Perimenopause & me
It’s a topic that has been bubbling around for a few years now and more recently, in the actual spotlight after the brilliant documentary with Davina McCall: Sex, Myths and the Menopause
But what about perimenopause – that awkward area in between that can linger for several years – as women, unaware of the symptoms (they vary SO MUCH per person) begin to question their actual sanity, hit up the antidepressants, booze, or both; start to lose their hair but gain chin hairs, get acne, become insomniacs and have periods that become so heavy, your favourite pair of 501s get binned!
Am I going crackers?
I had all of the above – I still have all of the above and it’s been ongoing for 2-3 years now. In the beginning, I had no idea other than thinking I was actually going mad. I do not jest. Actual moments of mania met with shocking, shocking lows. Being a mum, working, freelancing and everything that comes with living a lifestyle like mine means there’s little time to usually question anything – but I became so introspective of EVERYTHING. Everything was pissing me off, irritating me, upsetting me. My hair was flat and thin, my jawline angry with breakouts, my body ached, my memory went, I felt lethargic from within – and to get to the crunch – it is all down to hormones. And more pinpoint, the MASSIVE hormonal changes that affect women going through that perimenopausal life stage. But when you don’t know this, it is FRIGHTENING!
My personal journey was not met with much support whenever I visited the doctors as symptoms would get lumped into the same category as depression.
It’s good to talk.
Speaking about it more openly with others makes you realise, you are not alone – but I get it, not everyone feels comfortable doing this. Why? I’ll tell you why; women’s health gets a bad wrap – always has done – although the ship is starting to set sail in the right direction. Up until more recently, it’s always been whispers and giggles, blue blood, and utter bollocks if you ask me (not literally the latter, obvs!)
It’s why I had no qualms whatsoever when speaking up about my symptoms with Boots Health & Beauty and their brilliant series of interviews they’re doing; speaking with women of all ages and their experiences with The Menopause.
Like most things education and visibility is key – but where to start. There are some great links I mention in the interview as a starting point but there were a few things that were understandably left out…
Now, I am not a doctor, so I am only recommending the following as ways in which I have tried to work with my perimenopause stage (naturally) and these things are slowly helping me to finally embrace the wonder and magic of being a woman. We’re amazing!
5 ways to start.
- 1: Say the word vagina. Out loud every day. Get comfortable with that word and if you have kids, use that word minus the giggles.
- 2: Look up herbal supplements with ingredients including ashwagandha and root Shatavari. I regularly take both and have totally noticed a difference. Check out the awesome brand Life Armour. I use their products and have reviewed lots, too. FTTIMES gets you 15% off all Life Armour products.
- 3: Don’t be afraid to ask for blood tests and scans and request to see another GP if you’re met with resistance – if anything to rule out something else going on like thyroid, polyps, and for you know, good ol’ reassurance from a medical professional! It is out there, I’m just sorry that it’s not met like this across the board and especially hard at a time when you’re probably feeling really unsure and vulnerable.
- 4: Inform others – make sure your family and friends know what and how you’re feeling. I was so scared as a child seeing my mum go through what was clearly the perimenopause stage and it’s not pretty and I feel awful that she had no one to confide in and went through it, alone. It doesn’t have to be like this. Lean on others.
- 5: Menstrual cups are great for actually seeing how much blood you lose per period. Remember that lie they told you in secondary, the small jam jar and 12 teaspoons of blood lost per cycle?! YEAH RIGHT! Don’t leave your imagination to go wild and mess up what is actually real – see the amount you bleed, log it all in a diary and then report back with these facts to your GP.
Really hope this helps.
I’m still learning and discovering new ways to work through this stage but if anything, it means that hopefully when I do hit menopause, I’ll be even more informed about it and less angst and uncertain.
Have you experienced any of these symptoms?
What did you think of the Davina documentary?
Drop comments below and ultimately, I hope this may have helped anyone who maybe quietly worrying about their possible perimeno concerns.
And remember, I am not a doctor, very far from it.
Thanks for reading.