Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Having your own weather

I have mentioned this before, and I am mentioning it again, as since I have entered a perimenopausal state officially (unofficially I reckon I've been in it for several years) I have come to realise my woeful ignorance about something which affects all women eventually, and goes on for YEARS. And yet is a subject people shy away from as somehow embarrassing or awkward.

I was therefore delighted to hear  Dame Sally Davies, The Chief Medical Officer say that this is a topic which shouldn't be taboo, especially in the workplace. And pleased to hear Kathy Lette on LBC the other day, talking about this very subject. Her dry comment that, You get your own weather was particularly apposite on a day when I was fanning my face constantly. Hurrah I thought, finally, the menopause is being discussed openly.

Just think about this for a moment. Not all women have a bad time at the menopause, but many do. Symptoms include: heavy periods, incontinence issues, forgetfulness, moodswings, hot flushes, dry vaginas, loss of libido, anxiety, exhaustion, stomach problems, etc etc  And all while we try to carry on our normal lives, be it working, looking after chidlren, or most often than not dealing with elderly relatives .

 It can be exhausting and demoralising realising that even the most simple tasks sometimes feel overwhelming. And yet it's something we DON'T talk about. It's not just at work. I don't think I ever discussed the menopause with anyone properly till it started happening to me. And it starts off a bit furtively - Oh yes, I have heavy periods too, yes I'm always hot, before you realise the majority of women your own age are going through similar. Information is scarce - I have suffered heavy periods for the past ten years (I have a bulky womb apparently, but we shall let that pass) - and only discovered in the last couple that the mirena coil can help with that. Incontinence issues are really common, particularly if you have had children. I only learnt what my pelvic floor was when I was pregnant for the very first time aged 30, and though I have done exercises on and off over the years, it's not apparently enough. I think ALL women should  be taught about this at school, because ignorance, and embarrassment talking about it makes for a very miserable middle age.  Over the last year I've been seeing a fantastic women's health physio (I didn't know such people existed, but frankly they are the unsung heroines of the NHS) who taught me among other things that you can have physio on your vagina and IT HELPS. Why did I not know this earlier?  As an educated middle class woman my ignorance is staggering.

So... going back to Sally Davies. I think she's right that women should be able to talk about this openly with their bosses in the workplace. Although the reasons she gave:  the forgetfulness, woolly thinking and tiredness aren't the ones I would mention. Flooding - a sudden surge of blood when you are having your period - is commonplace for perimenopausal women and though it hasn't happened to me at work, I know many people who've experienced this. Along with the incontinence problems, these are two horrible physical things that can happen to women, which are embarrassing and humiliating. It isn't something I'd want to rush up and announce to people (luckily I work with women so that makes it a bit easier), but if there was at least an understanding that these things happen and it is no big deal, I think it would make life a lot easier for all of us.

And as for the guy who texted LBC to say all women should retire at 46 because of the menopause, all I can say is I'm glad I'm not married to you. Because the simple truth of the matter is if you have lived with a man for many years, he will be used to your bodily cycle and be aware of what is happening to you now (or should be!). I have had several frank conversations about it with men my own age, which I couldn't have imagined having a few years ago. Men do not need to be protected from this, they are living with it too.  So what's wrong with talking honestly about something we're all going through together?

I applaud Sally Davies for raising the issue, and I hope it gets debated more. Maybe then women can enter the third phase of their reproductive cycle without feeling furtive, and somehow tainted by the process. After all, it's just nature innit?

3 comments:

Birthday Return Gifts For Kids said...

Birthday Return Gifts for Kids
Birthday Return Gifts for Kids india
Personalised Gifts For Kids
Send Birthday Gifts to India
Send to india Rakhi gifts

Charlene said...


Hello do you need an absolute and ultimate solution to get rid of any problems you are facing today in your life,problems such as health problems or relationships problems contact the great prophet on ultimatesolutionspellcaster@gmail.com or send him a whatsapp message on+2348050676586 because i was amazed when he cured my mum who have been suffering from cancer for the past 8 years so because of this great deed by prophet Jacob Douglas of what he have done for my family i vowed to myself that i will post this great testimony in any language and in any blog i come across on the internet because we have wasted millions of dollars on hospital he also assured me that he can solve any marital or relationship break down do not forget his email address is ultimatesolutionspellcaster@gmail.com
Whatsapp Number is +2348050676586 contact him today he has a possible solution to that your problem you are currently suffering from

Veronica Snodgrass said...

Dear friends, i'm from united states i had a problem with my husband 4 years ago, which lead to our break up. when he broke up with me, i was not my self again, i felt so empty inside me. until a friend of mine told me about a spell caster who helped her on similar problems too. i emailed Prophet Douglas, the spell caster and i told him my problems and i did what he asked of me, to cut the long story short. before i knew what was happening my husband gave me a call and told me that he's sorry that i should forgive him that he's coming back to me in 3 days time and i was so happy to have him back. thanks to Prophet Jacob Douglas,for saving my relationship that was almost crumbled continue your good work the great spell caster email address is ultimatesolutionspellcaster@gmail.com you can also Call/WhatsApp: him on+2348050676586