menopause “seminar”

I’m still a little ticked off that this body didn’t come with an owners manual, but of all the things I’ve been through menopause stands out for being a normal stage that half of the population goes through, yet is so little discussed. I didn’t think that I’d just stop bleeding like turning off a tap, but as far as it’s discussed it sounded like the bleeding tapered off, there might be some crankiness and a few hot flashes or night sweats, you had to worry about brittle bones and that’s about it.

Wrong wrong wrongity wrong wrong.

Menopause and perimenopause have a huge range of possible symptoms, some things you never think of, and some you’d never think were associated. I would like to put together a list of the possible symptoms of menopause that you’ve experienced, read about, or heard about from other women. I hope this will be a useful reference for all of us. I’ll start with the ones I know about, but first some notes:

Note 1: I want to hear from as many women as possible so I am cross-posting in the “This is What a Feminist Knits Like” forum on Ravelry (it’s a wonderful place for discussion, if you happen to be both a feminist and a knitter). I will ask permission to post symptoms listed here over there and vice versa, to keep both references as complete as possible.

Note 2: A friend of mine who’s gone through some alarming symptoms points out that one danger is dismissing something as “just menopause” when in fact it’s an indicator of a serious problem. So please be careful with this information – but for me at least, it’s less stressing to know that a symptom can be caused by something not harmful, even as I go to the doctor to check it out.

Note 3: Since my blog gets reflected in three places, I ask that you post comments for this entry only over at the LiveJournal entry, so they’re all in one place.

Symptoms everyone knows about (and even these are far from universal, except the first one):

menstruation ceases (duh)
hot flashes
night sweats
loss of bone density
vaginal dryness
less interest in sex

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3 Responses to menopause “seminar”

  1. LA says:

    Please move this along to wherever you’d like. LJ hates me. ~LA

    Sleep problems.
    Deluge bleeding.
    Lack of concentration.
    Weird shifts in body fat despite regular exercise.

  2. Scanty, very light periods for two-three months, then a deluge accompanied by heavy cramping.
    Wild mood swings, from elation to deep depression.
    Libido swings, from no interest in sex to couldn’t get enough.

    I could cope with the physical symptoms, but the emotional symptoms were killer. I finally went on HRT for four years, until I was through all the way through menopause. It was a life saver for me!

  3. Bex says:

    It’s been a long time since menopause came and went but:

    Severe mood swings
    Hot flashes on/off day or night
    (Discovered that taking magnesium supplements helps hot flashes but not until most of menopause was over – so try it early)
    Tapering of menstruation then stopping abruptly.
    A humongous period a little while later and then nothing more.

    FYI – Just heard lately that “they” think women who have hot flashes during menopause are less likely to get breast cancer. I like that finding! I had almost 5 years of hot flashes!

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