Time to re-brand
Would you, or have you, told a friend, colleague, boss, family member, that you are peri-menopausal or menopausal?
Typically, most women would say “no”.
We have no problem talking about children going through puberty: they’re growing up; becoming young women and men (and can be terribly moody and irritable along the way).
We tell our girlfriends about PMS, and take pride in announcing a pregnancy.
All of these “conditions” (puberty; PMS; pregnancy and menopause) are directly caused by our changes in our hormone levels.
We are not sick.
We are not disabled.
So, why are we open about some hormonal changes and conditions and silent about menopause?
And yet, menopause can have a huge impact on our lives. Some women even leave the workforce when their symptoms become unmanageable and they don’t feel supported.
There is a long list of symptoms women experience, the most of common of which include:
- Hot flushes
- Sleep disruptions
- Brain fog
- Memory loss
- Weight gain
So, why are we suffering in silence?
Some basic facts:
- The years leading up to menopause
- Starting anytime from 40 and lasting up to 10 years
- This is a time of fluctuating hormones, intermittent periods, and the start of symptoms
- Oestrogen production slows
- Fertility drops (but you can still fall pregnant!)
- Menopause starts when a woman is in menopause once she hasn’t had a period for 12 months.
- Symptoms can start to get more pronounced
- As you move through menopause, hormone levels start to even out
- symptoms typically ease off
All of this is completely natural, normal and every single woman will go through this at some point in their lives.
The good news is: there is a lot we can do to manage our symptoms. From managing our diet, exercise, stress and sleep to taking prescription medication, there are solutions out there for most women. (click here to read about Unpause: the natural menopause program | Purchase Unpause here)
We need honour this time of change and see it for what it is: a change, not an ending.
Society’s expectations mirror experience:
Would it surprise you to learn that women in certain cultures don’t suffer the symptoms we talk about in the Western world?
When the older members of society are honoured and revered for their knowledge and wisdom, age is respected and elders are looked to for insight and thoughts, then women have a very different experience of this time of change. Just like puberty is a transition to adulthood, so menopause is a transition to a time of wisdom and leadership.
In our western world, emphasis is put on youth, so menopause and it’s signalling of the end of our fertility, is seen as undesirable.
It’s time to change our thinking.
Let’s view this as a time of liberating freedom. A time to be confident in ourselves, our knowledge and what we have to contribute to society.
An example set by whales:
Female killer whales, narwhals, short-finned pilot and beluga whales, are the only other animals to experience menopause.
Killer whales have a sharp menopause and live for another 30 – 40 years. One whale, known as Granny, lived to be 104.
These post menopausal females lead their pods—complex, cohesive family groups—particularly when food is scarce. As an article in the journal Nature said: “Elder females hold ecological knowledge and all whales, even younger males, prefer to follow the older females.”
Maybe it’s not menopause that’s the problem, but a patriarchal system and it’s expectations.
Without being branded an extreme feminist, I do think that we need to take a stand and own our experience of menopause.
Most women go through menopause in their early 50s and still have decades of time to life a full, meaningful life.
I say: embrace the change, take the time to honour your body for what it is and take charge of this third stage of life.
If you would like more information on how to manage your symptoms naturally, click here to read more about Unpause: the natural menopause program which will provide you with a toolkit of solutions to implement in your life.
Your choices matter: choose wisely