The Menopause Diaries #1: The Symptoms

Menopause is a bitch!

It influences women on so many levels that it can totally put them off-balance. Some women suffer from all the symptoms of menopause, others only of some. The latter group are, in my opinion, the lucky ones.

The changes sneak up on you, catching you off guard. They make you doubt yourself… or at least, it does make me doubt myself. Since there’s a definite influence on my sexuality, I have decided to share it with the world. If I can help only one person out there with sharing my experiences, I will see this series (I have no idea how long it will be) as a success. You see, I cannot ask my mom how it was for her, as she has been taking additional hormones since her uterus and ovaries were removed at the age of 36. She never experienced the menopause.

Menopause literally means ‘the ceasing of menstruation’.

Now here is where the first problem comes in for me. There’s absolutely no way in which I can monitor my menstruation, as I had a hysterectomy just before my 25th birthday. No more menstruation, and yes, this was fabulous as I never had all the problems that menstruation brings. Believe me, I had my fair share in the 15 years before that, as my menstruation always was HELL!

When our teen started menstruating about 6 years ago (I was 42 back then), I had tender nipples at least once a month. It took me a while to work out that my nipples reacted to the teen’s menstruation cycle. If you haven’t heard this before – this has to do with our natural pheromones and it has been scientifically proved that when a couple of women live together in one house, their menstrual cycles will eventually be the same. Some years later, I think about 3, maybe 4 years, the teen started using the pill and she sometimes skipped the menstruation part for 2 or 3 months. Then, when she allowed her menstruation to happen, I had sore nipples and breasts again. This is what I thought, that this was the reason for my nipples hurting irregularly, but in hindsight I think that was the start of the menopause, now about 3 years ago.

Maybe, maybe not.

Because, before menopause comes the perimenopause, which is actually the 1-2 year period before a woman’s last menstruation, in which she gets hot flashes/flushes, night sweats, irregular periods, loss of libido, mood swings… and the lists goes on and on. It’s said that for most women these symptoms disappear once the perimenopause is over, but for others some of the symptoms can continue. In the past month or two, three, maybe four I’ve been having so many symptoms of menopause, or perimenopause. I think that back when my nipples hurt irregularly, it indeed had more to do with our teen ‘fooling around’ with The Pill and had nothing to do with menopause. I think that now, at the age of 48, perimenopause has hit me.

Again, maybe, maybe not.

I decided to do a series of posts about the changes happening in my body and the way those changes influence my body, my mind, my (sex) life. I wanted an image I could use with all the posts and started searching for one. I couldn’t find anything that looked just right, so decided to make one. It was while I created it, that a thought struck me: I am going to ask others to join in. A meme. I know I am not the only kinky sex blogging woman in this age group – some are a bit older than I am, some a bit younger. Some already suffer from the symptoms of the perimenopause, others will reach it, no doubt (sorry ladies!). Some will suffer less from those symptoms than I do, others more.

In this series I will use a website called 34 Menopause Symptoms as my guide, and share my personal experiences while at the same time explaining a bit more about the symptoms, how it influences my sexuality, my mood, my well-being, and not to be forgotten: the people around me.
Warning: some symptoms might be discussed more than once and some posts might be a rant.

Like with so many other things, it’s good to talk about this and share our stories, and therefore I am turning this into a meme: The Menopause Diaries. I have added a page to my site and at the bottom of the page, is a linky tool. Please share your stories and experiences. This is not a meme exclusive to women. If there are men out there who have sexual partners who suffer from symptoms of (peri)menopause, we would love to hear your stories too.

Also, comments on posts are always welcome!

© Rebel’s Notes

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The Menopause Diaries