully, I have really supportive friends and family around me who’ve been able to understand what I’m going through and support me."

Lisa and her husband Mark Tabone
Lisa and her husband Mark Tabone. Photo: Instagram/lisacurry

Hormonal changes during menopause can also have a major impact on your skin, which is why Lisa has launched a new cosmeceutical skincare range, Happy Skin by Lisa Curry. But she says the worst symptom she had was a lack of energy.

"I was feeling tired all the time. I just wanted to know how to get my energy back," she tells us. "I tried to manage my symptoms in the most natural and holistic way possible."

If she has one piece of advice for women reaching that point in their life Lisa says: "Embrace the changes that are happening to you – remember, this is a natural process and is a significant transitional time in every woman’s life. 

"Take it easy and be gentle on yourself. Take some time out and try to enjoy the beauty in the simple things.

"And don’t be afraid to communicate to the people around you what’s going on. The more aware your network is, the better support they’ll be."

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