The Menopause – Am I ready?

As a generation of modern women, how we roll our eyes and laugh about the days women were ashamed to talk about periods to their children. I mean, imagine being too shamed to discuss the natural cycle of a woman’s hormones at an inevitable stage in her life.

Imagine anything more ridiculous than that.

I mean, we have come soooo far.

But, asking for a friend… as I approach 40, and I hear friends whose age spans the decade ahead, groan about being of a certain age, I have to wonder, am I really prepared for the change that’s destined in the years to come?

What is the menopause?

Ok. So I think the clue is in the name – it’s when your periods stop isn’t it?. Hooray we should be chanting, but hold fire, this shift in hormones seems to come with baggage.

Plus, word on the street is that your periods might get worse before they get better – increasing in weight and unpleasantness to go with a final wave of glory. Or should that be gory.

When does it happen?

I’m guessing the menopause starts when your childbearing years end? So what, mid forties? But if starting your periods is anything to go by I can only imagine there will be a normal distribution of early starters and late finishers.

Drugs

Well I’ve heard of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) but I actually have no idea what it is, how you take it, or what it is for.

One of the greatest parts of having completed my family is having dealt with the birth control by other means than hormonal contraceptive. I’m free, finally! So do I really want to fill myself back up with more synthetic hormones? Where do I find out the pros and cons?

Symptoms

I don’t know much about the ins and outs of the menopause, but the complaints I have heard of include hot flushes, sleepless nights and early wakings. Mood swings and weight gain and loss of energy. Sounds like a wild time. Can’t wait. But surely it can’t be all that bad can it?

Am I prepared?

Even thinking this all through out loud makes me realise I am totally clueless when it comes to knowing about and being prepared for the menopause. With no teacher led mother and daughter talk, nothing but casual coy references to base our facts on, I’m one of another generation of women walking blind into this stage of life.

I guess I’ll have to do my own research, be my own guide, and hope that when the time comes the information is available and that we will be able to share and openly support each other however that might be needed.

x MMT

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