Menopause is not a dirty word

Instantly the word Menopause had me skip a breath. A few months ago, my best friend suggested that perhaps, just ‘perhaps’ l may be entering what l had never heard of ‘peri menopause’ - the stage just before being IN menopause. “What? I’m not THAT OLD?” l responded & this is coming from someone who is self appointed Head of Anti Age Shaming for her local village and perhaps at the stepping stone for a bigger community - maybe all women of Australia at least. 


So began my quest to understand this Peri Menopause and what l have unearthed in the last few months of in-depth research has completely changed my view of what ultimately is an imminent shift in a woman's life. One that l now look at as nothing short of miraculously and dare l say it, beautiful. What a privilege that l will enter these years of wisdom and still with an abundance of youth that my 60, 70, 80 and 90 year old Aunties remind me daily to never take for granted. We give such enthuses on celebrating Sweet 16’s (still don’t know why), the legal eagle age of 18 (this one l get) and the key to life, 21? (maybe we got confused here with our American friends). 


The following birthdays thereafter are spread more in decades. You will often see a 30th celebrated and a lot of women struggle with this one. The 40’s is one that can be shied away from and then 50th’s, 60th’s and 70’s do make a comeback. I don’t hear too much fuss thereafter either. For someone who doesn’t mind attention, l get that with maturity, the need to have a room full of people celebrating us lessens. Yet, there are some comings of age we do more privately like girls getting their period or on a grander scale, bar mitzvah’s, engagements, weddings, house warmings, going away’s…. But where is the Menopause Party?


Luckily for me, as l commit to have this major event when l am my graced with this time, my name starts with M - so the BIG Mother F#ckin 6ft ‘M' light board that l will have sitting behind the redess red velvet cake is multi purpose and justifies what l anticipate to be an exorbitant amount of money. 


When are you officially in Menopause?


Is Australia it is defined as when you have not had your period for 12 consecutive months. We see here in Australia that this is on average at the age of 51 to 52 years old & takes approximately 6-8 transition years to enter. These years are defined as Peri Menopause. 


What does Peri Menopause look like?


  • Many women notice a change in their periods. The regularity has a shift. It could be the frequency and/or the flow change.
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain particularly around the tummy area
  • Energy levels shifts


As you enter peri menopause your sex hormone Estrogen lowers. This hormone is responsible for regulating puberty to controlling the menstrual cycle that’s needed for childbearing. When these levels start to decline, naturally you will notice a shift.


I probably should have stated this earlier, but l am not a doctor, l have no medical background. Everything l have written for you is based on my own research and time spent with specialist and doctors. This is my interpretation. So it’s a little left field and well, feel free to read on or not.


Whilst we’re on the topic of doctors, it is important to note that there really is a missing link in the GP world connecting/directing women on how to manage Menopause. I have heard so many horror stories or women being told they are needing treatments like marriage counselling, lube or low fat diets when presented with a 40 something patient who is showing clear signs of hormone change’s and lube is just not going to cut it.


Menopause Treatments:


HRT (hormones replacement therapy) is not as readily understood as a society. This is where l would love to further help my fellow sisters & they buddies and see where we can normalise this conversation. How can we feel ‘bad’ about a coming of age that impacts 100% of females?


One of my biggest blessings is being introduced to my GP 12 years ago. My irregular visits to her are often what l call mentoring sessions as we manage to touch on all the big questions life presents us, all while she intimately treats me at my lowest points in life. Through her training and understanding l would suggest you visit your GP and ask for blood test to begin understanding where you hormone levels are at.

Unfortunately, there is no single test that can be done and give you a clear ‘yes gurl, you in peri menopause’. Yet you can start to monitor your hormonal patterns. Keep in mind, the day you do your blood test is the time you are analysing your levels which typically represent your bodies state for that month. So going back about 3 months later and re-test will start to paint a clearer picture.


Short Term Peri Menopause treatments:


Until you can conclusively state what type of HRT you may need if any, there are things that we can adopt in life that are good for us overall. In a very cluttered and well confusing world of diets and workouts, one thing we know for sure.


We need to keep our bodies active and a 20 minute walk is better that no 20 minute walk. Eat a diet filled with nutritionally rich food with as little processing done as possible and seek human connection. Get your human contact best how you know. This blog is not a diet, exercise or counselling paper. It’s purpose is to get the Menopause conversation started. Let’s learn together and get excited that though all the breakdowns of what it is seem negative, it is not.


No 12 year old girl truly looks at her period and feels blessed for this miracle as her pimples, tummy aches and inconvenience of missing swimming because tampons are too intimating. All shifts in hormones are a little scary, but it doesn’t mean it is wrong or bad. We women, oh we women are gloriously complex and exotically beautiful for all the blessings it delivers to our world time and time again.


You have this village to support you and know, this is normal to not know everything, but its ok to have the questions. What else would you like to know about Peri Menopause or Menopause? Leave us a comment below.


1 comment

Thank you for sharing your story and bringing awareness to POI. I was diagnosed with menopause at 14 years old. 💜

Ana Manning September 17, 2021

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