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Let’s Talk About Menopause

menopause discussion

Let’s talk. I’m serious, this is a call out to all of you wonderful meno women. It’s time to open up and start talking about menopause.

The Studies Back It Up

Studies show that if you talk about it, you’re likely to fare better in your menopause years.* Menopause is not a stage of life to grin and bear with until its over. The years from perimenopause through to post-menopause can represent over half our lives. So best we learn how to live them well!

I’m no medical expert. I’ve never studied medicine in any of its disciplines. Nor am I an expert on human physiology. But I do feel qualified to talk about menopause, simply because I’ve been through the worst of it and am now in my post-menopausal years. I don’t know all the answers but I’ve learned a lot and am still learning about how to make these years of my life the best yet.

Lessons Learned

The first lesson I’ve learnt is pretty scary, it’s that I had no idea about menopause at all. I didn’t know the signs of menopause even though, in hindsight, they were pretty obvious. Like most women, all I had heard about was hot flushes, and as I wasn’t having those, menopause wasn’t even on my horizon. Consequently, I wasn’t doing any of the reading or internet research about menopause that might have put me on red alert.

Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

Ignorance is bliss you might say. Except that my life was far from blissful at that time. Trapped in a cycle of sleeplessness, anxiety and fatigue I truly thought I was losing my mind. I was not a nice person to be around – hell, even I hated my own company.

If only I had known that all of these are very common signs of menopause.

If only I had known that all of these are very common signs of menopause. Click To Tweet

And why didn’t I?

Because even though I am surrounded by women – friends, family, work colleagues – none of us talk about menopause. And it’s not that we are shy of talking. Women love words – we speak an average of 20,000 of them a day! We just don’t like talking about menopause. It’s somehow shameful, embarrassing, taboo….

Seeing Menopause In A New Light

I now see menopause in a totally different light. I’ve learned that what happens in our bodies with the onset of menopause is nothing short of miraculous. Something to be celebrated in the same way we celebrate pregnancy and childbirth. I know that’s a huge mind-shift for a lot of women, but we can get there. The first step? Let’s start talking about menopause…

*Article by Angela Finlay, 16 December 2014,

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This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.


Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.