As a teenager my mum told me what to expect from my period, I had education at school on what to expect, my friends all discussed how they were feeling.
We compared symptoms, we all started our first period within about 18 months of each other, we knew it was not going to a fun experience, we knew all sorts of symptoms we could experience.
Now I am at the other end of the journey, Perimenopause. Just like most women I was aware I would start menopause in about my mid fifties, some hot flushes, mood swings, the upside no more periods.
Wrong, oh so wrong, no one told me about Perimenopause. No doctor, no nurse or other medical professional, there were no colourful information sheets at the doctors to tell me I was going to start this mid forties for most women. I was 40 when things started to change.
My question is, why are we not told? To give you an idea, most women experience hair loss, mood swings, hot flushes, anxiety, bloating, weight gain, feelings of self hatred, lack of sex drive & vaginal dryness & the list goes on.
Everyone of course has varying degrees, some symptoms & not others. My mum for instance went through a few hot flushes.
As for me, I thought I was having a mental breakdown, anxiety, depression, real self hate issues, I could not look in the mirror. I would cry for hours on end, vertigo, bloating, water retention so severe I have never experienced anything like it. Some of my jeans would not fit over my ankles.
This is just a light description, I still suffer symptoms, insomnia, self hate comes & goes. The theory behind self hate is that our bodies can not carry a child anymore, in my case I am unable to anyway so it’s odd feeling.
After many doctors visits & research it was clear by my hormone levels this was what was happening. I then discovered I had it easy, seriously? I couldn’t work full time anymore, I could barely function with the brain fog & memory loss some days.
I did find great support through Facebook where there are Perimenopause support groups, other women that get the despair.
The medical support available such as HRT & other alternatives can be great, if you can have them, some women like myself unfortunately can not.
So, if you are reading this, educate yourself, start a conversation with friends, talk to your doctor.
Let’s get real about this, let’s start saying to our governments, this needs to be a conversation, there needs to be education & support around this.