Menopause – Shifting Your Body’s Gears

My mother was almost 40 when I was born – the youngest of five – so my early teen years coincided with her menopause years.


Thankfully my mother and I had a mostly wonderful relationship even during that odd juncture when I was just starting periods as she was stopping hers.

That was the in the 1970s and my mother had a rough time – I remember during menopause she had horrendous cramps and horribly large, gelatinous blood clots. I know this because she had to save them and take them to her doctor – I do not know why. I do know that when I had a similar thing happen to me when I was peri-menopausal, my GYN did a procedure to curtail the clots.

So that was my menopause education – and it was a little terrifying. I’ve also seen Menopause the Musical and thought it funny and bittersweet. And now that I’m actually a menopausal woman, I want to share some things that I wish others had told me:

  • You dry out – skin, hair, body parts. I went from washing my hair daily to washing every two or three days.
  • Body hair grows less – I have gone from shaving my legs daily to shaving my legs monthly. It’s crazy.
  • The hot flashes are real – mine are usually quick and often welcome because I am very cold natured. They are not welcome when I am working out or running.
  • Not having a period is a very nice thing. I do not miss that – though you might need an extra lubricant in certain lady places.
  • You do need to see your gynecologist just to make sure that your body is shifting the way it is supposed to be and to answer any questions.
  • Enjoy what your body is doing – enjoy the changes of each time of your life – you are witnessing something amazing.

From the Mayo Clinic on Menopause:

Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility and it is defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age in the United States is 51.

Menopause is a natural biological process. Although it ends fertility, you can stay healthy, vital and sexual. Some women feel relieved because they no longer need to worry about pregnancy.

Even so, the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt sleep, cause hot flashes, lower your energy and, for some women, trigger anxiety or feelings of sadness and loss.

Please see your doctor to get treatment for symptoms that both you. Many effective treatments are available, from lifestyle adjustments to hormone therapy.

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