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How To Handle The Years of Menopause

Updated on August 9, 2013
The time clock is ticking for the "change of life".
The time clock is ticking for the "change of life". | Source

A Proof Of My Real Age

I have always wondered through the last two decades of my life, what I am going to feel like when I reach menopause. What will I experience, what symptoms will I have? How will the "change of life"effect my life, and my family? When will perimenopause end and menopause begin?

Being a nurse, I had learned the physiology of the changes in women. I understood it quite well from a clinical point of view. But the personal experiences of all the bodily changes through the last 12 years of my life made me hope for relief. And as I write this hub, I can say I have reached that wonderful milestone!

Is It Hot In Here, Or is it Just Me?

All the magazine articles and all the medical literature states that a woman will experience changes in body temperature, aka, hot flashes, changes in menstrual flow, changes in skin, and changes in energy levels, and somnolence for a period of ten years. That time is called peri menopause. These symptoms were aggravating, I kept on praying to God, to please, finally relieve these symptoms.

Every woman is different, and no one can really compare their experiences. I will be just so glad when I will be through with those hot flashes. They are so unpredictable. I hate to be cold, and I really hate to feel hot! The drinking of soy milk and eating soy products do cut down on these symptoms, but too much could cause an alteration in the progesterone/ estrogen balance. I did not know about this fact about soy milk until last year. As soon as I stopped drinking soymilk, the heavy menstrual cycles stopped.

The Diagnosis of Fibroids

The concern with heavy periods caused a medical attention to fibroids. In 2002, the first time it was diagnosed, I had to go to the hospital for a surgical scraping of the uterine lining (called a D and C- that stands for dilatation and curatage). I was home the same day but spent several days at home in bed. When the gynecological surgeon did the procedure, he also did a biopsy to check for cancerous cells. The biopsy result was Negative! The next time fibroids were diagnosed was last year, in 2010. In the emergency room of the hospital, after having a sonogram of my uterus through my cervix, the doctor determined that the fibroids were small, and the injection of medicine called Toradol in my intravenous line was given. I found out later that the medication would slow down the prostaglandin production in the uterus which is the hormone that can cause the heavy bleeding from the uterus. After dealing with the side effects of this intravenous medication, such as diarrhea, nausea and sleepiness, six days later, my menstrual bleeding stopped! Within a week, after taking iron and multivitamins and increasing my protein and grains in my diet, I started feeling better.

I kept a calendar of my monthly cycles after that experience. About three months after the end of my cycle (that was a coincidental occurance of the administration of the medicine Toradol), I may have only spotted for a few days. But in the long run of a year, I have reached the pinnacle time in my life! Menopausal years have begun.

I May Look Young, But My Body Doesn't Feel It.

I call it heredity. The fact that I look younger than I am makes me mentally feel young. The body has more aches and pains than usual. It only lasts for a few moments upon awaking in the morning. My hair is feeling thinner than it used to. There is more hair on the floor these days, and I can't believe I am not bald! My skin is drier in places I won't even talk about. My energy level comes in bursts, and then I feel tired. But as soon as my head hits the pillow, I feel wide awake. Or, I will wake up two hours later, headed to the bathroom, and then two hours later after that! The kidneys don't know when to sleep. I thought that marrying a younger man would keep me feeling young. That didn't really improve my situation either.

The nutritional changes I have made in the last six years of my life really has helped a lot in keeping me feel pretty healthy. The physician reminded me to take a calcium supplement even with a balanced diet, because the changes in the hormonal balance will cause the bones to become more brittle. I have taken care of many many older ladies over the years with calcium supplements added to their diet. Omega three supplements as well as olive oil in the diet will keep the arteries from clogging up with plaque. The advice of the physician about supplements in this time will be crucial. So I am going to definitely be getting a hormonal level check very soon.

What Is A Change of Life Baby?

