How to cope with (peri)menopause – please share your advice and experience!

by Sylvia

How to cope with (peri)menopause | 40plusstyle.com

My blogger friend Michelle recently wrote about her journey through (peri)menopause. As I’m going through this myself I thought it would be good to talk about this topic on 40+Style as well since it’s such a confusing subject with so many questions and obstacles that affects the life of 40+ women in significant ways.

So many of you have gone through perimenopause and menopause already and perhaps this article and the comments can become a resource where you can find solace, understanding and perhaps a few remedies that can help.

Coping with peri menopause | 40plusstyle.com

Here is what I’m experiencing sofar:

  • Mood swings and a hot temper
  • Feeling tired all the time but unable to sleep my usual 7-8 hours
  • Inability to cope with the hot weather (it’s getting harder the longer I live here)
  • Finding it harder to concentrate and feelings of overwhelm get increasingly frequent
  • Dramatic increase in headaches

Now it’s always difficult to know if symptoms are due to other reasons or the fact that I am too busy or putting too much on my plate or that they are related to (peri)menopause but with so many women experiencing these same kind of issues, I think it’s fair to say that menopause has a big part in this.

How do you cope with menopause? Share your experience! | 40plusstyle.com

A few years ago I started reading and learning about bio-identical hormones. Women like Suzanne Summers (who was extensively featured on Oprah) feel that we should not accept all these changes as just a part of life as they seem to be rather ‘outdated’ in a world where women could possibly live for 50 years more. In a way that makes sense to me. In the past, women were meant to bare and raise children and then their ‘function’ was over and they would be dead by the age of 60.

We live in a very different world now. We can possibly live for 50 years longer and many of us feel very active, have lots of plans and have no desire of slowing down. It becomes disheartening when the body and hormones then force you to do otherwise.

Does menopause really have a function anymore this day and age. What is the benefit of menopause in the first place?

There don’t seem to be very many upsides to menopause, both in terms of how you feel, your energy and also how you look. When it comes to appearance, here are just some of the symptoms associated with menopause:

  • Thinning hair
  • Hairloss
  • Hormone loss cause accumulation of fat around the abdomen
  • Dryer skin

I know for a fact that many women find these outer symptoms very difficult to cope with as well which accumulated fat in the abdomen the most mentioned (Find ways to hide your belly with clothes here).

Accept and bear it or do something?

Now as I find myself in the middle of peri-menopause (my period is irregular but has not stopped completely) I’m wondering if I should just let nature run its course and bare some of the side effects or be a lot more proactive in either getting bio-identical hormone therapy or traditional hormone replacement therapy. (if you like to know about the difference, you may enjoy this interview I conducted with Dr Yeoh a while ago about the difference between bio-identical hormones and HRT). My adversity to seeing doctors and the fact that I’m very busy with all my new plans for this site and my new project has meant that I haven’t done any investigation or taken any action in this direction just yet.

But I don’t see why we should really accept this part of ‘nature’ when it seems to have been designed for a time where women lived a lot shorter and were kind-of expected to just fade away.

symptoms of peri menopause and how to deal with them | 40plusstyle.com

50+ women all over the world are showing that they are strong and energetic and that they can make a real difference to this world. Many of you find an increased level of confidence and power to finally do the things that you love. You don’t want to be hampered by these kind-of outdated menopausal symptoms that slow you down. In fact in current times we need these 40+ women more than ever.

At the time I started reading books on this topic. Here are a few:


Now that I’m finally in the middle of menopause I may need to get back to these books and decide if it’s worth making the effort ‘to do something about this’ or just take menopause in my stride and let ‘nature’ take its course.

How to cope with menopause | 40plusstyle.com

I would love to know your opinion on this. Hopefully you can join the discussion and let me know how you are experiencing menopause. Even though I’m personally interested in this topic, your information will be very helpful to many women who may struggle with all the changes in their mind and body and who are looking to find strategies that can help them.

So please share:

  • Have you experienced menopause yet or are you in the middle of it?
  • Did you have severe symptoms?
  • Did you just let it run its course or have you sought medical help through bio-identical hormone therapy or HRT?
  • What helped you cope with (peri)menopause?
  • Which books have helped you cope?

I look forward to reading your comments!

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Related posts:

lkla

I can attest that the best thing is estrogen patches with a side of progesterone. Just do it! No more hot flashes.

