ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Surviving Menopause

Updated on November 3, 2011

For six to seven months, I was startled to observe that my menses would come erratically, at one time after 50 days, at another time only 15 days after the last one. The length the menses was also startling -- as short as a day, to as long as 15 days. Otherwise, I felt fine. My friends urged me to check up with my ob-gyne, so I finally relented.

It didn't occur to me that I could be experiencing the start of menopause. But I never encountered hot flashes, perhaps never noticed it in the normal heat of our country, nor did I have noticeable mood swings. But at 43, my ob-gyne confirmed after extensive tests that I had broken through the early stage of menopause.

Some Facts about Menopause

Menopause is a stage of a woman's reproductive life when the ovaries cease to produce an egg cell every 4 weeks. Thus menstruation ceases and the woman is no longer able to become pregnant. This point is an important trigger for the onset of female menopause, which usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.

At menopause, hormonal changes cause a decline in production of:

  • estrogens, which are responsible for many aspects of female sexual development
  • melatonins, which protect te body cells from toxic effects of alcohol, radioactivity, acids and other harmful substances
  • progesterone, which helps protect us from heart attack, hypertension, artherosclerosis, hair loss, cancer, regulate proper metabolism, and a host of other functions
  • testosterone (am not sure yet how this works in women)

Post-menopausal women absorb dietary calcium less efficiently, thus elder women suffer greater risk of osteoporosis.

Because of the lowered estrogen production, three out of four women experience side effects of menopause, in one way or another, including

  • decline in the elasticity of arteries and blood vessels, and susceptibility to varicose veins
  • excessive perspiration (hot flashes)
  • susceptibility to hair loss
  • lowered metabolism leading to lethargy (I know I experienced this !!!)
  • susceptibility to bone loss and osteoporosis
  • nervous system conditions such as anxiety, apathy, poor concentation, depression, insomnia, irritability
  • reduced sexual desire and susceptibility to vaginitis

A conscious decision to have fun

This knowledge that I was into my menopause alleviated my worst fears of possible cancer. You would have heard my sigh of relief. "So my body is starting to show signs of age. Come to think of it, shortly after I turned 40, my eyesight took a turn for the worse, a sure sign of aging. No I didn't have to use reading glasses even now at 54, but my distance lenses had to change from a grade of 125, to 250."

Once I realized that my body was starting to deteriorate, I made a resolute decision to keep alive, in all aspects. I took up regular exercise again, by dancing 3x a week for up to 5 hours each at a dance hall. I gradually changed my wardrobe to reflect my determination, and get a better figure as I Iost some weight and fat from my regular very enjoyable exercise.

As an aside, I had studied dance for 15 years, in my youth, and had started teaching when I decided to get married. That started a new phase in my life. But when I resumed dancing in my 40s, I rediscovered my talents and skills, which made dancing much more fun. Eventually, I opened a dance school, but that's for another hub.

In addition to dancing, I also decided to semi-retire from my Public Relations counseling, and started to turn my attention to other interests and types of jobs, including campaign management for a senatorial candidate. I researched on spirituality, and tried a few groups until I decided to join Eckankar in 1999. I dabbled with web design and created my very first website in 1997 on the one activity that interested me. The Dance Addict's Guide (unfortunately lost when Yahoo bought and then killed dealt with social dancing in the Philippines. It created so much following that eventually led to my own dance book, Victoria's Dance Secrets -- to Ballroom Dancing in the Philippines.

But why am I talking about all this?

This was how I enjoyably coped with my menopause. I indulged in things that I've always wanted to do. "You are where you attention is." My attention was definitely not on my menopause, but on enjoying my new experiences, talents and skills. Fact is, I hardly noticed this menopause stage, and learned to live with the inconvenience of having to bring lots of fresh pads and underpants in my purse, just in case. I carried a bigger bag, which also included my dance shoes. I also got used to those little mishaps when I'd rise up from my seat in a meeting with a golf-ball-size stain on my skirt. Fortunately, even my male colleagues were quite forgiving and respectful.

A no-guilt diet

Meanwhile, I kept my body healthy with good nutrition with natural foods, and the occasional junk food too. I had quite a good appetite resulting from so much dance exercise, yet I had regained my post-teen weight of 120 lbs.

I'd rather not take any synthetic drugs if I can help it, thus my motivation to learn more about natural remedies. My food intake and diet mostly consisted of anything I wanted to eat, but with some attention to

  • soy protein in the form of bite-size cubes of tokwa (soy bean cake) or warm taho. I heard that 60 or so grams of soy protein reduces the hot flashes experienced by women during menopause.
  • Vitamin E supplement in capsules at last once a day, to alleviate hot flashes. I also believe, rightly or wrongly, that Vitamin E would keep the elasticity of my skin.
  • proteins from meats and balut (a really tasty Filipino delicacy)
  • lots of calcium from nilagang baka (beef stew), milk, yogurt.
  • lots of fresh fruits, salads, and vegetable dishes
  • some enjoyable, though not necessarilly healthy foods, every now and then -- lechon balat (very crispy skin of pig roasted on an open fire), sapin-sapin, ice cream and cake

Looking forward

At 48, I had totally lost my menses (careful with the spelling). Hurray, no more little mishaps, unpleasant odor, pads that itch and cause rashes. I don't remember any of those discomforts now, instead I appreciate all the opportunities that come my way -- rediscovering my passion for dance, a new book, a new business, news computer skills, many new friends, creating wireart jewelry, many new things learned, a totally new attitude and outlook to life. The five menopause years have come and gone, highlighting the start of a new phase of freedom in my life.

I am now 54 years old. I know I've taken good care of myself, and can confidently look forward to many many years of enjoyable healthy living with a loving family, watching and experience life with our daughters as they build their own families and lives.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • vikkycab profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      No need to fret, Marisa. You are not alone. I am continuously on the lookout for solutions this weight problem.

      I did find one recently, in the form of the chia seed, which contains 700% more Omega-3's (and ALA at that), antioxidants, iron, selenium, fiber, phosphorous, calcium, and other phytonutrients that we need. The experts in the field say it's the miracle food that can help recover the health of the human race. The FDA has categorized it as food, no preservatives, non-geneticlaly modified, organic.

      MILA the miracle seed

      So far, I've lost 6 lbs in 11days. Not bad. Just added the odeorless and tasteless grain in my soup and beverages, salad, and even cake. I've also noticed so much energy, and ability to think more clearly.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 

      10 years ago from Sydney

      I could relate to this one! I'm also a dance addict - unfortunately menopause coincided with some upheavals in my life which meant I wasn't able to dance as much as I normally would. Result - excess weight! I'm finding that once it's on, it's much harder to shift, so I really regret not making more effort at the time.

    • AEvans profile image


      10 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      This is information is well needed as I have to pass this on to my friends who are experiencing this. Thank you


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)