Hello! raises menopause awareness: ‘The only person I didn’t want to kill was the dog’


Hello! Magazine has a new menopause workplace pledge, encouraging employers to support women in the workforce as they go through menopause and to be aware of the physical and emotional changes from it. This is smart for a couple of reasons. One is that women my age are invaluable at work and we need accommodation during this life change. (That may sound arrogant, but we have decades of experience and we know how to run things.) The other is that Hello! must know that menopausal women make up a large percentage of their readers. Also, as obnoxious as I find her I have to acknowledge that Countess Sophie has been championing this cause as well.

Hello! has interviews with prominent British women talking about their perimenopausal and menopausal experiences. Some of their stories were both relatable and I wanted to talk about it. Honestly I don’t know who all these women are as they’re mostly famous in the UK, but I nodded along to some of these. Here are a few excerpts from different articles on Hello’s site. Their print edition puts these different quotes together, which is how I got the idea.

Julie Graham, actress and star of Benidorm, Shetland and The Bletchley Circle: “I started having symptoms when I was 48, after a couple of really bad years. My best friend had died suddenly, my ex-husband died, I’d moved house, my cousin died and my camper van set on fire. I was anxious, angry, I’d lost confidence and I couldn’t sleep. I was also in Benidorm at the time, always in a bloody swimsuit, and was piling on weight for no reason. I thought it was grieving, but I was going through the perimenopause.

“The menopause doesn’t just affect the women going through it – it also affects husbands, wives, children – the whole family unit. When I was going through it, the only person I didn’t want to kill was the dog!”

Nadia Sawalha, star of Loose Women “I knew absolutely nothing about the menopause so when I first started having symptoms at 48 – bleeding heavily, night sweats, brain fog and awful memory loss – I was convinced I had early-onset Alzheimer’s.”

“Over time, the symptoms became part of me. My anxiety had become who I was. I thought: ‘I’ve moved into that stage in my life when I have insomnia.’

“It wasn’t until eight years after my last period that I started taking HRT,” she explains. “I was completely against it before because I was ignorant – I thought women were taking risks for their vanity. But my doctor, Louise Newson, convinced me to try it.

“I was on it for three months when she asked me: ‘How are you sleeping?’ ‘Fine’ ‘How is your anxiety? ‘ ‘Fine’. It improved my marriage – my libido had improved – and I have more energy, I want to go out and do things.”

Penny Lancaster, Loose Women host, married to Rod Stewart

“I blamed the stress of lockdown for my menopausal symptoms until I lost it one evening in April last year.

“I was calling the boys [sons Alastair, 15, and Aiden, ten] down for dinner, and getting impatient. When they eventually came into the kitchen, rowing, I screamed and threw a plate of dinner across the room and burst into tears. Rod was worried for me. We’re honest and talk openly about everything, but I didn’t know how to explain why I was feeling the way I did…

It wasn’t until I spoke to a specialist about two months ago that I started taking HRT. She was a woman who’d been through it and knew what she was talking about. She reached out and pulled me to the other side!

“The menopause freaked me out at first. I thought: ‘This is the end of the road. I’m not going to have any more sex appeal, I’m not going to be as lenient or forgiving. I’ve got to say goodbye to the old Penny and say hello to the new one.’ I felt it was all shutting down around me.”

[From Hello Magazine]

I am a few months away from 49 and menopause is hitting me hard. I feel grumpy, depressed and hungry most days. Exercise helps, and I’m sure cleaning up my diet would help too, but I often stress eat candy and ice cream. Also, I’ve gained weight and haven’t been able to lose it for some reason. (See last sentence.) I’m trying to be more gracious to my loved ones and to practice self care but everything feels “off” and I don’t feel like myself. I’m going to look into HRT and see if that can help me, as several of the women interviewed by Hello! mentioned.

I appreciate that Hello! is increasing awareness of menopause and that they’re encouraging employers to take this pledge. You can learn more about it here and they also have a guide to menopause employment law in the UK. It’s about raising awareness of the symptoms and supporting staff members going through menopause. I think that means more time off and compromise when we seem “off” or get upset at things. This is a great initiative, especially because so many workplaces are run by men. I wish it would catch on the US, but we have a much different, more employer-centric approach to work.

