Podcast 1 – MENOPAUSE: WHAT IS IT AND WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
There is no reason – evolutionary speaking – why women need to go through the menopause. So why do we and why is it only us and some fish that do? I’m afraid Sal and I can’t tell you the answer to that as no-one seems to know, but we do discuss how tricky it might be to give birth when you’re eighty (hanging on to your zimmer frame might actually help).
We did find out, however, that the menopause – officially and medically speaking – is a non-event. Or, to be more accurate, the ANNIVERSARY of a non-event. You have ‘had’ or ‘been through’ the menopause when you haven’t had a period for a year. Bit vague really, I mean who times their periods that exactly at this age? But nonetheless THAT is the menopause i.e nothing happens.
But the time leading up to your menopause (usually called perimenopause, but we’re not sure why that is either) can be fraught with the sort of symptoms that’ll make your toes curl (and, no, that’s not one of them).
Hot flushes and possibly flat feet, could be the least of your problems. As two people who have found certain symptoms utterly unbearable, Sal and I explore our experiences and try to explain what we are going through. And it’s tough. We’ve had crashing anxiety and depression combined with anger and irritability and it’s not been pleasant.
We are sharing these experiences with you, because no-one shared them with us and, until recently, we didn’t even share them with each other. We didn’t know how the other one felt and we both thought, individually, that we were going mad. It wasn’t until we had a chance conversation one day we discovered how much each of us was suffering.
And for that reason we felt we should share that suffering with you, as it really does help when you realise that you are just a victim of your hormones, that it won’t last for ever and, above all, that you are not alone.