During the years of perimenopause and early menopause, there is a chance of getting pregnant. I met some people that are my age whose parents are much older than mine. I calculated that they were change of life babies. My children are in their twenties now, so I have no interest of going through pregnancy again, and all those stages of childrearing again. I admire those women who keep their babies and raise them even when they have grandchildren already!

Physical Exercise is A Must!

I always want to keep moving. Regardless of what stage my body is in, I look forward to being active. Put on a good song! I will always be dancing. Put me in a dirty kitchen! I will be cleaning it. Do I have dirty laundry? I prefer to spend three hours in the laundromat to do it all at once as opposed to taking all week to do three or four loads. My exercise routine is incorporated into my work day and my everyday. I don't have the money to throw into a gym membership. So I don't mind daily movement in a daily routine. Physical exercise will also keep the female hormones balanced.

The Fifth Decade of Life Can Be Awesome

As I turn fifty two this year, I will truly enjoy my youthful attitude along with my trials to wisdom. My convictions as a Christian keep me hopeful for good health. Even though the physical maintenance of the body takes longer to do, the years of experienced life brings a wonderful sense to me. Awakened creativity is what I like to call it. To all the ladies that are reading this and who can relate, I congratulate you to a new age. It is how you apply yourself. Self confidence comes with Gratitude. I am Thankful to the Lord for my life as each day comes.

They made a musical about Menopause!


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    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 

      7 years ago from Tucson, Az

      what a wonderful hub CM!! Hot flashes were novel in the beginning werent they? now they are just horrible! I am 58 now and still flashing! but at least the fibroids and bleeding stopped :) you just hang in there and dont forget your fan whenever you leave home! I should invest i japanese fans I have quite a few :)

    • jfay2011 profile image


      7 years ago

      very informative hub. I'm starting to go through peri menopause and am liking not having a period. Also thought i might be pregnant at times too, but am not.

    • CMCastro profile imageAUTHOR

      Christina M. Castro 

      7 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      Thanks for your comments, Erin. I am glad to be of good guidance, and I didn't know my experience was going to make such a good impression. I am amazed that I am so busy tending to others that I have to take a second look at myself sometimes. I try not to complain ever about what I am going through.

      Thanks for responding with your comments, Pamela99. We will have to continue comparing notes with one another on how we are doing with our personal "home" improvements. The diet is a tricky thing to keep up with, especially when you dine with others who are preparing the meals for you or if you are dining out. So the vitamin supplements especially the Calcium/ Magnesium supplements will always help. I had a wake up call when I bought my first bottle of multivitamins for women fifty and over.

      Thanks for visiting me on this hub, ComfortB. I hope you continue to monitor your monthly cycles and keep close tabs with your physician. It is a good time to keep a calendar for tracking your symptoms. Once the year is up with no period, then you will know it is time to get the hormonal levels checked.

      Good luck to all the other ladies who read this, and are going through this challenging phase of life. Just keep positive! That keeps you young!

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Christina, you definitely look and act younger than you are...weathering changes well and keeping that positive attitude is something I admire greatly. Although I have a few years before I hit that milestone, I'm looking forward to another change in life. The only time I had trouble with age is when I turned thirty - for some reason that was hard on me. Now, I look back and laugh. Every year since then may have had new challenges and some very trying times but I look at them more as adventures and pathways to wisdom. I wouldn't go back if I could.

      Thanks for all of the useful information. I have learned so much from you - its so nice to get a nurse's perspective on things as they are hardly ever explained in such great detail unless you read many books.

      Congratulations on your milestone and brightest blessings as you head into this new phase of life. :)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Your suggestions are really important in minimizing symptoms and having optimal health during menopause. I found changing my diet and exercising helped immensely. This is an very interesting hub.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 

      7 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Great hub! Just as I'm wondering why two cycles in one month. I can really relate a lot to what you've mentioned, even though I'm in my almost 50ish.

      No matter how informed one is (and I am, to some extent), one could help but wonder. And there were times I actually thought I was pregnant.

      Thanks for sharing.


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