Perimenopause: A Tough Phase in a Woman’s Life

Perimenopause: A Tough Phase in a Woman’s Life

If you thought women did not have it hard enough with PMS, periods, getting pregnant, having a baby, nursing and having your body poked and exposed on umpteen checkups, wait till you hit perimenopause. This new baby knocks you off your feet. This is a period from hell when mood swings, hot flashes, body aches, fatigue, emotional outbursts and disinterest become like second nature. Suddenly, you don’t know yourself anymore. There are days when just getting out of bed feels like a chore. While you are trying to make sense of how topsy-turvy your life has become, there are other mid-life challenges knocking on your doorsteps. Many of us have children who enter into teenage years just about now. Hormones pitting against hormones does not make for a pretty picture. As mums struggle with patience, disinterest and even depression, tact and compassion are what is most required of them.

perimenopause

 

I wonder for the nth time, why did we deserve this? If you think, I am exaggerating, trust me I am not. I’ve heard of women who’ve had an easy transition to menopause. Let me tell you that they are an aberration rather than the routine.

What Can You Do?

You mean apart from cuss and grumble? Not too much. I have approached gynaecologists and apart from telling me that this is normal (I want to bash their heads in), they have precious little comfort to offer. Most docs offer you OCPs to ease the hormonal fluctuations without even asking if you have a history of stroke in your family. Callous doctors, really! When I volunteered this information and questioned their solution, they retracted it. So apart from giving me some evening primrose oil which hasn’t shown any help at all, I am supposed to try home remedies. Things like flax seeds, gulkand and what not. Nothing has helped substantially. I am trying homeopathy now.

Also know that this is the time when we lose bone mass and are prone to osteoporosis and brittle bones. It can lead to debilitating fractures. So pay attention to your Calcium and Vitamin D supplements and get enough weight-bearing exercise to keep your bones in good health.

Exercise and meditation helps a bit and consciously stopping myself when I want to bite off someone’s head just saves that other person’s head, that’s all. When I am going through a volatile cocktail of emotions, I take the conscious step to stay away from social media. People are all kinds of weird. They rave, rant, abuse, yell constantly on social media. And in my vulnerable state, I just don’t have the stomach for it. I can vouch for how calming it is. I am not saying that taking sanyas is a solution but definitely cutting down your online time and staying away from reading/watching inflammatory content does really help with the moods. It has, for me.

For friends and family, I will say that this is a very challenging time in a woman’s life. She does not have a handle on what she feels and how she reacts. It may seem like an excuse, but it is not. It’s not a good feeling to feel grumpy without a reason. A little empathy in dealing with her in this difficult period can make all the difference in the world. It can help her handle this tough period a bit more tolerably.

To my other women friends out there, take it one day at a time. This too shall pass. Hold your loved ones, dear. And never ever hesitate to pick up the phone and talk to someone close, when you are really down. There is no shame in seeking help.

Are you in your late 30s or 40s? Have you been through this phase?

Pic courtesy: Image Point Fr on Shutterstock

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19 thoughts on “Perimenopause: A Tough Phase in a Woman’s Life

  1. So sorry to hear you’re still going through this. I recall talking about this with you a few months ago. Have you tried Ayurveda? My doc is certified in gynaec and is a boon! Will pass on her details if you are open to the idea.

    I’ve realised expecting people to be understanding/compassionate is tough unless they’ve themselves been through it or are kind by nature. Now I just tune out and ignore when people are hurtful. And yes, no social media when you are feeling blue. Usually drives me nuts. But I’ve discovered the solution: No apps and no following most people. Helps keep my sanity intact. For now.

    1. It will go on till menopause and no one can say how much time that will take. I could explore Ayurveda if the practitioner comes with recommendation.

      I agree. I can’t really expect a random person online to be kind so I just shield myself. It’s mostly close family and friends who are in a tough situation as sometimes I know I flip especially in the one week before the periods. Thanks for all your support, Shy.

  2. I can totally understand this phase of a woman’s life, in fact I have always had a sudden hormonal change every month. No only do I have internal problems, I begin storing huge amounts of water and bulge up. It takes a lot of effort to keep your calm and my best friend is Yoga and mindfulness.

    1. Oh yes, Menaka. The bloating is of epic proportions. Just a terrible phase. We each try our best to deal with it.

  3. Sorry to hear this Rachna. What can i say…. its a though life indeed for us women. I would probably be soon reaching this stage . Surely tackling it is going to be quite a challenge.

  4. Argh, I could write a book based on my personal experience. Worst part is that this goes on for 5 to 10 years in many cases. And once you are done new set of problems due to the diminishing estrogen levels.

    1. I know. That’s what the gynaec said and it scared me. It has already been going on for 3 years for me and I wonder how much longer. After is bad too? I was hoping that it would be easier.

    1. Thank you, Mayuri. That is the best wish for me currently. I was a bit hesitant as this is quite personal but I thought hopefully some woman somewhere can benefit.

  5. I’m glad somebody wrote about peri- menopause. So many times it’s brushed off as a fallacy. I have been experiencing the same for the last 3 years. Recently, about 6 months back took to Tibetian medicines. They have helped big time. Practising Buddhism also helps. I’m calmer versus the fiery monster I would transit to, 10 days prior to the cycle,
    If you like I can give some details on the Tibetian centres. They have 56 clinics in India.
    Take care. This too shall pass.

    1. Thank you, Natasha. Exactly, it’s so annoying when people behave as if we are making this up. Yes, please do share some details about the Tibetan medicines that have helped you. You can email me if you don’t wish to leave a comment. Thanks. My email id is rachna.parmar@gmail.com.

  6. Oh yes! It’s been quite some time now. I am sort of getting used to it. Yoga is definitely helping. But when it all began I would hear the words perimenopause and evening primrose oil so often, I hate the words! The oil does nothing to soothe your frayed nerves, believe me. We just get used to living with the roller coaster rides our moods go through and accepting that our hormones are not going to let us live in peace .
    So I would say, practise yoga, talk to your girl friends, do not expect too much from your husband (😜) and just accept it all as a way of life.

    1. Good to find a kindred soul, Shilpa. Of late, I have started this supplement Menosan from Himalaya based on the recommendation of a friend. It has been helping out but these are still early days. Fingers crossed, it works.

  7. Wow Rachna you seem to have described me in these few lines about what Perimenopause is! Now I understand what al lof my rage is been about for the past couple of months. And feeling ultra low on reading stuff on the net – been switching off from it all.
    thanks fo this post – I feel so enlightened!!! 🙂

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