Not only is it breast cancer awareness month, and yes I got my boobs checked, it is also Menopause Awareness Month. I have gone here before Your Skin on Menopause and I will avoid the obvious. Most symptoms are based on genes, some symptoms are not as well known as others though and may surprise you. Others you may have had all your life, like I have….
Some of these symptoms may occur perimenopausal. Despite what my auto correct thinks; this is an actual word for the 8 to 10 years before menopause kicks in. Itchy skin is one of them. Funny how your skin will start itching just talking about it right? I go through bottles of lotion a week, as well as baby oil which I use pretoweldrying after a shower. That is not an actual word by the way. Long story short; the decrease in estrogen levels is related to your collagen production. Most of the anti-aging blogs circle back to these culprits. We all know now that lack of collagen will cause your skin to become thinner and there fore more prone to be itchy. I will continue to lather up and take my collagen powder.
Dizziness and tinnitus may also be chalked up as possible symptoms. The latter I have had for as long as I can remember. The dizziness does seem to increase. And with that I mean actually feeling dizzy. Surprisingly I found out that the herbal supplement pills I ordered to combat my vertigo, has some of the same ingredients as my perimenopausal vitamins. Black Cohosh and Dong Quai powder. Black Cohosh is known to reduce night sweats. Dong Quai is described as the female ginseng. Multiple birds; one stone.
Speaking of Ginseng: the elephant in the room is the vaginal dryness and the reduced sex drive. The first is probably the reason for the second. I am in total denial about both but there are solutions for this as well, should they occur. Good old lube for one, but exercise is another. Barre exercises are proven to keep the sex organs alive and kicking. My other favorite supposed cure is to just keep doing it! Solo or with a partner; keep that puppy going…or should I say kitty in this case?
Did you know anxiety while driving could be a symptom as well? And sensitivity to noise? Muffled hearing….happy I will have something to blame for this. Twitching leg, blurry eye sight…these are the ones I can’t find a solution for. Ooh and “rage” is listed as well. Just blame it all on the big M.
Women are tough creatures and we will tackle menopause like we have tackled our monthly periods prior to this. Technically you enter menopause 12 months after your last period. Mine are still like clock work, so I am not there yet, but I have been taking Black Cohosh preventively. The bad news is that it can last for as long as 12 years. The average duration is around 6 to 7 years. There are hormonal treatments for menopause symptoms when they become unbearable.
One tiny silver lining; about one in five women experience an increase in breast size after menopause. The fact that this is most likely due to postmenopausal weight gain I will gladly ignore. We are resilient, this too we shall overcome!