Saturday, 12 January 2019

The Menopause. Periods. Mummy’s hormones.

I’m menopausal – there I’ve said it. 

I’ve been menopausal for about 4 years (I think) and probably peri-menopausal for a lot longer than I realised. 

The wrong side of 40

I’m 50. 

When people found out I was going to be fifty they said things like: ‘welcome to the dark side’ or ‘the wrong side of 40’. I don’t think I look 50. People say I don’t look my age but what does looking your age mean? Why do lots of women worry so much about looking over 50? Hell it’s 50 not 90. I know quite a few 90 year olds leading an active life, taking exercise classes and with brains as bright as tacks. Only yesterday I was reading about Anna del Conte - who is still publishing, cooking and agile at 94.

My 47-year-old friend is training for her first IRONMAN triathlon after a back operation 10 years ago.

I took my first yoga class at 49 and have only now decided to change my career from mouse-monkey to gardener. I’m applying for the training course next month.

I’m thinking about coming off of HRT. 

I’ve been on Hormone Replacement Therapy for two years. I'm perfectly happy with it . 


I had a baby a week before my 40th followed by a year of no periods (whilst I breast-fed) then a couple of normal years period wise, then things started to get heavier. A lot heavier. I ended up bleeding more often than not, I stopped wearing trousers, I never ever wore white and I used tampons and pads at the same time, which was costing me a small fortune. I had to get up and change in the night. The bed sheets were permanently stained. My underwear was always black. I took to wearing leather skirts all the time. I always sat on the edge of chairs. Sex was embarrassing and messy, more so that normal.  I was always tired. I became anaemic.

I researched the Mirena and eventually succumbed. After a 6 month settling in, which included headaches and weird mood swings my periods eventually stopped all together. After the constant bleeding and anaemia I couldn’t have been happier. 


I started waking in the night in hot sweats and I noticed I was being a bit, shall we say, snappy sometimes at home and occasionally out of the home, which made me feel ashamed. 

I suppose it really came to my attention when one of the playground mums commented on the fact I was wearing Birkenstocks in the Winter, (my feet were SO BLOODY HOT ALL THE TIME).  I enquired about HRT and my local GP surgery and was readily informed that I could quite easily start using oestrogen only patches straight away as I already had progesterone from the Mirena. 

I also started taking anti-depressants. 

I put on weight and I really slowed down physically, it became an effort to walk anywhere and whereas before I had been a marcher I now started to dawdle. 

On Bonfire Night a lump under my jawbone popped up. I considered a full on detox.  

A year later a second scan of the lump under my jaw revealed another much smaller lump on my thyroid, which was cancerous and removed along with my thyroid.

That was October 2017. 

In 2018 my 65-year-old sister who had been on HRT from her 40s for nearly 20 years found a lump in her breast. She is having her last dose of radiotherapy this month after a course of chemo and a mastectomy. Her fingernails have started to fall off and she has no hair left on her body. She drinks – who wouldn’t. The nurses mentioned the drinking, not the fact that she’d been on HRT but then I guess that makes her responsible.

I’m thinking of stopping the HRT. 

I’m thinking me in a bad mood and sweaty but being around until I’m 90 might be better for my 10year old than me in a good mood for the next 9 years. 

I have 6 patches left.

I’m also thinking of doing a survey on The Menopause and why it is still a dirty word.

Do you have any questions you think would be good to ask?

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