A postmenopausal perspective, looking back with hindsight at my menopause.
AD this is a paid post, written in collaboration with Femal UK. All words and opinions are my own.
Hindsight, that wonderful point of view that only humans have. Friend or foe, gift or curse. Hindsight can be a great tool if used to help others instead of torturing yourself by thinking ‘what if’. At 56 I am now considered to be postmenopausal, so I would love to share my menopause story with you and with the aid of hindsight I’m hoping I can spread awareness and help you to recognise the symptoms. You can then be ready to tackle them when they strike without warning!
My menopause started at 46.
Yes 46! It seems so early now, but back then I had no idea what was happening. I constantly felt angry, out of sorts and tired, but who doesn’t these days with a family and a job and life in general? So, I blamed it on just that, life in general!
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Back then I had no idea what was happening. I constantly felt angry, out of sorts and tired[/perfectpullquote]
A visit to my GP.
Fast forward 2 years and those feelings had got so bad I visited my GP. He told me I had probably started the perimenopausal stage. He listened to me, ordered all the right tests, gave me sensible advice and explained my options. I had no complaints; I say this because I have read of so many women complaining about not being taken seriously at this time in their lives whilst being treated for perimenopause. In fact, I wish I had visited him earlier…
My advice to you at this point is to go to your GP and get the tests even if you think you are too young to be starting the perimenopause! Tests confirmed I was indeed at the beginning of my menopause journey.
Of course, there is more to it than ‘either or’ the mere fact that I was now entering menopause was enough to shock me into taking stock of my health, something I had never done before. I have never dieted and had always eaten whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]…the mere fact that I was now entering menopause was enough to shock me into taking stock of my health, something I had never done before[/perfectpullquote]
After a conversation with my Mum who had tried both hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and natural supplements. By the way, she lives in Florida, therefore I couldn’t just pop round for a coffee, a hug and a chat! I decided to start looking after myself more, by eating healthier, watching my alcohol and caffeine intake and trying to exercise more. Let me tell you that is not easy in the depths of a UK winter! I so understand why my Mum lives in sunny warm Florida!
Diet & Supplements:
I upped my iron and vitamin C intake via my diet. I ate more fruit and veg and less cakes and biscuits.
It was hard, but anything worth having must be worked at. I felt better for a while. Then the hot flushes began, and sleepless nights ensued. Back to the GP I went. Again, we discussed my choices and again I must emphasise, that this stage and the treatment you chose is personal to you, your health, your genes, state of mind and your lifestyle. I chose to up my intake of Phytoestrogen’s; compounds that naturally occur in plants. They’re also found in a wide range of foods, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and some grains. I took a supplement widely available from health shops.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] I must emphasise, that this stage and the treatment you choose, is personal to you, your health, your genes, state of mind and your lifestyle [/perfectpullquote]
I’m sure, like most of you, my mental health yoyo’s depending on what is happening in my life. However, my stress and anxiety became heightened, during this time and was difficult to handle. My GP booked me 6 weeks of counselling and it really helped to talk to someone that didn’t know me. It might not work for you but do consider it. I also choose not to look at menopause in a negative way, it is a natural part of life, not a disease to be cured.
Now I’m postmenopausal
A definition of being in the postmenopausal stage:
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Postmenopausal: After menopause, the period of time after a woman has experienced 12 consecutive months without menstruation¹.[/perfectpullquote]
The main symptoms for me now are the very annoying hot flushes. No obvious symptoms, no red face or dripping with sweat, just feeling very, very warm without good reason! Last year I was happy and excited to be introduced to Femal, a unique food supplement formulated to support women at all stages of the menopause.
What is Femal?
Used by women for over 20 years in Europe, Femal is a once a day food supplement sourced from ingredients of natural origin.
I take one soft capsule daily with my breakfast, so easy! One packet contains a one-month supply. Allow at least 6-8 weeks before positive effects are experienced.
So, that’s my journey so far. However, it’s important to remember that talking through your symptoms can be a huge source of support and comfort too and should never be underestimated. The more we open up and tackle the conversation around menopause, the less daunting the process becomes. It’s good to know you’re not alone. For more insights and to hear about other women’s experiences, click here www.femal.co.uk or join the conversation on social media with #ExpressYourFemal.
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¹ MedicineNet. Medical Definition of Postmenopausal. Available from: https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5009
Date of Preparation: March 2020
Document Number: PP-UK-FEM-0124
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