Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MENOPAUSE....Yes I Said It



MENOPAUSE......

Yes, I said it. As I sit here with a Chocolate Cupcake in front of me feeling sorry for myself.



HI 🙋! My name is Anne, I'm 41 and I think I may be starting Perimenopause.

So.... now that we have that out of the way. What is it about that blasted word Menopause, that makes everyone cringe and run for the hills? I personally am getting to that age and I want to talk about it. Doesn't anyone want to know what us women can expect as we get older? I mean it's not like it's the plague or anything...right?

I use to joke that I couldn't wait for menopause because I was so sick of having the symptoms of PMS and having my period....Can I back up and take it all back? Now that I'm headed in, I'd rather just keep the periods and cramps.

I hear ladies talk about hot flashes and not having a period, but what else is there to Perimenopause and Menopause? 

What is Perimenopause? I'm glad you asked!

Perimenopause, according to WebMD, means -The period of a woman's life shortly before the occurrence of the menopause.

Well, that explains a lot, doesn't it?

So first things first. Let's talk about Perimenopause

Perimenopause is started when normal hormonal fluctuations occur as we move closer to menopause. When one starts perimenopause, is totally up to their individual body. There is no set date and symptoms vary per individual. 


Well then, what can we expect?

Symptoms of perimenopause can vary so here are some things to look out for.

  • Irregular and/or heavy bleeding
  • night sweats
  • insomnia
  • migraines 
  • vaginal dryness
  • weight gain
  • worsening PMS


One may also have

  • irritability
  • depression
  • bouts of anxiety


This comes from the changes in your bodies hormones.

So at what age should I expect these changes to start occurring?

It really depends on your body. Some have started as early as their 20's but the main age women can expect to start perimenopause is in their 40's. Here is a timeline so that you can better understand when to expect these changes.



I started noticing about 3 months ago that my periods were getting a little wacky. They seemed like a normal period but they were coming on more frequently. Like every 2 weeks....Blah. I've also noticed that my sleep pattern isn't what it use to be either. I'm waking up more often and finding that it's harder for me to fall asleep at night. I get a little more irritated and find myself snapping at the littlest of things.  So I started asking friends about what they may have experienced when they first started out having perimenopause. NO ONE wanted to answer me. What's up with that? So I did a bit of research on my own and decided I'm not going to be silent.

I've always had anxiety and bouts of depression, so I'm not sure if that aspect has anything do do with perimenopause or not. I'm sure it's a bit worse because of the hormonal changes in my body. 

Some of you may have already gone through perimenopause and have experienced some if not all of these symptoms. I urge you to speak out. It's a normal function of life and needs to be talked about more often so that others can understand what is happening to their bodies.

So what exactly is Menopause?

Menopause happens when a woman has not had her period for at least 12 months.

Female sex hormones naturally fall as one gets older and the ovaries stop releasing eggs and you no longer have a period.


The symptoms of menopause are the same as perimenopause but normally stop after a few years. You may notice changes in your skin and hair. It may start to feel thin and dry. Joint pain is also associated with menopause. Staying active can help keep you moving and lessen the pain. Sex may start to be painful. Try using lubricant's to help ease the process of sex and make it more enjoyable.

Not all women start perimenopause at the normal age. Medical conditions can cause a woman as young as in their 20's to be thrown into early menopause. If you've had a hysterectomy, you understand what I'm talking about. I commend you for having to go through this stage at such a young age. It's rough enough to go through it at a normal stage. Having to go through Chemo and radiation can also cause the body to be thrown into early menopause.

Should I see my doctor? 

Absolutely! Schedule regular visits with your doctor. Don't be afraid to ask questions, that's what they are there for. 

Your doctor will most likely want to set you up with some tests such as a mammogram and colonoscopy. Both uncomfortable but also very routine and should be taken seriously. Just remember, you are not alone in having these procedures done so there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Are there complications after Menopause?

There are a few things to look out for, yes.

  • Osteoporosis- This is when your bones become brittle and can fracture or break more easily.
  • Weight gain- As you go through stages of menopause, your metabolism also slows making it harder to maintain or lose weight.
  • Urinary Incontinence- As one gets older, the vaginal walls and Urethra lose elasticity. This can cause frequent urges to urinate or one may not be able to hold it as well and leak. One is also more susceptible to UTI's
  • Cardiovascular Disease- When your Estrogen levels decrease, your risk of heart disease increases.


Did you know that men also go through a stage of menopause called Andropause? I didn't either. 

Andropause effects men mostly near their 70's but can be detected as early as their 40's and 50's. 

What are the symptoms of Andropause?


This can also be known as Midlife Crisis. I don't mean that to be sarcastic either. 😊


So ladies, the next time you think that men have it easy...think again. They have to go through some major changes as well. Try not to be so hard on them! Although they don't have the harsher symptoms as us women have to go through, they still have a lot to deal with.

So there you have it! I hope you appreciated reading this post and I would definitely welcome your feedback. Don't be afraid to speak up, I'm not here to judge. And stop hiding. Get out there and talk about it, tell others what you are going through so that they can be informed.

It's NOT the plague and there are answers and you have support! 