Meryl O'Rourke

I’m afraid that’s not an option for those of us with high cancer risks

Sylvia

Good to read that this helped for you Ikla!

Elaine

15 years ago, after reading about the effects of supplementing estrogen decline with pharmaceuticals I decided to forego Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and it was the best decision for me. During that time most doctors routinely put women on HRT. The result was an epidemic of estrogen fueled breast cancer. My own mother took HRT, developed breast cancer and eventually died as a result. Since then all of my friends have been taken off that treatment. I prefer working with the natural progression of aging and while there were a few years of toughing out the symptoms of menopause I think it was for the best. Some things that helped me get through were a lot of exercise and time outside, a healthier diet, less alcohol and yoga or meditation practice. Taking breaks from a stressful work schedule and indulging a favorite past time was very beneficial to me even if it amounted to just a few hours
over a weekend or 2 days off instead of a weeks holiday. Good luck Sylvia. This too shall pass!

Sylvia

Thanks so much for your feedback Elaine. Great to read that you came through it ok!

Jill

I have had to many of my friends who succumbed to HRT end up with breast cancer and in my opinion, it’s not worth it. Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, diet, cut out excess alcohol and read and evaluate what works for you as an individual. We are all very different. What worked for me was a product called Brevail, yoga, pilates, cut back on sugar and white flour, alcohol, caffeine and meditation. All the many products we women use, i.e. Cosmetics, hair tonic/products, bath products/skin are now being offered paraben free. All these important factors should be taken into consideration. I agree 100% with Elaine. Thank you for addressing this topic for the women and yourself. And yes, it will pass. Hugs!

Sylvia

Yes, that’s a scary thing. I wonder though if HRT has not improved or bio-identical hormones would have the same negative effects.. Many thanks for the useful tips!

Leah

I was definitely peri menopausal 6 months ago – irregular, dry skin, belly fat accumulating, hot sweats starting, mood swings when I’m normally calm as a breeze. It all seems to have gone into reverse since I adopted a (frankly not very strict) ketogenic diet, and from what I’m reading I’m not alone. I know people are suspicious of the idea of restricting carbs, but I feel so much better and it hasn’t felt like deprivation at all. Worth checking out.

Sylvia

Interesting, will need to look into that! Thanks for the feedback!

Sandra

Dear Sylvia,
The hormones that work in our bodies are an individual concert, a very hamonic one in most cases (not if you suffer from Hashimoto’s, or other disruptive illnesses, of course). If you take one or more of the instruments out or let them play more aggressively, you’ll destroy the whole masterpiece. You will never know exactly, what is going to happen if you take hormones, never! You may result in breast or ovarian cancer or what not! Don’t do it! Nature is always right. You won’t die, if you are post-menopausal, and honestly: do you really want to get pregnant at the age of 55 or 60! You’ll be 80 until the child is able to spread its wings….!
Gros biosu from Belgium
Sandra

Sylvia

No, I definitely do not want to get pregnant! Thanks for the feedback Sandra!

Suzanne

My gynaecologist and my family Dr. are against HRT and as such I would need to search out a Dr. that would be willing to subscribe HRT. I have a feeling that the Canadian gov’t discourages writing prescriptions for it due to the possibility of cancer. I would have to visit the US or go to Mexico to get the drugs and that simply isn’t a viable solution. We do have a decent health care system in Canada, but it has its limitations.

bisous
Suzanne

Sylvia

I think HRT has gotten a very bad reputation but I thought things had improved in that area. Does noone prescribe bio-identical hormones?

Koko Kawasaki

I had early menopause and had very severe symptoms during peri-menopause which made daily life difficult. Initially, I tried all the natural methods due to fear of hormones, exercised regularly, cut out caffeine, changed my diet, etc., but with no luck. I had a friend who had done extensive research on peri-menopause and she recommended a respected hormone specialist/MD. Through meeting with this MD, I learned that not all bioidentical hormones are the same, and there are some that have been approved by the FDA and have been on the market for many years. Fortunately, I didn’t have any risk factors, so after tests and examinations, she prescribed a low dosage of a gel estradiol. It’s been a lifesaver for me! If you are considering hormone therapy, it’s important to know the risks. Also, timing is very crucial. There is a critical window of time on when to start, which is at or before onset of menopause. I’m not an expert, and what works for me may not be good for you. It’s best to consult with doctors and specialists you trust. Best wishes!

