Because I’m in it! And it happens to every ovaried person (albeit differently from case to case) but it’s only recently that people are talking about it more and not just in shadowy phrases like “The Change.”
For a long time my menstrual cycle was a very reliable 28-day occurrence. I could mark the next day on the calendar. I owned nice underwear. I planned vacations around it.
That changed after I hit 45. I’d have my usual 28 cycle, and then it would come 2 weeks late. And then it would come again 2 weeks after that which put me back on schedule. And then I’d skip a month. And it would come back with a vengeance. I’d have a period that was an excruciating 10 day long slow drip, and then the next one would be a 2 1/2 day horror movie that would knock me out for days later. I regressed back into a “5-pack of underwear in a plastic bag” woman.
As of today, I haven’t had a period since August. You’re officially finished with menopause after 12 missed periods and my Wombsday Clock is at 5.
So, how is it going?
Okay? Okay I guess? I have hot flashes but they’re not terrible. The heat starts from my core, flushes my entire face, and passes in a few minutes. I’m a naturally chilly person by nature, so this isn’t so bad for me. I honestly looked forward to it. I used to sleep in long-sleeved shirts, heavy knit or flannel pants, and at least one pair of socks. (So sexy.) Now it’s a tanktop and lightweight pajama pants. I occasionally have night sweats but they only last a few minutes.
Mood-wise I feel a lot like I did when I was a teenager just getting my period. Weeping sadness, infernal rage. Malaise, apathy, and then PASSION. Or that could just be the 2020s. It’s been a hard few years.
I’m still breaking out. I think I’m going to break out until I die. My skin is a little crepey on my arms. But nobody looks as closely at these things than I do, so I’m not going to let it bother me.
My body hair growth has slowed down a LOT. This I like! I still have the occasional facial hair to pluck, but they’re mostly gray now and harder to see.
I’m achy and stiff. I’ll stand up after a few hours of sitting and suddenly moving is something I have to think about instead of something that just happens. I walk a lot and practice yoga to stave it off as much as I can, but I feel weaker. And it could be a lifetime of working a a desk all day, or it could be menopause. This I do not like. It’s what bothers me the most, and it’s what’s driving me back to the gym.
I read an article this week that says my natural body smell might change, and I’m not looking forward to that. I’m not linking because it was a scaremongery article that was trying to sell a thing, but it’s not the first time I heard about it.
And I haven’t had a period in FIVE MONTHS which is fantastic. I know that the chances of my going a straight 12 months without a period so early would be very rare. But after a lifetime with this stupid infertile uterus, I like to think I am owed an quick and easy “Change.”
If any of these symptoms get worse, I will not be shy about asking for hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Putting this out there in hope it helps some random googler down the road.
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