Why doesn’t anyone warn us about menopause? I remember being in school and learning about when girls get their periods and where babies come from, but why did no one warn us about menopause symptoms?
I used to think your period just ended one day. Presto, chango and boom you are done. But noooo!!!!! Going through all the changes can take 10 years. I first started waking up with my clothes soaking wet in my 40s. I thought, “YES!, I’m going through menopause!” Nope, that was just the beginning. They call it peri-menopause.
And So It Begins…Perimenopause
Perimenopause, or menopause transition, begins several years before menopause. It’s the time when the ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in her 30s or even earlier.
Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last one to two years of perimenopause, this drop in estrogen speeds up. At this stage, many women have menopause symptoms.
After the night sweats, the hot flashes started. I would have yelling fights with my family and friends to make it cooler. My husband would sleep with the blanket wrapped around him as if he was in a cocoon, while I was barely dressed, sleeping with the air conditioner on and the window open. By the way, it was the dead of winter. There would be 10 inches of snow outside, but in my house I felt as if I was on the sun —literally, on the sun. My poor family had no idea what was coming their way next.
Beware the Mood Swings
The mood swings!! One minute I’m all about love and peace and the next thing I know, I want to rip someone’s head off. It could be their voice, their breathing or just their being near me and I would fill up with this rage inside me.
Why doesn’t anyone warn women about this? Or better yet, how come no one warned MEN about this? My husband doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that my hormones have declared war on me. He thinks I just nag and that I have lost my mind, which now brings me to irritability.
That’s another glorious sign of menopause. WHY DID NO ONE WARN US ABOUT THIS? Loud chewing? Irritating. Dog licking himself? Irritating. Husband’s voice? Irritating. Anyone breathing loud? Irritating. EVERYTHING = IRRITATING!!!!
Don’t get me wrong, not every day is like this. It usually begins right before we are about to get our periods. BOOM!!!! Rationality goes out the window. But don’t worry, all this lasts approximately 10 years. No biggie!
Ummm…did I mention that our bodies start to change? It’s as if an alien has taken over our entire being. All of the sudden, my stomach is huge and bloated all the time. My skin is getting thinner (cruel joke because you start gaining weight in the strangest places), but at least your skin is thinner. Skin is drier (along with everything else).
Again, what do men go through? Womenapause? Nope! They get the wrath of having to deal with us. Hahaha What a brilliant cycle of life it is. Women get all the physical and emotional stuff and men have to put up with it!
So Many Emotional Changes
Following is a “list” of emotional changes women experience while undergoing “the change” (sounds like a bad horror movie):
- Lack of motivation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
WHOA, that’s some list!
How to Handle Menopause Symptoms
Below are seven ways to help us women handle these symptoms:
- Eat healthy
- Find a self-calming skill to practice, such as yoga or meditation
- Avoid tranquilizers and alcohol
- Engage in a creative outlet that fosters a sense of achievement
- Stay connected with your family and community
- Nurture friendships.
WebMd assures us that all of these symptoms are temporary.
When Does Menopause End?
You are finally finished with menopause when you haven’t gotten your period for a year. That means if you go 11 months without a period and then you get it, you have to go another full year without getting another period. Is this some cruel joke a man came up with to punish us for the 10+ years we have put them through hell? healthline.com says some women go though menopause with no symptoms at all. Okay, I hate those women.
Hang in There
Well ladies (and gentlemen), that was my menopause 101 lesson. Everything we are going through is perfectly normal. It does vary from woman to woman, and it does—at some point—come to an end. I personally like my wine and tequila so I have not given up drinking completely. I don’t eat healthy or exercise as much as I should. I do the best I can. That’s all we as women can do.
And last but not least – if your husband or significant other hasn’t left you yet, they are a keeper – at least for now! So, cheers to us women and our glorious and miracul