Sylvia

Thanks for sharing your story Koko. Great to read that your treatment helped you.

Sherry Edwards

Sorry I cannot add to your comments. I have not experienced any difficulties during menopause. My period just stopped and that was the end of that. I did not experience what other women have, such as hot flashes or night sweats. My doctor thought this unusual and prescribed a hormone test for me but all came back normal. Today, I feel just as good as any other day. However, I do notice that my skin is not as nice as sort of has a crepey look.

Valdez

Funny, but the same happened to me. Just one day I realized that my cycle had stopped and I hadn’t ovulated in a year. I don’t have any symptoms directly associated with menopause. My hair is thinning, but all of my siblings (including my brothers) have the same genetic tendency. I cannot tolerate summer humidity, but that is a long-standing issue from a near heat stroke incident when in my late 20s. I am most grateful for my lack of symptoms as this wasn’t the case for my two sisters, who had a miserable time of it. They swore by St. John’s Wort supplements.

Sylvia

Well, it’s good to hear a positive story also!

Cathleen

The best resource and support I have found is, http://www.theperimenopauseblog.com. So many of my questions have been answered here and just knowing other women are having the same issues makes it bearable. Besides that, yoga, eating well and walking daily have been very helpful.

Sylvia

Thanks so much for your comment Cahtleen. Will check it out.

Sandra

I encourage all women to seek non-estrogen alternatives for birth control and effects of menopause. If you have heart palpitations or migraines and take estrogen, let your doctor know ASAP – you may be at risk for a stroke.

I took HRT, and the hot flashes stopped, but when a close relative had a stroke, I was advised to stop taking the meds. After stopping, the hot flashes returned but the gradually stopped.

Good luck, if misery loves company, you’ve got plenty!

Sylvia

Yes, it’s shocking to see how this affects so many women. Wishing you lots of strength to cope with this.

Rita

Sylvia, I’m in the midst of it now. I’m actually very happy to be going through it and am counting the days until I can say that I am officially at menopause (1 year without a period). I see it as liberating…no more worries about bleeding, birth control, and all that jazz. It’s just our body coming to the end of being able to reproduce. Part of our physiology, and quite natural. The process is a bit freaky, but it will pass.

I agree with the others who posted about exercise and good diet helping to get through it. My mother had breast cancer 3 times so there is no way I would go on hormones, bio-identical or otherwise. I don’t trust “natural” supplements as they are not regulated so who knows what they actually contain. So, eating well (lots of leafy greens, very little processed food) and walking/yoga/playing with pets is my strategy. I think just slowing down and taking time for yourself is helpful, too. Sit down and sip your coffee or tea rather than getting it to go as you run between activities…that sort of thing. I think it is better to work with what your body wants to do naturally rather than fight it.

Sylvia

Good advice Rita. Thanks so much for contributing.

Meryl O'Rourke

My body is changing a lot but I’ve always had mood swings. Main changes have been : bloating, spotty, very itchy legs which bruise out of no where…this last one is TMI but it may happen to you- I sometimes bleed during sex! Freaked me out at 1st but doc says it’s age She likened it to your gums bleeding during toothbrushing!
I’ve got new routines that have helped:
Moods:Magnesium, Agnus Castus…I SWEAR by a very high B complex before bed. Yoga, even if I just stick a YouTube video on. I have a meditation app. I’m also on very low dose anti depressant & in therapy – it’s very common for women of our age to find pressure in “having it all”
Bloating: half teaspoon bicarb a day, WATER, sleep,drinking aloe Vera and no onions or alcohol.
Itching & bruising:acupuncture helps. Also Dr gave me emollient cream which is great. I’m having blood tests for my thyroid.
Spots: REN cleanser for blemished skin.
There’s also a website I love called menopausehealthmatters.
I freaked out at first but now I know all the changes are manageable. I don’t know if one can have an opinion on it, as it’s nature! But remember Merkel,Thatcher, Indira Ghandi all reached power post menopause!

Sylvia

Thanks so much Meryl!

Briana

I am experiencing all of the symptoms that you have mentioned. I cut out all processed foods. I exercise everyday. My finances don’t allow me to try treatments that are available for menopause. What I miss the most is my libido. My husband is still quite virile and handsome. Sadly, sex is now more of a chore for me. Often times it is uncomfortable. It feels like someone turned off the lights inside of me and I hate this more than the hot flashes.

