Diary of a post-menopausal 47year old female
What is it with being a woman? First, we must go through the pain of developing boobs, then periods, the pain of childbirth and then ‘The Change’, the dreaded ‘M’ word. I don’t mean Marriage either! …The word ‘Menopause’ means you are no longer a sexy young woman. That you are in society’s eyes Past it, Old and possibly just a little bit psycho!!
…Sound familiar? Probably not yet, but you have this wondrous experience to look forward to
So why does this happen? Why does this normal physiological change make us feel so damn insignificant in society, when it wasn’t that long ago, we were viral, wrinkle free, supple, active women?
So, at first, we get hit with Peri-menopause
Peri-menopause is the long road of transition to menopause, or the time when your periods stop permanently, Whooo hoo I hear you cry!
As your body transitions into menopause, your hormone levels may deviate randomly, you may skip a few months or have unusually long or short menstrual cycles. Your period may be heavier or lighter than before. Many women also have hot flushes and other menopause symptoms, the notorious throwing off the duvet in the night, or the feelings of boiling up inside like you’re on fire (and it’s not caused by feelings of lust when seeing your celebrity crush half naked unfortunately). During this transition, your ovaries make different amounts of the oestrogen and progesterone than usual. Irregular periods happen because you may not ovulate every month. Your periods may be longer or shorter. Sometimes it can be hard for you and your doctor to tell whether you are in peri-menopause.
I started peri-menopause around 39 but wasn’t diagnosed until I was 44 and I had a miserable time, I thought I was going insane. I only got my hormones tested when I told the doctor I wanted to kill everyone!! I was then found to be menopausal and not turning into a crazy person. Doctors don’t routinely recommend blood tests if you are showing symptoms at an early age without any medical explanation (hysterectomy for example) this is because, as predicted us females are up and down just like our hormones.
Symptoms of menopause may begin suddenly and be very noticeable, or they may be very mild at first. (Some women don’t even notice they are going through it and I hate them!) Symptoms may happen most of the time once they begin, or they may happen only occasionally. Some women notice changes in many areas. Some menopausal symptoms, such as moodiness, are like symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Others may be new to you:
· Vaginal dryness. Sex may be uncomfortable or painful.
· Less interest in sex. It may take longer for you to get aroused
· Hot flushes & night sweats
· Increased anxiety and/or depressive episodes
· General body aches
Other likely changes are not as noticeable. For example, you might begin to lose bone density because you have less oestrogen. This can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and break easily. Changing oestrogen levels can also raise cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. Oh, it's all fun and games this menopause malarkey, isn’t it?
If your symptoms are bothering you, talk to your GP or Practice Nurse about treatment options, there are also herbal remedies that can help, as well as doing some functional fitness.
I started CrossFit at 45 and it’s the best thing I ever did. It has given me my confidence back; I feel that I have a place and of course it has got me fit and healthy. Strength training is proven to reduce Osteoporosis and make you a badass.
I know this blog has probably made you think, that the Menopause is a truly magical experience!! It is, it means you survived, and you are here to fight another day and begin another journey in your life. You realise that what you worried about in your 20’s and 30’s was usually insignificant; you are less prone to peer pressure and you don’t have to listen to the crap music the youngsters listen to.
Happy Maturing ……