“Still to come… Menopause! Because nature decided that pregnancy, labour, delivery, breastfeeding, stretch marks, saggy boobs and cellulite weren’t punishment enough.” (Just for Jokes and Fun) Reading this quote on Facebook, I instantly laughed out loud.
Think about it. If you add panty hose, spanx, underwire bras, stiletto heels and babies attached at the hip to that list it can be overwhelming Can they think of anything more to add to this torture?
Oh yes, the unrealistic expectations of being as skinny as a model yet as glamorous and sexy as a movie star, having a successful high powered career while an all around great Mom, Chopped Chef, Pinterest home designer, and extreme coupon collector, to name a few. Whew! No pressure, girls.
But they forgot two very important things that definitely feel like torture -- PMS and being perimenopausal. PMS, otherwise known as “Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, strikes most women. As a teen it may mean “Pimple Making Syndrome” – self-explanatory. Later as a more mature woman it can mean “Progesterone Maniacal She-Witch.” Like clockwork the she-witch shows up every month to terrorize her home and anyone who gets in her way. Fortunately for some it’s much milder.
The low progesterone hormone produces unpredictable and uncontrollable behavior such as obsessiveness, negativity, off the chart irritability, migraine headaches, and sudden mood swings. The affect of low progesterone can be so awful that you can’t even stand yourself.
As fluid gathers on the brain during this time it causes pressure and migraine headaches. Then there’s the insanely, insatiable craving for chocolate or something – anything salty. Help!!
Perimenopause brings even more severe symptoms along with more frequent visits of the monthly guest and worse backaches, bouts of unexplained anxiety and hot flashes with sudden discarding of outer clothing. The prefix “peri” means “being on the edge.” Boy did they get that one right. On the edge of losing one’s mind. On the edge of running someone over. On the edge of -- you name it.
Perimenopause is that time period when your ovaries are making less and less estrogen hormone and it’s subsequent affects to your brain, emotions and body. This period could begin as early as your 30’s up to the time your ovaries completely quit producing eggs.
While Perimenopause is just the normal progression of life – something you learn to live with, you can get a little help from nature. Fortunately for me, my husband, children and co-workers, I found a natural progesterone replacement that robbed perimenopause of its vengeance and smoothed out my moods and even the headaches.
There are many natural products out there and each affects people to a different degree of success. Plus, a combination of natural aloe and progesterone from wild yams, proved to help me the most. I bought it from Mannatech. Your gynecologist may be able to recommend something appropriate for you.
Then Menopause finally arrives! The time that ignites fear and dread in every almost every woman. Partly because of our horror stories and partly because you never know what you’re going to experience and when. But, in reality menopause brings the cessation of most of the previously mentioned monthly symptoms. Can that really be so bad? Honestly?
I’ll be the first to admit there are some new symptoms that aren’t as pleasant like the hot flashes, hair growth in inconvenient places, possible weight gain, dry skin and others I won’t mention here. But what menopause does to your mind is down right liberating! Not being on the rollercoaster of monthly changing hormones allows the brain to think more clearly and not sweat the small stuff so much. You feel like you have control of your life once again, at least to some extent.
So, while all these womanly experiences are interesting to say the least, the source of them gives us the very best possibility – the benefits of estrogen and growing a life within us, giving birth and experiencing the rewards of mothering and being a grandmother. I definitely wouldn’t call it punishment but well deserved relief.