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84 Responses to “Hello! raises menopause awareness: ‘The only person I didn’t want to kill was the dog’”

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  1. D says:

    This is so timely for me because I’ll be 49 in December and this past year has slowly brought more symptoms. Irregular bleeding, more anxiety, hot flashes, night sweats, can’t remember anything, irritability…it’s basically the worst PMS but all the time. I’m soooooo hungry, it’s crazy. I workout 5 to 6 days a week and started taking Lexipro, but it hasn’t helped as much as I would like. The worst part is that it can last for another 7 to 8 years! I’m weary of taking any estrogen because of the side effects but maybe I’ll have to try. I told my family that I just want to move away for a decade and come back when I’m normal.

    • lanne says:

      Try black cohosh (sp). My doctor recommended it, and I started taking it when I started having hot flashes. I haven’t had a hot flash since. I get it at the drugstore. I still have malaise, but that could also be career burnout, Covid fatigue, and general US politics fatigue as well. But no hot flashes or night sweats.

      • LarkspurLM says:

        Totally agree on the black cohosh. I’m taking it and my hot flashes are kept to a minimum and I sleep a little better. Yes to all your feelings of malaise = combo of all that AND hormones :)

      • D says:

        Thank you so much, I’ll look into that!

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      I hope you have a doctor with whom you feel like you have a good working relationship. I feel like that’s half the battle with women’s health. Finding a doctor who listens to you and works with you on a plan to improve your quality of life.

      Any decisions regarding medications should absolutely be made after consultation with your doctor. I just urge all woman to ask questions about what’s in the medication they choose to take, so they can make an informed choice. I had no idea the #1 prescribed menopause drug is made from pregnant mare urine. These poor mares are forced to endure one pregnancy immediately after another, living their entire lives in a stall while their urine is collected, until they are no longer fertile, at which point, they are slaughtered. I’m glad I learned this information before I got to the point of discussing HRT with my doctor, so I could like into other more humane options.

  2. MurphyBrown says:

    I am 53. The sudden overwhelming feelings of pure rage were my main symptoms and the resulting outbursts aimed at my poor husband. Also, uncontrollable thoughts and feelings of guilt and paranoia. The bad sleep thing I have had for about 8 years but don’t know if that is menopause or not. I do have back pain in bed (sigh). I am now on a – light anti-depressant which seems to help.

    • D says:

      The guilt and paranoia are so strange!! I spoke to my MIL about the paranoia and she had it too. She said she felt like everyone was against her. It’s just so crazy, where does it come from and why???

    • Giddy says:

      The angry outbursts are so awful. I could hear things coming out of my mouth that horrified me, but I couldn’t seem to stop. I now have a hormone patch and the shrew has left the house!

  3. Jezz says:

    This helps. A lot. No sarc. These have been hideous years, and I’ve felt seriously alone.

    • Jan90067 says:

      It can be *very* hard, esp. if you really don’t know much about it. For ex: my mom died at age 49. How you will respond in menopause can usually be how your mother went through it. So I had NO idea. Never even thought about it to be honest. I was 25 when she died! So there was no one to tell me about all the joys that I was facing.

      It really *does* need to be a discussion: between female family members, women and their doctors, women and their friends… and it needs to happen EARLIER than peri. If we know what is coming, it’s easier to get prepared, physically AND mentally.

  4. Melly says:

    I’m 49 and it’s been a rough 5 years. First it was inconsistent periods. Than 2 years later, heavy periods, which left me physically and emotionally drained. then came the hot flashes. Every 2 hours and with them a rage like I never felt before. Last year I broke down and told my gyn I needed help. I started HRT and things got much better. I’m so happy we’re talking about it. You really need a village around you.

  5. Bobbie says:

    Why on earth do we need menopause awareness? I am I perimenopause. It is the most disgusting thing I have ever been through. It is your body turning on you. I have aged. I look awful. I feel awful. The creator hated women. It feels like a punishment. Personally, I want to blow through this and be done with it and never think about it again.

