Adventures in Perimenopause

Season-of-Life Messages

Who Cares?!

A lot of you don’t care about this and have no reason to.  There is an off chance that despite being under 40 years old you have a mild interest in biology whereas if you are over 60 this falls under “been there; done that” material along with “what to do when you have your first baby” let alone, “how to not panic because you’re sprouting pubic hair”.

Perimenopause is to menopause as adolescence is to adulthood

Women in this stage of life, are really heading in the direction of menopause.  From my brief survey’s of real women about this: it can be a brief period or can go on for some months or even years.  It ends when a woman’s body achieves the “done with reproduction” state of being.  This transition means neither more nor less than that.  “No more baby-making forthcoming”.

The effect of this truth is not necessarily less than the onset of menstruation and all the hormonal and size and shape changes that mean entirely and only, “Baby making is now a real possibility”.

Struggling with Change?

There are women, perhaps especially fit, married women, who may suffer from kinds of shock or dismay that this change-in-life actually changes what they are and are not interested in, including sex.

Studies have indicated that while adults past the menopause stage of life do often retain some interest in sexual activity but at least half the time, its more a matter of habituation to the pleasure of it than the same intense mating instinct “make babies” biological advice their hormones were screaming for 20 to 40 years.

Case Studies: My own Case

Every woman is different and the range of normal is fairly large.  It may well be a good idea to check in with a physician but my advice is to try to find ones who accept change-of-life rather than trying to treat you as if something is wrong with you when nothing is.

Recently, I chatted with 2 women about this.  One reported having only had a few months of perimenopause and then she was done.  I likened this to the girls who really turned physically into grown women over Summer Vacation one year between grades of school whereas some of the other girls took years to make the same transformation.

There are women who have hot flashes, and others who don’t.  I spoke with one woman who stopped menstruating but still has hot flashes which have slowly been diminishing over the years following her menopause.

In my own case, my sexual desires dropped by about 50% for way longer than the 2 months, twice a year that they had before and stayed much less for longer periods of time.  I can neither confirm nor deny that one element of this has been that over age 40 years more of the men my age are much less attractive than they were 10 and 20 years younger.  Men may suffer from feeling the same way about the women in the same group but also about the reality of themselves by comparison.

Along with that type of ‘barometric’ perception, my menstrual periods lightened up a great deal of the time, but not consistently.  Two years into it, I just didn’t menstruate for a few months in a row and then right after I thought, “My God I’m reaching menopause 9 years early but at least I know I’m not pregnant,” my periods resumed, but again, 8 or 9 months of the year they were only half as intense as they had been 10 years earlier.

How long does this goes on?

In truth, in my own experience, I have just entered Year 6 of perimenopause.  The general ambiance is nice, regular cycles in terms of the ebb and flow of hormones but totally unpredictable in that one month I menstruate nearly as much as I did when I was 40 but some other month I don’t even bother to menstruate….and there is no obvious rhyme or reason regarding what determines whether or not I only menstruate a tea spoon of blood across 7 days, or what feels and looks more like a cup every 2 hours for 3 days.  Often, during the past 3 years, the amount of m. blood is really the same amount in 7 days as what happened in 2 or 3 days 10 years earlier.

But then, just to keep the air of unpredictability, when I went so far as to expect that I might not have any periods during 3 months of the year after that happened 2 years in a row, I just did even though it was Year 3 of Perimenopause.

The bottom line:  Because of that, I’m not sure.

I do carry around menstrual products much of the time but know they might go unused.  Just to add to the subjective sense of the whole thing, I was always the kind of person who felt, within 5 days after my period ended that: It was like it never happened.  Like, if someone brought it up, I almost had no idea what they were even talking about.  I’m not totally insane, so I did remember, but it was like remembering rainy weather on a sunny day or vice versa.

Purpose of this?

Aside from going on about myself, I mainly just want to write enough about it so that if other ladies find this happening to them, they don’t worry.

I do also think if male entities are curious about women, they could learn about this without being disgusting just to find out…but if they don’t want to know, I don’t want to make them know about weird nasty women stuff.

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