Sylvia

Thanks for contributing and sorry to hear about your loss of libido. Hope you will get it back soon!

Kat

I went through menopause without replacement hormones but I did have the help of a naturopath who prescribed supplements specifically for the symptoms I was having at any one time. I’m happy not to have a period anymore but I’m not happy about the changes to my body.

Sylvia

Hi Kat, Thanks for your comment. Do you know which supplements specifically were prescribed for you?

Monique

I thought I was going mad, from being a reasonable calm logical person, to not sleeping at night with terrible anxieties, every time I relaxed the hot flushes started, I was miserable, my first visit to the doctor resulted in being prescribed anti despressants.

I am now on low HRT and life is so much better, but I am more impatient, irritable and still feel like a light is dying inside me and have lost my libido which is very frustrating, my partner is much younger than myself so this is really difficult.

The other difficulty is the change in my body from being able to eat what I liked and being very energetic and very active I want to curl up and relax and find it very hard to get motivated or interested in my usual way.

I have been told there is light at the end of the tunnel and am looking forward to that day, but adjusting to being considered an older lady is difficult.

Sylvia

Thanks for your comment Monique. I hope things will get better for you soon…

Erika

50 and well into perimenopause.

My mother had some of the classic issues (mood swings, hot flushes) as have many of my friends, but other than a change in menstrual flow and two hot flushes (yes, I can count them) I seem to be having a remarkably smooth time of it. One big caveat – I have ME/CFS and take a LOT of supplements for that. Coincidence? They include vitamins C, E, A and a range of different Bs, some adaptogenic herbs, flaxseed, etc. Doses are generally on the high end as my body no longer processes things properly.

Germaine Greer’s “The Change” is a provocative read. Medical advice is comparatively easy to come by, but a social context is just as important.

Meryl

Yes! I have flaxseed in a smoothie every morning. We need as much lube of all kinds inside us – good oils, flushing through digestive system, replenishing skin- our body stops producing bile so we need to create our own. Social context is hard- I look very young, but still feel very old and find myself insanely jealous of young women 🙁 Ha! No actual bile being produces, but plenty of figurative bile! :/

Michelle

Hahaha fantastic comment Meryl! I hadn’t tried flaxseed although I was taking high doses of Omega 3 for two years & found no change at all. I’m now on HRT which has helped the other symptoms enormously yet my “lube” quota is still way down although improved. I therefore used an eye gel for dry eyes & lubricant for sex, both do their job fine.

Meryl

Yes, I’ve started using eye drops for dry eyes and they feel wonderful…My anti depressants dry out my eyes as well :/

Sylvia

Thanks for the great feedback Erika!

Anne Marie

Sylvia, Sometimes it is best to just wait it out. Mine was awful for two years but I did what most of the above ladies mentioned. Exercise, vitamins, acupuncture and massage, cutting out caffeine ( although I have green tea in the morning) In addition keep a food journal. When you get a hot flash ( drinking red wine etc) write it down. When did it happen, what time etc) This is truly the time to take care care of yourself. I had borderline high blood pressure ( I was on the pill for heavy bleeding) It was scary so I decided then and there no more worrying about everyone and trying to control everyone and everything. We laugh and call it #newannemarie!! (hashtag new annemarie) Obviously if things get so bad you need to try the hormones no one is faulting you but please try the natural remedies first. In fact I had such heavy bleeding ( I was not a candidate for the ablation surgery) I thought I was going to lose my mind. I was lucky it did stop, but it was two years of pure hell. I think women need to talk about this more, I have seen many friends go into depression or change their personalities completely. Also remember with the change you change what you like once now not so much! What you did not like, now you love!!

Sylvia

Thanks so much for your helpful feedback Anne Marie!

Venus Cruz

I eat a plant based diet, no oil, no dairy, no salt, no sugar, no meat……..and it did wonders to help me through menopause. My skin is awesome not dry, I have thick dark curly hair to my buttocks…I recommend it to everyone for all issues. I am 56 and I am on no medications and I have never been on them. Give it a try. It will change your life for the better. Sex is awesome also….LOL

Sylvia

Thanks so much for your feedback Venus!