    • Megs283 says:

      Bobbi, I am 38 and as of yet, ignorant of the horrors of menopause. I appreciate articles like this…

      • Bobbie says:

        There’s no reason for you to know. Enjoy your time before it happens. Really. And if I could advise one thing: If you aren’t in a committed relationship, be promiscuous! :) You won’t feel remotely sexy once you hit perimenopause. You almost feel like your time in the sun is done. So get it in while you can :)

      • Steph says:

        @megs283 37 here. And yeah, would like to know what the future has in store for me. Like, for 1, I had no idea it lasted that long? 5,8 years? Wtf? Why do our bodies need so long to wind down? Just get on with it!!

      • Jan90067 says:

        Steph, I am 10 yrs post, and I can tell you, it STILL hasn’t stopped. I still get flashes, though they’re fewer between and milder, and I’ve developed an anxiety that literally makes me sick to my stomach (am on Xanax right now that I take sparingly, as I don’t want to be ‘dependent’). The rages, omg.. still pops up. And the lack of feeling sexy, feeling ‘visible’…. mostly gone. Am just starting some testosterone therapy (sublingual drops).

        Sigh… being a woman NEVER gets easier.

      • Soapboxpudding says:

        We need to prepare. I had a partial hysterectomy at 39 (endometriosis hell) and got a few months preview before my ovaries kicked back in and it’s AWFUL. We need to talk about this and have more support for women of all ages who go through it.

      • Jensies says:

        Dr Jen Gunter has a book about menopause that came out this year, I highly recommend it. And I think it’s important to know these things before they come so we can plan and get support.

    • Jezz says:

      Essential to have awareness so women (like me) don’t walk around for YEARS wondering what the hell is going on with them.

      • lolalola3 says:

        Agreed! It IS something we should talk about, know about and not feel bad/ashamed about. We all heard everything there is to know about getting our periods. But on the other end of that change, crickets. It is really helpful to me to hear what others have gone through, not only to know I am not alone but to hear what has worked for them. A friend told me to take Flax oil for hot flashes but it hasn’t helped. I will look into finding a good doctor. Help is available. I just have to find it. Thanks for posting this Celebitchy!

      • E.D says:

        Exactly Jezz.

        My late 40’s were a brain-fogged haze of anger, irritability and weight gain until I heard an awful term called ‘Angry Woman Syndrome’, started researching that , then onto perimenopause symptoms and finally worked out what was wrong with me.

        Forewarned is forearmed.

        Conversations like this also lessen the societal stigma.

  6. Sue says:

    Hormones are no joke, my friends. I haven’t experienced menopause yet but I just got back from the hospital because my postpartum depression was so bad. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. My house didn’t feel like my home, I was a robot with taking care of my sweet little girl and I had intrusive suicidal ideations. Thankfully they knew what medications to get me on and I feel like myself again. I am present for my daughter again and enjoying her. There IS help out there. If you need to be hospitalized for a bit, please know that you are not leaving your family: you are doing it so that you can be there for them and with them again.

  7. tbg says:

    I’m 45 and still getting regular periods but something wonky is going on. I’m an easily irritable person to begin with, but lately everything is making me angry. Sounds, smells, news about anti-vaxxers, Dump headlines, you name it. Antidepressants have never worked and I’ve tried almost every one out there, so I don’t even bother.

    My therapist is trying to get me to meditate and embrace mindfulness. I’m trying but what a struggle! Headspace on Netflix is mildly relaxing, but it’s hard to keep my attention on it.

    Oh, and I always thought my foggy brain and shoddy memory was from my mood stabilizer, but maybe it’s perimenopause?

  8. jo73c says:

    This site (Celebitchy, not Hello!) really opened my eyes to the potential horrors of menopause a couple of years ago .

    I knew (of course) the basic mechanics of what menopause is, but reading all the comments section below an article, I went in a few minutes from never having even heard the word perimenopause, to being utterly horrified – ‘What the f*, why has no one ever mentioned to me what is going to happen to my body in the next 5-10 years.’ (I can’t remember the celebrity in the actual article, but the comments will stay with me forever!)

