Looking back to those younger years of energies – building my life, my dreams, my own family. At the age of 12, I had my menstruation, it was a good thing that it was included in the school’s curriculum in the elementary grade which is why I knew what to do. I was in my 6th grade, I remember, I just got home from school. I felt nothing, it was an ordinary day, then suddenly I felt a little hot discharge came out from my vagina, that was thetime I am in my menarche stage, that I’ve been going to womanhood, having the shape of my body and that I would have to embrace the different experiences,- headaches, back pains,
irritabilities or mood swings, bloating, breast pains, craving for sour foods, etc.,every month for the rest of 38 years part of my life. I just turned 50 a month ago, of course, I celebrated it with flying color of yellow- gold, a symbol of me, as a golden girl. I still have my period but gone were the days of “regular visit”, as I’m starting to experience irregular period. I had it last January, missed Feb., came back this March. I usually have my period for a week top, but now it’s only 2-3 days top. At this point, I don’t know when it will come to visit me, what month and how long. I could only prep for having feminine napkins at homeand in my bag wherever I go because the periods are no longer predictable.
Experiencing the Signs and Symptoms
It cannot be denied that I am entering the perimenopause, the stage wherein hormones will start to decline, cycles become erratic and reproductive years are over.Last month where I didn’t have my period, I actually observed in myself, in my body was I ate a lot, more that I could take sometimes. My appetite wassurprisingly great, it was,like, for the first time I was really tasting the food and enjoying it.My stomach was bigger than usual. My mind was saying this is itI am going to menopausal now.But I was not getting any signs I know, not yet. I do not even know what to expect in this stage of my life.I know for a fact that there is no detour for me, no choice but to enter the driveway, meet and greet some signs and symptoms:
Irregular menses. Then came this month of March, I felt bloated, some headaches, some breast pains, severe cramps in my lower abdomen, I could hardly move and get out of bed, then my period came, stronger and heavier flow than usual. I had that experience for two(2) days then it stopped and all came back to normal- my belly, my temperature and normal appetite.
Declining estrogen hormonesis one of the traits of perimenopause. Estrogen hormones known as sex hormones. I guess those who are reading this right now are having the same question as mine, “what happens to libido(sex drive)?”. According to North American Menopause Society (NAMS), “during perimenopause, sex hormones fluctuate and become unpredictable. Eventually production falls to a very low-level. But libido should not decline at menopause.” Well, that proves to be true for a perimenopause candidate like me, I mean I still have the drive.Now is the time to not be worried of getting unplanned pregnancies unlike before in the younger adulthood stage. I am more interested in sex with my husband now. Let’s face it, we will all age. But there is nothing wrong to just try to be sexually active as we age for as long as we can.
Vaginal drynesscaused by the low level of estrogen hormones and can be painful for women during intercourse. This can be a life-changing for us, women. I should be ready for this. I believe there is always a solution for every problem, not a hundred percent but there’s no harm in trying. There are vagina moisturizers, creams, lubricants, HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) which we can avail and some Dos & Don’tsfrom OB/GYNs whom we can run to.Do not be embarrassed to talk it out with your husband about this. Perhaps, you can both agree for more foreplay before the intercourse.
Mood swings. I actually have mood symptoms even before perimenopause. Before having the period, I’m like easy to get mad on big or little things on people around me, my husband more often. I tend to look back at my life and thought of what part I fell short, begun to feel sad, anxious, depressed. Emotional at times of thinking what I’ve been through. It surely does affect my regular tasks and made me hard to communicate. When I’m acting stupid at times, my husband would tell me that he would bring me to a doctor for a medical attention, I knew it was a joke and I knew I’d have my period anytime then. It will pass. It is just a blessing to have an understanding husband that surrounds me with positivity. For some women, they worried about not giving enough pleasures to their husbands, feeling useless and that their husbands might tend to look for younger ones. It’s risky if you, ladies have history of extreme depression, seek professional help for a customized treatment before it’s too late, each of us is different, a program may work for me but not for you. Hot flashes and night sweats. According to Elite Medical Center , Las Vegas, Nevada,” this is the most common symptoms of perimenopausal which is a sudden waves of body heat usually accompanied by rapid heartbeat, sweating and reddening of the skin often occur in the face, head and chest areas.” Now, I couldn’t actually say I’m on it already, but I felt a rapid heartbeat one night that lasted a short while, I thought it was just caused by some decaf coffee I drunk, but hot flashes, I couldn’t validate yet because it’s summer season in the country where I live and I’m used to getting a shower before bedtime. There are natural remedies to overcome hot flashes that we can find in the internet. As for me, I wear comfortable clothes staying away from body- huggers and tight-fitting apparel.
Facing your “new normal”
This stage will really be a “game-changer” for us women. It will be a difficult and a challenging time in our lives for it is beyond our control anymore, just like aging. Going to perimenopause to menopause does not mean putting a pause to what we do. C’mon ladies, fight the negative emotions. Go outdoors, catch up with some friends, do what you love to do, those things that you missed out. Play the musical instrument, go to the gym and sweat it out! But the most important is we talk it out with our better half/husbands/partners, after all, they are the ones who could give us the understanding, patience and love that we needed the most.