Maggie

The evidence has proven that hormone replacement therapy actually does more harm than good. It not only increases the risk of cancer but stroke. I would say this when faced with the symptoms of menopause: old age is a privilege, not a guarantee. Genetics will get you before 50, lifestyle after 50. Eat well and exercise.

Sylvia

Hi Maggie, yes the comments on this article seem to be very negatively geared towards HRT. Definitely good go know. Thanks so much for your feedback.

Michelle

Great post Sylvia & your readers comments are brilliant – so candid! I would love to know where the majority of them are based to compare national opinion on using HRT. So far almost 100% of my readers comments on this subject have lauded HRT as what gets them through it. Interestingly most of them tried supplements for some time WITHOUT EFFECT prior to beginning HRT. I do believe media coverage has an enormous bearing on our opinions, supplement companies have a billion dollar vested interest in us not using HRT. Just sayin’ xx

Meryl

But the pharma world has billions more dollars vested in us using HRT!!

Michelle

They do indeed & I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them either however I do trust my GP. He & I discussed the medication, side effects & indeed symptoms of Menopause at length. We weighed up the pros & cons & together decided which particular medication I would try. I said I’d only try it out. I’ve been taking it for 9 weeks & immediately noticed the difference – I’m talking within days – to my symptoms. I don’t plan on staying on it for an extended period of time, only to get me through my worst symptoms as I have 3 kids.
I’m not into taking stuff so it wasn’t an easy decision but 2 years trying various supplements that did absolutely zero while I flushed hundreds of pounds down the loo makes me a tad skeptical. That said I’d NEVER judge another woman for doing what’s right for her, I’m merely curious. Also, it’s really important for US to talk & do the research, not leave it to big business, right?

Sumeet

I too have been going through all of this for almost an year, I am almost 48 as of now. Other than calcium and glucosamine (on the advise of orthopaedic I consulted for knee pain), I had been taking no other supplements. When the hot flashes became unbearable, my sister (elder by 9 years) advised me to have soya milk, which helped me cool down considerably. Loss of hair made me look for solutions and I discovered that yeast tablets help. I started having Brewers Yeast tablets two at a time, once a day, that helped in hair loss and I have been feeling energetic ever since. My two pence….

Michelle

Ha that’s interesting about your hair Sumeet because that is what ultimately led me to HRT. Of all the symptoms & some were quite scary let me tell you, the hair loss really broke me. I’m happy to say it started growing back straight after I began HRT & stopped coming out in handfulls that very week. I’m so pleased to hear that yeast worked for you, I do understand how you felt x

Sylvia

Thanks so much for your feedback Sumeet!

Sylvia

Yes, the difference in feedback is quite remarkable. Many of my readers are from the US where HRT seems to have gotten a bad reputation. I thought things had improved but clearly would need to do more research. I’m lucky that my symptoms are not that severe so there is no rush for the moment.

Meryl

I’m from UK. After conflicting advice during sub fertility, childbirth and my PND I now have a policy of “Try what’s right for you” and go with your gut instinct. I’d never advise someone who was happy and well informed to stop doing something if they feel it’s right for them – be it pharma or fish oils xxx Our bodies are so individual

Michelle

I suspected that was it Sylvia. It pays to do our own research anyway as different bodies react slightly differently although for those who have young children a fast acting fix is priority. Nobody likes a grumpy Mummy Heeheehee

Loretta

I’m on the other side of menopause. I experienced hair thinning, abdominal weight gain and severe hot flashes at night which wrecked my sleep. I finally gave into bioidentical hormones. It stopped the flashes and helped my sleep immensely. Hair thinning halted. I’m now 60 and have retired from a very stressful job. Reducing stress has allowed some reversal of the hair thinning and a return to good sleep. Be aware, if you don’t cope with your stress this will be hard to sort out. I’ve also found regular exercise to be most helpful.
I no longer use hormones. They helped me in a tough spot but I don’t think I want to stay on them.

Sylvia

Thanks so much for sharing your experience Loretta!