    I’m so glad Menopause information is getting out there now, with real life examples of what women go through every day for years. I know education won’t change whatever symptoms I do get, but it will be a relief not to think I’m going crazy as well!

    • Giddy says:

      Our mothers suffered in silence and had no idea how common their menopause experiences were. We know and that knowledge can help keep depression and self-doubt away. Because of Hello, Celebitchy, etc. spreading the word we know that we’re not alone and that help is available.

  9. Justme says:

    Watch out for Estrogen pessaries (used for vaginal atrophy). I took them and developed endometrial cancer. I also know women who took HRT and got breast cancer. Just be aware.

    • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

      That’s a terrible thing to report – falsely. The HRT/breast cancer link has been comprehensively debunked by the study’s original authors who acknowledge that they have caused a world of pain for women unnecessarily. And ‘I know of’ is not data. It’s anecdote. Unless you have a number of peer approved double blind studies that prove a conclusive link to both your claims, just don’t post. Stop scaring women.

    • Suzybontime says:

      @Justme, you’re right, can’t fool with mother nature too much. A diet with added soybeans is a good idea as it contains natural estrogen.

    • Jaded says:

      I’ve used Vagifem for years, safely. There is no anecdotal evidence at all about it causing endometrial cancer. I’m also a breast cancer survivor and my doctor said it was perfectly safe to use because post-menopause my poor lady bits became a dried out gully.

    • AJ says:

      PLEASE CHECK OUT MENOPAUSE TAYLOR ON YOUTUBE. PLEASE.
      The lack of support our western medicine gives to women going through menopause is enraging. Alzheimer’s, Osteoporosis, and Heart Disease are PREVENTABLE with HRT.
      Our bodies are marinating in estrogen all our lives and then suddenly, when we reach menopause, we’re taught to fear it. Yes, some women develop breast cancer — 1 in 29 postmenopausal women will die of breast cancer. 1 in 2 will die of a heart attack. That isn’t a typo, 1 in 2 post menopausal women will die of a heart attack. And you can prevent this with estrogen.
      Every woman’s journey is different, your’s may not resemble your mother’s or your sister’s which is why it’s so important to be informed.
      Pre-exsisting conditions may not make estrogen therapy an option for you, or you may choose not to take anything. You may want to go the phytoestrogen (plant) route, or you may choose HRT, only you can decide. But please make the choice from a place of being informed and not fear.
      One thing about Menopause Taylor, she’s very eccentric and talks like she’s giving a puppet show, but she’s a brilliant teacher. Doctors — including OB/GYNs — only receive ONE hour of instruction on menopause in their medical training. After I listened to MT’s channel I was better informed than my doctor on what was going on with me.
      You can get your quality of life back. Whatever choice you make I hope you are brought back to a state of health and vitality. Post menopause is the longest phase of our life and until we educate ourselves and demand the medical community/industry catch up, most women will continue to see it as a cure rather than the liberating, empowering time it can be. — NO periods! I don’t have to shave my legs everyday because the hair’s slowed it’s growth! I’m like a really tall, grey haired, 12 year old :-D
      Okay, stepping off my soap box. Again, whatever you choose, it’s right for you because you chose it and this is your menopause. I hope you are happy and healthy. :-D

      • april says:

        Thanks for acknowledging that everybody’s journey with menopause is different and to choose what is right for “your” menopause. Because you do feel bad when someone sails through it and you are struggling several years later.

      • Nocleverhandle says:

        Thank you for this ^^^^

    • Mariposa says:

      The research does not support what you are saying – just because you know someone who got breast cancer while taking HRT doesn’t mean it caused it.

  10. RMS says:

    I lasted about two months in perimenopause before I ran into the arms of HRT. The outrageous hot flashes were debilitating, and the rage was frightening (although, must admit, also sort of empowering, no more Ms Nice Gal!). After some crazy intense cancer treatments, including two stem cell transplants, I told my Gyn to double my dose of estrogen because I could tell I had been dumped into full menopause. My sister had an easy time of it, but not the case for me. Just make sure you aren’t missing mammograms and PAP smears while on HRT.

  11. PeacefulParsley says:

    Do yourselves a favor and read Dr Jen Gunter’s Menopause Manifesto.

