I spotted somewhere on social media that September was/is Menopause Month. As a 50-something blogger writing about Health I thought I should write something about the menopause. But what? I’m not a medical practitioner or have any expertise in the menopause, apart from my personal experience.
I then realised that Menopause Month is an American thing, so thought well perhaps I won’t rush into a menopause blog. Then I thought again……..after some research I realised that the subject is a little taboo and there is little to no education available. We have sex education at school and here, at best, the menopause will be billed as the time our periods stop. And there is so much more to it than that! I decided a blog providing some resources and a brief chat about my experience may help someone out there!
Talking of sex education……… well we didn’t talk about it when I was growing up! Yes we did at school, in Biology and other classes but not at home. My Mum handed me a funny little pamphlet to read, when I was about 12, and that was it. I guess it had been acquired for my brother (9 years older than me) and / or my sister (5 years older than me). All very embarrassing and no open conversations were ever had. How things have changed, I was determined that this wouldn’t be my daughters experience so we started when they were under 10 with Babette Cole’s lovely book “Hair in Funny Places”
Not surprisingly the menopause was also never discussed. I’m sure my Mum experienced it but I have no recollection. Sadly she had mobility issues all her life and was regularly in pain and discomfort. So dealing with the menopause or her families awareness of it probably blended into our daily experience of her “ups and downs”. By the time I was heading for the menopause Mum was deep in Alzheimer’s and not able to hold any sort of meaningful conversation.
Both my sisters had procedures pre menopause so I guess experienced an induced menopause probably supported by HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)…….I don’t know, I’ve never asked. Most of my friends are younger than me and at the time of my menopause were not experiencing any symptoms, they now talk of hot flushes and night sweats! Other symptoms can include tiredness, inability to concentrate, irregular periods, difficulty sleeping, loss of sex drive, mood swings…..http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Menopause/Pages/Symptoms.aspx
My Menopause Experience
My menopause passed, perhaps is passing, in a fairly uneventful way. Although initially, looking back, I think it was probably tied up with a deeply upsetting relationship break-up. The emotional rollercoaster and tears were attributed to that. My periods were being erratic, irregular and a routine coil check and subsequent ultrasound found I had fibroids.
The removal of the oestrogen coil dealt with both the fibroids and an end to any bleeding. A time on some medication for the emotional state I was in from the breakup helped me deal with my state of mind. I don’t recall having hot flushes but I guess I do sometimes get night sweats, but nothing to wake me up or really disrupt my sleep.
So I’ve been lucky! I’ve not experienced any weight gain although that’s because exercise is my lifeline. I love to do some sort of physical activity. At the time of my menopause I was swimming regularly and walking an active dog. In last 4 years I have been working out at home with Julia Buckley’s online gym. This includes some workouts with weights and body-weight exercises which help to improve bone strength. This is important as the drop in oestrogen during the menopause leads to a loss in bone mass and an increased risk of osteoperosis. Read my blog on osteoporosis here.
Your Menopause Experience
Many people suffer greatly at the menopause and do not necessarily get the right advice or know where to go. HRT has had bad press, sensationalizing or perhaps exaggerating the risks. It appears that HRT provides more benefits than risks to the majority of women, this is explained really well on www.menopausedoctor.co.uk. HRT replaces the hormones and masks menopausal symptoms, it doesn’t delay the menopause
There are some fabulous resources out there. In researching this blog I came across a couple of great things I’d like to share with you. Have look and feel empowered to take some action;
A great website from The Menopause Doctor a GP and Menopause Expert www.menopausedoctor.co.uk
“I hope this website helps to empower you with necessary information to make informed decisions regarding any treatment you may take to help turn your menopause into a positive experience that does not negatively impact your life.”
A great podcast in which Liz Earle talks to Dr Louise Newson (aka The Menopause Doctor) and covers the symptoms of the menopause, why it’s important to have a healthy lifestyle and dispels some of the myths around HRT.
A practicing nutritionist offers an alternative approach “to help you eat your way through a symptom-free menopause”
Thanks for reading.
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Fitness, mobility, exercise – are one of my 4 Pillars of Health, read about the others here https://www.jenafitlife.com/4-pillars-good-health/
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