Today I thought I would write about missing periods whilst going through the perimenopause and how doing so might effect you. There are other reasons for missed periods, the most obvious one is pregnancy, so do get checked out if you are unsure or concerned.
There is a lot of information out there about the various things which you can expect during the lead up to the menopause (which is called the perimenopause) but not much on what can happen to your body and mind when a period is missed. Some women may sail through this time but for those unlucky ones who don’t here is the lowdown on what it does to me and my experience.
For me a missed period will mean extended and heightened PMS amongst other things. I have read an article recently which says PMS doesn’t really exist but there are a lot of women (including myself) and their men who will disagree with that. Having had a house full of girls (five daughters!) for over twenty years and my own hormones to deal with I can say PMS and I are old friends who regularly sit down to drink a cup of herbal tea together. As an aside, I do wish precious research money was spent more often on finding cures, especially for pain and fatigue related illnesses, rather than trying to disprove something exists when so many people have whatever it is.
This time around I have missed two periods. I forget what I am doing more often, I get distracted more often, aches and pains have increased, irritability has increased, patience has decreased and musings have increased. Hot sweats have increased and their duration is longer (that’s been particularly fun at this time of year!), my mood has been rather low and my fatigue worsened by a good 50%, on some days it is difficult to keep awake. I don’t feel depressed as such (that is a very different ball game indeed and not one to be taken lightly) I just feel a bit low as we all do on occasion but in this case simply due to the worsening of my health. All in all really not myself and rather ‘off’ with a suit of black and yellow to warn people I might sting 😀
I am dealing with my symptoms with a herbal remedy and meditating twice a day. I make a tea of fresh Lemon Balm, Catnip, Peppermint/Moroccan Mint and dried Vervain every morning and drink two cups*. I have been doing this for a couple of weeks now and it really does seems to be keeping me calmer and easing the tendency to anxiety and irritability. I can deal with everything else but the anxiety is the killer for me. This particularly mix of herbs will make you sweat a little more for a short time after taking them which does seem a bit daft if you are trying to avoid hot sweats but actually it does have the knock on effect of keeping you cooler. Remember hot sweats come from the inside, not the environment so anything which will break the ‘fever’ going on inside by cooling you down is a welcome relief. It really does seem to lessen them and make my whole core feel easier too for a few hours. It has also had the knock on effect of reducing the frequency and severity of my headaches and THAT has been a wonderful and very welcome side effect. Works for me! Do read the disclaimer below and research carefully for yourself (as well as taking medical advice) before ingesting any herbal remedies.
I have been reading a book called The Wisdom of Menopause by Christiane Northrup. In the first few pages she actually made me cry because it was like she was writing about me. Some people don’t like her work because they feel she writes as a feminist! I don’t feel she does but, sorry lads, just as most of us woman don’t pee standing up (who has seen The Full Monty?!) most of you don’t go through the menopause…wanting a sports car at 45 doesn’t count *laughing*…so, as far as I am concerned, a little unity with the girls and female power is rightfully in its true place when it comes to female sexuality.
I think it is an excellent book, written by a woman who is a doctor and has dealt with female problems in her clinics for decades but who didn’t want to write a book about the menopause until she had actually experienced it. I appreciate that. I remember dealing with midwives who weren’t mothers and therefore had never given birth. There is a lot to be said for experience over book learning in many situations…child birth, breastfeeding and women’s hormonal sexual health are three of them. If you are over 40 then do give this book a look. It will prepare your mind and body for what is to come and make sure you are at your healthiest. You may thank me for this later. On a side note I would like to thank my dear friend Cynthia Harrison for sending me the book. When someone feels strongly enough to put a book in your hand then you know you have to read it. I wish I had read it a decade ago! Thanks, Cindy!!
Since starting to write this particular article I have started a monthly and what a difference to how I feel! I am pretty much back to old self, as I would normally be feeling when the PMS has gone. PMS doesn’t exist, huh? Wanna live in this body for a bit? 😀
*If you are thinking of using herbs then do check with your doctor and a herbal specialist as I am not either of those. Many herbs will interact with drugs already being taken and so caution is needed. Do not take these herbs (or any others without advice) whilst pregnant or breastfeeding.