    • Hrefna says:

      Yes, excellent book! And to cheer yourself up try Graphic Medicine’s book of menopause cartoons. We don’t have to suffer alone and in silence.

  12. Sel says:

    Coming up on 49 now and although my periods are still regular I’ve been experiencing brain fog and memory loss the last few years, plus weight gain and extreme rage over the state of the world. Still not sure if this is perimenopause of some sort of food intolerance (or both) and am currently being checked for all sorts by my doctor to find out. It’s so difficult at this age to try and work out what symptoms are down to what. Plus HRT is an absolute necessity for me as all the women in my family are hit hard by osteoporosis as soon as the menopause kicks in. I watched them all changing in a matter of years from tall women to losing about 4 inches of height and soon being bent over double as their spines crumbled. My grandmother’s internal organs were effectively crushed by her osteoporosis and we had to watched a very painful and prolonged death. For anyone who has osteoporosis in their family I suggest they seriously consider HRT. There are far more options now.

  13. Ines says:

    I’m one of the lucky ones. 49 and no symptoms (yet). I had started having a couple (anxiety, restless legs), but switched to a plant based diet and it all disappeared. I read that Japanese women tend to experience fewer symptoms. They speculate that soy might be the key, or less dairy, or more fresh vegetables.. who knows. For now, fingers crossed, I’m fine. However, they do say that the average age is 52, so it might be lurking around the corner.

    • Giddy says:

      I have restless legs and even on medication they drive me crazy many nights. On bad nights I sleep in our guest room instead of keeping my husband awake also. He jokes that some morning I’ll call him to pick me up in San Antonio…we live in Austin.

  14. Hrefna says:

    I just want to say for my fellow Gen Xers here, if you have stupidly heavy periods get yourself checked for fibroids! They are incredibly common in peri menopause, and yes, the tests suck (transvaginal ultrasounds are not fun) but they can be dealt with and you will feel much better. I had UFE (uterine fibroid embolization) this summer and I feel much stronger, more like myself and my periods are now manageable, after becoming truly horrific bloodfests. I found most gynecologists just wanted to do a hysterectomy, but I don’t fancy being plunged into instant menopause, so I kept searching until I found a good alternative and UFE was it. They go in through your femoral artery and plug up the blood supply to your fibroids so they shrink.

    I’m really glad Celebitchy has items about menopause. It’s something society blanks out, but we need to talk about it!

    • lanne says:

      I had UFE 10 years ago, and it definitely helped my periods! My periods have almost disappeared (I just had 1 last week with terrible cramps, but it had been months). The procedure was 1 day, not even an overnight in the hospital, then 5 days at home (I missed 3 days of work). I had normal periods for 10 years until they started to get irregular this year, suddenly.

    • Scarlet Vixen says:

      @hrefna : Hysterectomy only sends your body into menopause of your ovaries are also removed–which most doctors will avoid doing if at all possible. (Technically, a ‘hysterectomy’ is only removal of the uterus, and an oopherectomy is removal of the ovaries.)

      I am 42 and had my uterus, cervix, & fallopian tubes removed in April of this year. But kept my ovaries, so no menopause for hopefully a few years yet. I actually had to fight for years to have a hysterectomy–gynecologists typically don’t want to perform major surgery unless it’s absolutely necessary. **side note: After my surgery my doc actually apologized to me for not listening more, and that my issues were much more severe than even the ultrasounds showed. I had endo growing throughout my entire uterus & tubes, golf ball sized fibroids, and my uterus was so junked up it was 2.5 times ‘normal’ size.**

      I’m so happy that conversations like this about menopause, etc are becoming normalized. So often we as women suffer for literally DECADES. I had horrible periods that often ran my life for almost 30 f*cking years, and noone really listened to me. Or I was told to just power through, or keep it to myself, or they couldn’t be “that bad.” Hormones are no f*cking joke, and it can feel like are bodies are against us. We need more knowledge and openness and support–both from the medical community but from our peers.

