I wanted to share with you the mysteries that I have uncovered while going through the menopause.  It is something that all women will experience at some time in the lives.  You will all have different experiences, and it is really important to talk to other women about them, especially members of your own family.

My own experience started when I was aged 49.  I usually have no trouble sleeping, but I started to regularly wake up at 4am feeling very hot and completely wide awake.  I would get up and read a book until the rest of the world woke up.  I also became very nervous and would jump when anyone spoke to me.  Then I developed a terrible and frightening temper, usually at home.  I had to take myself into another room until I calmed down.  I then realised that I had put on weight around my stomach and bust.  It is normal for a woman to put on 7lb.

My mother-in-law made me realise that it was the menopause and then I spoke to my two older sisters, who confirmed that they had felt the same.

Relieved that I wasn’t losing my mind, I went to my GP.  I now have a Mirena Coil fitted, which in addition to being a contraceptive also slowly releases the correct hormones.  I take Black Cohosh herbal tablets and put soya milk on my breakfast cereal.  This works for me, but every woman is unique and a good GP will point you in the right direction.

I have asked my GP and several nurses how long the menopause will last.  All have given me the same answer, “Nobody knows”.  If your periods finally stop then that is the only indication.  I know that this is not very helpful so I bought a brilliant book titled Making Friends with the Menopause.  This is by the author Sarah Rayner and Dr Patrick Fitzgerald, a GP.  The book deals with every topic and question you can ever imagine along with real life experiences.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is concerned about the changes in their body during the menopause.

The one thing that a friend told me, and which keeps me looking forward, is that after the menopause life is calmer and much more enjoyable.

Please don’t worry on your own, just talking to another woman who understands will make the situation feel less upsetting and out of control.  You are not losing your mind, it is simply changes in your hormones and your body.

You are preparing for the next, amazing stage of your life.

Best wishes

Jane Ardley




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