There is only one explanation why the word menopause is not one of the 7 dirty words George Carlin said in his very funny comedy bit—because HE IS A MAN! There are many adjectives I could use to describe menopause such as cruel and unusual punishment; however, before I get to my rant I want to make sure everyone understands the true definition of menopause.
Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after a woman’s last menstrual period or when a woman has her ovaries removed. There are other procedures that can cause women not to bleed anymore such as an uterine ablation (removing the lining of the uterus) or having the uterus removed altogether; however, if a woman still has her ovaries, she will still experience menopausal symptoms. Typically the average age of menopause is 51 but some women can reach it at a very young or much older age.
Now that you understand the “medical” definition, I want to share with you my definition which is a more realistic one. Menopause, as defined by Nancy the blogger as opposed to Nancy the nurse practitioner is not only a realistic definition but profound at the same time. Menopause is simply the time a woman realizes she no longer is a feminist; God must be a male. What you exclaim! Think about it, if God were a female do you think she would put us through this torture?
Now that we covered what menopause is, I would like to discuss the time from a woman’s first symptom of menopause until “true” menopause occurs. These symptoms come about due to the erratic production of hormones from the ovaries. This hormonal imbalance can lead to irregular periods, heavy bleeding, hot flashes, poor sleep, night sweats, poor concentration and may even cause depression. The medical profession tried to describe this special time in a women’s life with labels such as “the change”, “the transition” and “perimenopause” (around menopause). These terms sound so welcoming like the beaches in Hawaii full of cabana boys. If perimenopause would last a week I may be able to get that “welcoming feeling”; however, it can last up to 10 years! Because of this, it is my duty, not only as a woman but as a medical professional to come up with a more realistic definition. Starting today, perimenopause will be defined as the feeling a woman experiences when she is forced to go into Dantes Inferno, or more commonly known as, HELL.
At this point I must digress for a moment. There are a few women who went 365 days without a period and had few to no menopausal symptoms. If you are one of these women, go play the lottery because you are one of the luckiest women I know. My only advice is to please keep this information to yourself unless you are fine with being despised by menopausal women everywhere, and I truly mean everywhere.
Dantes Inferno and menopause may be “hellish” but there can be a silver lining if you look really hard:
Your heating bills will decrease because of your constant hot flashes. Once I had the heat turned way down, bedroom windows open and our bedroom fan on. I could not understand why my husband was upset when he woke up freezing and there still was ice in his insulated cup.
You may be able to cancel your health club membership. Every night I experienced about 15 hot flashes. I would become so hot and that I would kick off my covers, and then so cold I would have to pull them over me. This became a great exercise routine for my arms and legs. I must say, they have toned up beautifully.
If you have been period free for a full year you do not have to worry about getting pregnant. What that means is use your birth control method until you have not had your period for a full year unless, of course, you want your next child to be named Holy Shit. Many people believe that if they have not had their period for 6 months that they cannot get pregnant. False, false, false. With any period you get, you could ovulate. I knew someone that got her period on day 364 and had to start the menopause count down again.
If you have not reached menopause yet, I hope I did not scare you. If you are scared, do what I do to try and relax. I repeat to myself, “it could be worse, it could be raining”….wait, was that thunder I just heard?
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