By Mache Seibel, MD
These are questions I’m asked all the time by women who can’t imagine it’s possible. Not now! Not at my age! Or am I already in menopause?
You may know the mean age of menopause in the United States is 51 years. But did you know that 1 in 10,000 women go into menopause before age 20; 1 in 1000 go into menopause before age 30; 1 in 100 before age 40 and 1 in 10 before age 45? Perimenopause is that up to 10-year window of transition when symptoms begin to occur.
Just like the word perimeter means around an area, perimenopause means the timeframe around menopause. If you think back to puberty, there was a transition when menstrual cycles were irregular, mood swings were common, sleep was a challenge, and your body began to go through changes that made you wonder if it was still you.
Similar types of things happen in perimenopause. Both mind and body change, at first gradually and eventually at a much faster and more noticeable rate. Here are 5 of the symptoms you are likely to notice and a little bit about them: Click to continue reading… »
By Lisa Weinstein
Each morning before leaving the house, I used to check the weather channel to find out if I should wear a coat. But these days it truly doesn’t matter what the thermostat says….I won’t wear one anyway.
Because I am always hot.
The car thermostat could read 32 degrees and I’ll be turning the air conditioner full blast onto my sweltering face while my poor husband Bob, in the driver’s seat, quickly succumbs to hypothermia.
Yes, I have entered into the stage of life called “The Change”, also known as (cue the twilight zone music) MENOPAUSE!
Yes, menopause, where you finally get to say goodbye to your monthly “friend”. Except in my case, my “friend” didn’t want to exit my life as instantly as it had arrived.
Flashback to the 70s……………..
There I was, a gawky 12-year old cursed with huge glasses, braces, and a well-endowed body that had “blossomed” much faster that my flat chested friends. I woke up one morning, visited the bathroom as usual, looked down and behold, I had made a new “friend”.
My status in life had instantly changed.
Infographic compliments of BodyScience Medical
Symptoms: Not every woman experiences every symptom, thank goodness, but the most common ones that will sneak up on you are irregular periods, hot flashes, headaches, night sweats, and loss of sex drive. There are natural and hormonal therapies to help you manage – see your doctor. What’s the positive? You save money on sanitary products, you can take that Alaskan cruise now and stay warm and your husband will become more attentive, helpful and romantic as he tries to woo you.
Changes: Your sleep patterns will change, your weight will go up and your hair will find new places to grow and not to grow. Your nails will get brittle, your body odor will change and your memory . . . um, I forgot. The upside? You can spend more time at the beauty parlor or spa and not feel guilty or indulgent. The memory thing is a great excuse for missing Stan’s slideshow presentation. A magnifying mirror and a good tweezers will take care of the chin hairs. And as for the weight gain . . . oh, shoot, I forgot again.
By Jessica Drummond, MPT, CCN, CHC
Isn’t it funny that God designed moms to hit menopause just as their daughters are hitting puberty. (Well, actually, I guess we’ve designed it that way, since now many of us are having our children well into our perimenopausal years. But, wait… My grandmother had her last child at 40. So, I don’t know who to blame!)
Think about that for a moment.
Just when you’re feeling even worse about your body, the perimenopausal belly fat, the sagging well-past-breastfeeding breasts, the bits of gray hair, the middle aged acne, all combined with the fatigue that comes from raising tweens and burning the candle at both ends for the last 3 decades, it’s your job to combat 6000 negative media messages everyday about the unattainable perfect female body! Ugh. Click to continue reading… »
The similarities between puberty and menopause are vast. Think about it. Teens who are reaching puberty deal with acne, fluctuating hormones, body shape changes, irregular menses, growing pains and fatigue. Similarly, women going through peri-menopause or menopause are sometimes afflicted with mood swings, joint aches, the inability to concentrate, skin eruptions and mind-numbing exhaustion.
As women wait longer to have children, their menopause is more often coinciding with the onset of puberty in their children. The question, then becomes who just slammed the door and began sobbing? was it mother or daughter?
Coinciding hormonal transitions can result in tiresome bickering and cause extra strain on the entire family. While it’s difficult to achieve complete serenity in a house where hormones are colliding, there are measures that can be taken by both mother and daughter to ease tension. The following are a good place to start:
When I was a little girl, I used to notice a few of the older women at church sitting next to their husbands, and they looked like a pair of older men, one with a wig. So, I asked my Mom why this was, and she tried to tactfully explain menopause to me, and how some women can lose their feminine traits…my poor mother! This stuck with me though, and then when I grew 4 inches in the summer of my 16th birthday, from 5’4” to 5’8”, I was suddenly a tall person and still without my period. That came later that year.
Fast forward to growing a couple inches taller after 18, with some athletic physicality, and now I was watching Maude on Golden Girls, (and I apologize to Bea Arthur for this), thinking I would eventually be a big, tall man one day!
This is my joke I share with my husband, who is a bit older than I, and says he’ll be too blind to notice anything at that point in time, and laughs when I ask about people thinking I’m his younger, taller brother. I know…I go overboard on this.
Let’s talk about it, and take it seriously
Usually when a day is designated to a specific cause or event it is meant to be celebrated, but if you ask a woman going through menopause what she thinks of Menopause Day she’ll tell you there is nothing celebratory about hot flashes, migraines, fluctuating body weight and low libido. So instead of celebrating it, this commemoratory event should be an opportunity for us to educate the world about this “special time of our lives” and to address the issues and concerns that many women (and their men) have that aren’t always openly discussed at the dinner table.
Am I too young for Menopause?
By Ellen Dolgen
Thursday, October 18th, 2012 is World Menopause Day. This is like a worldwide birthday party for the big M! This year, the sponsoring organization, the International Menopause Society (IMS), is launching a campaign to focus on the health implications of weight gain during menopause. (Coincidentally, I blogged about weight gain a few weeks ago.) How can you celebrate? Open up the channels of communication and break the taboo that somehow still lingers around the topic of perimenopause and menopause. It’s silly, and it’s time we’re done with it. Raise a toast to you, your Mom, your sisters, Aunts, and to women worldwide who share this passage of womanhood.
What are some ways you can honor and celebrate yourself or other women you know who are experiencing perimenopause or menopause? How about throwing a Menopause Party? Quick! When you think of the word “party,” what comes to mind? The legendary toga party in Animal House? Jake Ryan’s house party in Sixteen Candles? The seniority in Dazed and Confused? Though all of these parties had different features—from ivy to paddles—they have one thing in common: the reason for celebration—each other. Parties exist for fun! Menopause parties are no different. As the taboo surrounding perimenopause and menopause is peeled away layer by layer like your clothes during a hot flash, more women are looking to parties for support, the latest information, resources and sisterhood. Click to continue reading… »