      • Agirlandherdog says:

        I had a hysterectomy in 2019 after 6 years of doctors dismissing my concerns about heavy periods. The anxiety around my period got to the point where I tried not to leave my house. I finally found a doctor who listened to me and ordered ultrasounds. Initially the ultrasounds were prep for an IUD (as most insurance companies will only authorize IUD, not hysterectomy for fibroids). But the ultrasound showed the fibroids were so large, my doctor just said look, you need a hysterectomy. After my surgery, the surgeon told my husband my uterus was four times the size it should have been. Four times, and doctors dismissed me for years. My quality of life is so much better now.

        For women who are anxious or scared when your doctor says hysterectomy, get all the facts. Talk to you doctor. Talk to other women. I guarantee you know at least a few women who have had a hysterectomy. Interview surgeons. Understand that a hysterectomy does not remove your ovaries. An oophorectomy is the removal of ovaries. Also, hysterectomies now are not like a hysterectomy during our grandmother’s time. I had a robotic assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy in an outpatient center. I went home less than an hour after I woke up from anesthesia. I took ibuprofen for a couple days after my surgery. I was doing gentle yoga after 3 days. There are lots of options available now. Find the best one for you.

  15. salmonpuff says:

    Perimenopause isn’t even always recognized by spellcheck, that’s how out of the mainstream this conversation is! I’m 49 and have been experiencing mild symptoms since I was 41. Last year, I went 11 months without a period, and this year, it’s been 7 months so far, so I’m close. My worst symptoms have been hunger/weight gain and vaginal atrophy (which is not fun, but manageable). I’m also mildly depressed, but is that perimenopause or the insane times we’re living in?

    I have many friends going through it too, but I find most are reluctant to discuss much beyond their hot flashes…and there is so much more to it than that. Anecdotally, my friends who have had shorter menopause journeys than mine had much more intense symptoms. My journey has been long, but mild.

  16. Ann says:

    Menopause unleashes the rage women are taught, pressured, bullied into swallowing all their lives.

  17. ME says:

    It’s actually perimenopause that causes most of the symptoms. Things are supposed to level off once you actually enter menopause (no period for at least 12 months). Peri can last up to 10 years (or even longer). It’s hell for a lot of women and includes your hormones going on a roller coaster ride. Too many symptoms to list. I want to be a man in my next life.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Welp. I’m 55.5. Officially menopausal for 3.5 years. I still have hot flashes. i still have bouts of insomnia. Thankfully my mood is peaceful and stable, though I do sometimes still get teary, especially when lacking sufficient sleep… but I do agree the 10 years or so of perimenopause are ROUGH.

  18. MJM says:

    I had early menopause and my last period at age 42 11 years ago. The hot flashes were rough and I have been on medication to sleep over a decade. I still sleep with a fan even in winter. Also no libido and vaginal dryness bad.

    There is an upside however. No more bleeding and no more pms which was brutal and no more crippling painful cramps. I have liked menopause years better tbh.

    • Jan90067 says:

      MJM you could be my twin (though mine started at 53). Ask your dr. about “Imvexxy” .10 mcg for the vaginal dryness. Even with my family history of breast cancer (mom) and Leukemia/Stem Cell transplant (me), it is considered safe. My dr. has noticed a *big* difference with it. Also, re: libido…my dr. just started me on sublingual testosterone (it also comes in a cream, but he thought the liquid was better for me). I just started it, so I can’t tell much, but I have a friend (older) who’s been on the cream for quite a while, and she says it helps a LOT.

      (As for the fan, hell yeah, aimed ON me…WITH the window open, all year (except summer, when the a/c is on). Also, had to start with Ambien when meno started, and have been on it since. Tried quite a few others, but none of them worked for me, neither did edibles :-( oh well!)

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        WhatWhatWhat??? Ivmexxy??? I can’t use hormones either; I’m asking about this!!
        Mona Lisa Touch laser treatment does wonders for rejuvenating the vaginal mucosa. It’s pretty amazing. My spouse wears a wool hat to bed, because I, too, need a ceiling fan on 12 months of the year, sleep in a tank top and often can’t tolerate flannel sheet and light down blanket. Meanwhile he’s bundled as mentioned above and uses a heavy down comforter, as well.

  19. Valerie says:

    It’s so awful. Don’t wait to go to the doctor. And HRT has come a long way.

