I was born a woman, and have always been comfortable as a woman. There are many ways to be a woman, and declare your “womanhood”. Some women follow societal norms and portray themselves in the way that society and the media desires them to be, which is “feminine”, “womanly”, “compassionate”, “Nurturing”, and in most cases heterosexual. Some women choose to be the antithesis of what the “norms” tell us to be, and portray themselves as “masculine”, “Butch”, “hard”, “lesbian”, and some women fall somewhere along the spectrum of these two. Some women were born with male sex organs, and have never felt “right” as a male, and have gone to great lengths to make their physical bodies align with who they truly are. There are many many types of women in this world, and in 2015, it is becoming more common for women to be allowed to express their gender in the way they choose with acceptance. Unfortunately this is not the case for all women, but it is slowly getting better.
However, no matter how each woman chooses to express her gender, except for the women who were born with male sex organs there is one thing we all have to go through, and that is:
Menopause affects each woman differently, and at different times in their life, and for different lengths of time, but it still affects women who have female hormones. Some women have hysterectomies because of health issues. They can still experience menopause symptoms if they have their ovaries. Menopause is defined as: the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. Now just to be clear, that is 12 months IN A ROW!! Meaning if you don’t have a menstrual cycle for 11 months, and then have a cycle, the 12 month count starts all over again….
ain’t’ that a bitch???
But to be honest, even that isn’t the part that bothers me. The part that bothers me is this:
Menopause does not occur overnight, but rather is a gradual process. This transition period (Perimenopause) is a different experience for each women, and there are some websites I have read that state it can last as much as 10 YEARS!!!!
Oh, and this:
The average age of menopause is 51 years old, but perimenopause may occur as early as the 30s. What???
There is no reliable lab test to predict when a woman will experience menopause, or perimenopause.
Wait, what?? so with all of the incredibly smart people in the medical field, we have no way to know when this will happen to us, how long it will last, or even exactly how to treat it??
Of course some doctors will recommend Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), but not all women can, or want, to go that route. For those who can’t or don’t want to use HRT, there really is nothing they can do except walk through perimenopause.
Here is some of what that walk looks like (some women experience some or all of these symptoms, or even others):
Mood swings– or as I call it, wanting to throat punch someone one minute, and being a sobbing mess the next minute.
Hot flashes– or as I call them, “personal summer”, and Karol calls them “Power Surges”
Insomnia– although this makes me either very productive, or a person who can perfect her late night World of Warcraft skills
Lack of libido– this one sucks…….a LOT!!! (or if you are hetero, I guess maybe it makes you suck less???) sorry I couldn’t help myself…..
Night sweats– this one is fun. Especially if you have a partner, and you don’t go to bed at the same time, because it is super fun to get into bed, and it feels as though someone wet the bed because the bed sheets are damp…..ewwwwww
So how does this stuff qualify as “best friend” stuff?
well, think about it, when you laugh with your best friend, sometimes you pee a little, and that is like night sweats,
and you might not love your best friend “like that”, so there is a lack of libido in the relationship,
and your best friend can really make you mad, and also really make you happy, sometimes during a single conversation: Mood Swings..…
Insomnia? How about all those nights staying up talking until the wee hours of the morning?????
Hmmm Hot flashes, okay, how about when you see a piece of eye candy, and you get a little flushed??? Yup, there it is
so let’s reevaluate Perimenopause, and think of it as our new best friend, one that can last up to 10 years!!! I know I have had best friendships that have lasted for shorter time periods than that, so I guess, it works out!
So perimenopause is my best friend….is it yours??