Susan

I’m almost 54, went through very difficult peri-menopause (very heavy bleeding and then spotting), many more headaches, etc.. I’ve now been in menopause for 3 years. The first 2 years were much worse than this past year, so I know things are winding down. I’ve had hot flashes, loss of sleep, loss of libido, weight gain, mood swings, feeling of overwhelm, aches and pains, digestive issues, etc. I’ve never taken hormones and don’t intend to. BUT I’ve learned a lot of things that helped a LOT! I can recommend “The Wisdom of Menopause” book you have mentioned in the blog. Also, the website listed earlier in one of the posts. I’m finally much better in all areas so it’s good to remember that it DOES pass! Hot flashes – wear light layers so you can take off the light shirt and put it back on. Don’t wear tight clothing. Don’t put yourself in position of being in extreme heat for long time. If you do have to be outdoors in the heat, put a little ice water on the back of your neck and even trail it down your arms. Sometimes, deep breathing can even help. Try the “cooling” pillows and mattress pads you can now find at Bed, Bath and Beyond – they’re wonderful. Sleep with a fan on you and turn down the AC. Drink tons of water (half your body weight in ounces – if you weigh 140, drink 70 oz water per day, or more) and don’t eat anything spicy after lunch – hot flashes become night sweats and spicy food brings that on. You might also try cutting down on caffeine. As for the other symptoms – exercise, exercise, exercise. I walk and do yoga. Find something that relaxes you and do it every day. Reading and cooking are my vices! I take multivitamins and B complex but also probiotics every day and drink kefir. For the bloating – I’m trying different digestive enzymes and they, along with the probiotics, help a lot! Get more fiber than before and eat as little sugar as possible. Diet becomes very important, in regulating weight gain and in how you feel. Brianna – don’t worry, it comes back!! After 2+ years of “going through the motions”, I now have my libido back! As for the feeling that everything is overwhelming – that IS menopause. I’ve always been very strong (mentally) and able to weather life’s events. But just moving to another town and my husband starting a new career at the same time, threw me into a tailspin. It was purely hormonal! What happens is that you are producing more cortisol (due to declining estrogen) and that is the “stress hormone”. As more stressing events happen, it feels like they’re piling up, one on top of the other, and you feel that you can’t handle even one more stressful thing. That went away after about 6 months, for me. I learned that I HAVE to eat more healthful and I HAVE to exercise to deal with the cortisol. Sleep is imperative to getting your adrenal system (the source of cortisol) into a healthier state. Try Zquil, which is non-habit forming, for nights when you really can’t/but need sleep. And, again, eat as little sugar as possible. It causes inflammation and greatly influences your adrenals. Cortisol is also what puts on the belly fat!
Read….relax…paint…stretch…make it a priority each day! It will get better!!

Sylvia

Thank you so much Susan for your extensive feedback!

Sandi

I’m almost 53 and want to share my experience because I didn’t know much about menopause. I had been on birth control pills for years and my doctor didn’t give me any reasons to get off. Then I started having VERY heavy periods and eventually went to my doctor because it was interfering with my life. Apparently my body was trying to be in menopause! I stopped taking the pill and had my hormone levels tested a few weeks later. The doctor called to say “you’re done” ! My levels were very low and I’ve not had a period in almost 2 years! I do still have some hot flashes but the worst is over. But I didn’t know that being on the pill was keeping my periods going and also causing fibroids. Once I stopped the pill, the fibroids decreased and I didn’t have to have them removed or take any other action. Maybe this info can help others.

Sylvia

Thanks so much for sharing your story Sandi!

Barb

Like some of your other readers’ comments, I am through menopause now, but suffered terribly with mood swings, hot flashes and a changing body (stubborn belly fat and inability to keep my weight under control). What worked for me was more exercise (yoga, pilates, ballet barre, walking), and a different approach to eating – no dairy, less sugar and carbs – and I don’t really drink much alcohol anymore. I’m also diligent about getting sleep. Really works for me. I’m now 61 and am (mostly) through the hot flash phase too. Oh, and I reduced my stress levels – retired from a really stressful job and learned to say “no” to some people! LOL

Sylvia

Thanks for your feedback Barb and great to read you’re almost through it.

Meryl

https://youtu.be/lzVvpiv_NIA Saw this today and it gave me hope. Toni Basil at 73

Sylvia

Wow she still has the moves!

