Menopause is Just One Day
I still can’t believe menopause is literally just one day. For so long, I thought the entire experience was referred to as menopause because that is all you ever hear about. But, perimenopause is the “ill-defined period” leading to menopause which could last from 5 to 7 years! It’s crazy to think that a woman can get to 10 months with no period, and literally have to start the process over! I wanted to chat with a couple of real women, who have experienced menopause and see how it feels to make it to the end of this lifecycle, and how it’s looking on the other side.
Every woman has such a different experience going through menopause. From tons of hot flashes to none. Or, heavy periods every couple of months to non-stop bleeding. There just isn’t an exact model anyone can follow. I hope these stories help you on your journey.
Natasha, now 46 started her journey through perimenopause at 42. She was always very good at visiting her gynecologist and got her hormones tested and confirmed she was in perimenopause at 45. She’s now had no period for about a year. Looking back, “I wish my doctor had figured out that my insomnia was menopause related and that the mood swings were part of my hormonal changes...at the time, I had severe back pain. So, they just attributed everything to my surgery.” THC has been a game changer for her sleeping. She isn’t fully done with hot flashes, but she loves not having a period anymore!
The more you know:
Doctors are now, in 2021 starting to receive the information regarding perimenopause for patients. For so long, the focus was just on puberty and birthing. People are now realizing that women need help on their journey through peri/menopause. Just because they aren’t having children doesn’t mean they don’t have other health concerns. With that said, patients still need to track their information and be an advocate for themselves when all doctors still don’t know about peri/menopause.
Take advantage of all of the resources for peri/menopause today:
Christine looks back to six years ago when she was experiencing her journey through peri/menopause and, “wishes she was better equipped with vitamins, different vaginal creams and anything else that could’ve helped her more in this life cycle” She went through mood swings and loss of sex drive because it hurt when she had sex. She finally got help when she went to her OB and they provided her with so many options and information. You have to remember medical professionals are here to help. Take note of what you are experiencing and share it with your doctor. Christine wishes she had talked to her doctor earlier.
Where to find information:
If you aren’t ready to talk to someone, we understand. It can be uncomfortable to share personal information and changes that are coming out of nowhere that you can barely wrap your head around. That is why we have our app, MenoLIFE where we share tons of helpful information about peri/menopause and have a community where you can ask questions. In the end, it is all about seeing your doctor and discussing the issues with them. But, feel at ease that you can research what you are feeling no matter where you are and have something to reference at your doctor’s appointment.
Listen to your body:
Bonnie started having hot flashes in her 40s. She went to her doctor and he told her she was too young. Luckily, she didn’t listen to her doctor. She asked to have her blood tested and it was confirmed that she was in perimenopause. She felt tired and bloated and no matter what she did she couldn't’ lose weight. But, she kept trying things to see if they could help her.
Share your story:I love Bonnie’s story because not only did she not give up, she also shared her story with her daughter. Which is exactly what we need to keep doing. The next generation of women will benefit from knowing what we are going through and how they can get through it. For some reason, past generations didn’t share their experience which has made it harder for us to understand, or know what to expect.
Take time for yourself:
Cherie, a mother of 5 and grandmother of 11 who works started having hot flashes at 40 and then it just progressed through the years. In her 50s, mood swings started and she would feel fine and all of a sudden, she was yelling at her boys for no reason. She laughed that she’s always needed a fan at work to help her through hot flashes. After long days at work, she just needs to come home and relax and unwind. Cherie, shares that she wishes there could have been something around that helped with incontinence. She can’t laugh without having an accident. Today she still has cramps, but no period anymore.
Relax and Recharge:
You can tell Cherie has a busy life! A full family and tons of responsibilities. But, in the end, like every woman regardless of how many kids she has, if she works in an office or not, we all need to rest. Take a moment or longer for yourself to just relax. While our bodies are going through peri/menopause, we need to listen to when our bodies say to pause. I have never been a person who naps...but, I realize if my body needs it, I need to respond or else things might get worse.
Menopause is Just One Day:
As you can see, every woman has a different journey to get to menopause. Make sure you listen to your body, share your story, and track your symptoms so that a doctor can help you through this process.