  20. SarahCS says:

    Excellent work Hello and the CB community, I first came across perimenopause on here some time back and since then two of my friends have started to experience it. As with so many aspects of women’s health this is one that society largely tried to ignore and we seem to be finally making concerted progress.

    There’s a great company here in the UK called Timpson (they primarily cut keys and do dry cleaning) who have been on the right side of so many things (they employ ex-offenders and will dry clean clothes for you if you’re unemployed and have an interview). For menopause day last week they announced that they will pay for HRT for all employees who are prescribed it because it’s not a free prescription and some women are prescribed up to three different hormones a month. Let’s be honest and admit that if men experienced menopause these prescriptions would already be free of charge (sorry to US CB’s who may be wondering what we’re complaining about compared to your system!).

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      I can bemoan our horrible healthcare system, and acknowledge that while healthcare in European countries are leaps and bounds better than here, you still have your problems ;-)

      That company sounds like a business I’d be happy to support.

  21. Bevvie says:

    It started around 46 to 48, and at 62 the night sweats still continue. So does the lack of libido. No one prepares you for this and that is really unfortunate.

  22. Eurydice says:

    I feel a little embarrassed coming into this discussion, but none of the women in my family have experienced the menopausal symptoms people usually describe. Basically, one day our periods stop and that’s it. I can’t imagine that we’re so different from other human beings, but maybe we experience less discussed symptoms, like insomnia, dry skin and high blood pressure.

    • Joanna says:

      I’ll be 46 in a couple months. I haven’t had a period in about 6 months. Light spotting for a few months before that. I’m definitely not pregnant, had a tubal ligation. Am I one of the lucky ones without symptoms? I guess I should ask my doctor? Knock on wood!

  23. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    I’m post menopausal for 3.5 years. Still get hot flashes; it’s just ridiculous. I’ve read that they can persist 10yrs post-menopause. I can’t take HRT because my sister and mother had breast cancer. I’ve crept up 15# in the last 2.5 years & I think having extra body fat has something to do with increased estrogen levels which aren’t countered by progesterone (bc our ovaries aren’t cycling anymore) and are likely causative. It really sucks.

    • Jan90067 says:

      I didn’t gain weight in menopause, but it is a LOT harder to keep it stable (not counting the Covid 20 that I finally got off!). One thing I *have* noticed though, even though I weigh less now than I have in 30 yrs., my WAIST is about 3.5″ thicker!!! That *&(^% middle-age “spread” started with menopause!! I HATE it! unless I’m wearing pants, you can’t tell where my waist is anymore!

  24. Nancy says:

    This is great and all but sounds almost like a plug for HRT. I was diagnosed with estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer at age 48, and since then have had to take Tamoxifen to suppress estrogen. Of course this basically just made the inevitable menopause symptoms just amplify, and because of my history plus the Tamoxifen I am unable to do HRT. So – if one in 7 women get breast cancer, and 2 out of 3 breast-cancer cases are estrogen-receptor positive, that means a hell of a lot of women are not able to do this miracle HRT cure. Can we do better in figuring out how to help the millions of women out there like me?

    • ME says:

      From the research I’ve done on my own on-line, it seems that Estrogen tends to be high during Perimenopause. So why on earth would you have women take MORE estrogen during a time it’s already too high? I know hormones swing a lot during peri, but way more research needs to be done about this. It seems Estrogen should be given once a woman is in full menopause and hormones have leveled off. I don’t know but as women we aren’t getting the answers we deserve.

    • Snarkle says:

      @Nancy
      I couldn’t agree more. I’m 49 and about to start radiation for ER/PR positive breast cancer and will then start tamoxifen. It’s crazy that there aren’t options available for us to help ease peri/menopause symptoms. Especially as there are SO many if us.

  25. Jaded says:

    I went into instant and debilitating menopause at 64 after having to come off HRT which I’d been on since my early 40s due to a hysterectomy/oopherectomy (fibroids and endometriosis). I’d developed breast cancer (HR positive), but fortunately it was a rare type that is completely self-contained and doesn’t metastasize. However the hell I went through post-HRT was a nightmare. Several things I’ve found that help: Menosense, ashwagandha and 5-HTP to mitigate hot flashes/night sweats, stabilize moods and anxiety, and help with sleep. I also use a bio-identical progesterone cream derived from plant sources. I still get hot flashes but they’re much less intense and instead of 20-30 a day I’m getting 5 or 6.