Barbara

I am 10 years past menopause. What helped me to deal with it was talking to my friends that were also going through it and comparing notes. We often used the expression with our mates and friends that we were having a ‘menopausal moment’ when we were forgetful or clumsy’. It lightened the mood for us all. My husband often said that we were all having too much fun with menopause! One friend who went thru’ menopause before me used to say, ‘how do you spell freedom,
‘ m-e-n-o-p-a-u-s-e’!
Most of my friends came to a self-assurance at the same time as going thru’ menopause. We realized that what matter to us was all that mattered. We did not need to worry about what anyone else thought. Not in a mean spirited way, but in a self-assuring way!
While there are physical affects of menopause, many that you descube are not that much different then our aging husbands are dealing with–except hot flashes. As we age, sleep becomes increasingly difficult. Weight gain, especially in the midriff is common–we just call it love handles when it is in our husbands. And our husbands are often slowly turning into ‘grumpy old men’, which most women aren’t!
Menopause is not something to be feared! Embrace as you have every other phase of your life, and you will do just fine!

Sylvia

Thanks so much Barbara for this positive uplifting message!

Beth

My periods stopped 16 years ago. I have experienced only the hot flash/night sweat symptoms, but they are severe, I spend the hours between 2am and 4am awake and alternating between covers and freezing each night. My mother is 90 and still experiences night sweats, even though a former doctor said that was impossible. Fairly strenuous, regular exercise does seem to help, HRT fixed the problem while I took it, but is too risky to continue for me. The best coping idea that I have come across is to sleep in moisture-wicking athletic wear. This eliminates the night time T-shirt change needed when I sleep in cotton. Also, keeping a towel to dry off my face and neck is useful. Good luck on your voyage.

Sylvia

Thanks for the helpful tips Beth!

Greetje

I am sorry, I cannot really help. I went only through meno pause, nothing before that. And meno pause wasn’t bad for me. Only hot flashes for one and a half year. After a year of normal temperatures, another year of hot flashes (less frequent and intense) set in. And that was that. Didn’t even suffer from it at night.
What I do find difficult to cope with, is the loss of libido and the dry vagina. Of course there are lubricants for that, but it rather spoils the fun. From having been quite an active sexual woman, I have turned into a “you have to turn me on first” woman. I don’t like it, but it is a fact. Oh well, there are worse things I suppose.
Greetje

Sylvia

Thanks so much for your input Greetje!

Glenda

Hi Sylvia, I had a total hysterectomy in my 30’s and had traditional HRT in the form of patches. They helped for awhile but then it seemed I needed a higher dose and my doctor didn’t want to increase the dose so I went on bio-identical hormones but they did not do the trick either. Lately I’ve been using some creme from Amazon. It is a combination of progesta-care and bioesta-care both natural hormones. And they help my moods and my hot flashes. My belly fat is still there. But it keeps me from feeling like someone else. I’m 60 now and it still has not gone away! I’m so glad I found these products. They are great!

Sylvia

Thanks so much for the feedback Glenda. Do you have links of the products you buy at Amazon?

Glenda
Sharon

Thank you so much for your post. Menopause makes you feel like you are going crazy sometimes and it’s good to know other people can experience what you are going through too. I am 49 and have been suffering with headaches, sweats, mood swings, weight gain and palpitations. My dr told me HRT just delays the menopause so I did not want that. I just wanted to get through it as quickly and painlessly as possible!! He prescribed some patches which I haven’t used as I bought some bio identical progesterone cream called serenity from wellsprings and I cannot tell you how much it has helped. Most symptoms have gone except for headaches. It has turned my life around and I am feeling like myself again. I realise it may not help everyone but it was a lucky find as drs do not prescribe or seem to know about it.

Sylvia

Thanks so much for your feedback. This cream sounds like a good alternative.

Valerie

I started going through (peri)menopause at around 38 years of age so I was pretty young. Went to my female doctor who was going through the same thing so she understood. I tried the prescribed hormone therapy but the side effects were worse then the symptoms. So, I began the bio-medical hormone therapy at 40, I am now 54 years old, had to have a complete hysterectomy last year due to complications of menopause. I swore by the bio-medical pellets and continue to have them done every 5 months. Only issue I have is why they are not covered by insurance. Men are allowed to be prescribed pills for any discomfort they have when unable to perform but we have to suffer through or pay out of pocket. Some of us are unable to take the manufactured hormones.

Sylvia

Thanks for your feedback and sorry to read that this has been so tough for you…

Nancy

I have one tip/insight: COTTON! I had been a fan of natural fabrics already, being a vegan; and the hot flashes convinced me that cotton is the way to go. During this time in your life cotton will be your best friend. It breathes rather than trapping heat and any accompanying perspiration odor.

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