46 comments:

  1. I'm still a little ways away, but not that far. I need to start preparing for the fact it's coming!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has a way of sneaking up on you.

      Delete
  2. So important that people are open and talk about this more! Just a note: you can get free samples of Astroglide at astroglide.com/sample which can be great for vaginal dryness-- and not just during sex!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Headed there now! And yes I do think women need to speak out more about this.

      Delete
  3. Changes in our bodies are definitely a learning curve. That chocolate cupcake tho!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh man, I'm 36. I'm definitely not looking forward to menopause. I'm currently pregnant. I hope I can have at least one more baby before this "life change" occurs. It's a little depressing to think about it. I think that it's good you wrote this piece, though, because more women need to share their experiences so other women understand menopause and know what to do when it happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on your pregnancy! It does get depressing to think about the body changing. I wish more ladies would talk about it. It's scary when you have no clue whats going on.

      Delete
  5. I went through menopause years ago. I still remember the hot flashes. Were not exactly fun, but after about three years they went away. Every now and again I have them, and I say to myself " I'm too old for this. Know it is npt really hot flashes, but seems the same as I remember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't yet experienced the dreaded hot flash and I'm not looking forward to that aspect.

      Delete
  6. I am 46 and know that this is right around the corner. Seriously, all the side effects horrify me. I don't want to go through all of this :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are not something anyone looks forward to 😐 but it good to know what to expect.

      Delete
  7. Mm, now I want a chocolate cupcake. I know this'll be me at some point and I will be stuffing my face with chocolate, as I do now when I'm PMSing ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol the chocolate craving never goes away! Not such a bad thing, well except that it's a bit harder to take off the hips

      Delete
  8. I don't understand why women are scared about the menopause, it does not sound that bad not to worry about the periods. Sure, there might be some symptoms, but in this century we have all the medication we need to prevent them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are many medicines one can take to help out with the symptoms yes, finding the right one that works for your body is the hardest part.

      Delete
  9. I haven't started reading about it but I know I should. I am glad I came across your post today. Very informative. Thank you very much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very much welcome! As a woman going through it, I think it's important to talk about.

      Delete
  10. I should show this to my sister as she been fretting about menopause. I'm looking forward to it as there be no more period!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use to think the same way lol but honestly I would rather have the periods than go through all the other hassles of menopause.

      Delete
  11. Wow! I've been thinking a lot about aging lately, but I never actually put much thought into menopause. I think that's something I could really get depressed about! I know a lot of women who finds it most difficult to handle their emotions. I think that's what I'm most scared of. Thank you for this post. It's very detailed and a great many things to look forward to! lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is scary when you don't know what to expect. That's one of the reasons why I wanted to talk about it!

      Delete
  12. Worse PMS? No, thanks! You can keep perimenopause lol.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm going through menopause right now. I haven't even thought about the fact that men go through stuff too lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was interesting to read up on Andropause. I really had no clue that men suffer as well.

      Delete
  14. This is such an informative post. Even though I might not find it useful right now, still worth sharing with my friends in need :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am in my late forties and know that this is coming soon. Seriously, all the side effects horrify me.I don't even want to think about it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's very scary. Especially while I feel I am still young and already going through the first stages.

      Delete
  16. What an informative post. I dont know why menopause or perimenopause is such a bad word its a part of life and its sad we shun this info almost the same way we do with actual menstrual cycles. Women need to be more vocal with their body changes at any rate its not a secret.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! It is a personal and touchy subject for sure but a natural part of life. So I think it's important to let other women know what to expect.

      Delete
  17. Anything is better with chocolate! This is all part of life and all of us women will have to go through sooner or later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chocolate is the best isn't it! And yes, all women eventually have to go through the change. Unfortunately lol

      Delete
  18. I have not reached menopause. I am only 40 but I feel changes as I age. I now get cluster headaches as my time starts and am just so worn out all of the time those first few days prior to starting

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the headaches are terrible. I feel like I'm coming down with the flu. Headaches, fever, body aches. I never use to get that.

      Delete
  19. I've heard about menopause but didn't really read about it. This is helpful information. I need to start preparing myself for the inevitable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There really is no way to prepare other than to research. Not everyone has all the symptoms but it is good to know what to expect When it starts.

      Delete
  20. I hate menopause. Weught gain, insomnia and painful sex are my worst symptoms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not looking forward to all it entails that's for sure.

      Delete
  21. Oh no..I think I had the same symptoms as you have. My period is suddenly so wacky now and I have woken up more often. And I thought..no way..I am just turning 46 yrs old..no way I will be menopause so soon. But seems like I am. I love to read this. Make me more aware about my body now. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very much welcome. Knowing what to expect is half the battle.

      Delete
  22. I really don't like the idea of aging. That's why as much as possible, I try to fight it. Though, there's really no answer yet for eternal youth, that's why I am anxious of this process. Thanks for this info. This is somewhat made me feel a bit prepared for what's coming up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you do find that eternal youth please be sure to share!😆

      Delete
  23. This is some good information, still working my way through this...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I wanted to share my experience as well as some things found online doing research so that those who may be in the beginning can know what to expect. :)

      Delete