    • april says:

      I feel your pain. I went into debilitating menopause also due to acute adrenal dysfunction and hyperparathyroidism. I take a lot of supplements and people think I am a lot younger than I am, however, I have a lot of fatigue. Glad you are doing well.

  26. RecreationalDiva says:

    I’m 54 and it saddens me that most of us have to get helpful advice via tribal knowledge – even my OB/GYN wasn’t much help and due to my family’s breast cancer history, advised me to “steer clear” of HRT.

    So here’s what I’ve tried and what (for me) has worked. I’m not a doctor, I’m not suggesting that these will work for you – but I’ve honestly reached out to every woman my age, to find out what they use and what has worked for them to alleviate the symptoms we’re all experiencing:

    PhytoB-L 4x – five drops under the tongue twice a day – my dentist recommended and said it’s the only thing that made a real difference for hot flashes. I’ve used it for 2 months, and have not had a flash since. Did cause minor spotting – which must be the Estriol

    Provitalize – menopause probiotic that has helped with the bloating and “meno-pot belly” – it takes a while to work – give it at least 60-90 days before deciding yay or nay

    Estroven – complete “menopause relief” – no idea if this works, but I add it to my daily regimen

    Amberen – the first product I tried, per the advice of an OB/GYN in S. Africa – he said “it works until it doesn’t” – it really worked for hot flashes.

    I am taking all of the above, every day. I haven’t had any hot flashes in months and I feel myself coming “back to normal.” I’m now adding a “female libido” capsule, called Libitrinex – not sure if that’s working or not – haven’t been on it very long.

    If I were going to try only one or two to test results, I’d go with the PhytoB L 4x, then the Amberen. Consistency is key. All of the above are available on Amazon. Read the reviews.

    And I’ve actually had to cut calories fairly aggressively to keep the weight off. I do protein shakes for breakfast and lunch, and dinner with no grains, starch or legumes. Not a spectacular way to live, but I’m getting back to the body I am happy with. Uphill fight, but it’s getting there.

    Much love to all of you fighting this fight – we are a sisterhood of the forgotten. But I for one will NOT be pushed to the back of the carve.

    • Nancy says:

      that sounds promising – I would just caution anyone against buying supplements on Amazon. Lots of counterfeits and problematic stories w/r/t supplements from Amazon. I try to buy any supplements from fullscript, or if possible the website for the actual manufacturer of whatever supplement. I’m sure there are other options out there, but Amazon is not ideal for buying this kind of stuff, from a safety and reliability perspective – IMHO.

    • Nancy says:

      Also – just looking up PhytoB-L 4x shows it contains Progesterone – which someone with HR+ breast cancer history also cannot take, so beware my HR+ sisters…..

  27. Snarkle says:

    @RECREATIONALDIVA
    I love you right now.:)
    Thank you for sharing this info!!

  28. Dierski says:

    I love the expansion of this conversation!! Anything to take away that old school hush-hush view of menopause and life changes for women. Love the workplace support, and hope to see that spread to other companies.

  29. Margo says:

    Menopause is a horrible time for many women and it happens at an exceptionally challenging time because it is that moment when the kids are teens, the parents are beginning to really show signs of age, the partner is dealing with their own mid-life challenges, the career is full throttle and stress is non-stop. This is the time many women get the ‘crazy’ label, especially at work. They are deemed unstable, emotional, and just not up to the task. Instead of empathy, many find themselves moved aside. And all of this is out of the woman’s control. No matter how much exercise, breathing, or therapy, it’s a very difficult time. I didn’t go the HRT – my doc was against it. But after having a frightening panic attack and being completely at my wit’s end, I went on anti-depressants for a time. Still, my employer had no mercy and used my challenges to gaslight me and eventually fire me. Today, I’m post-menopausal and trying to figure out this stage of life with kids out of house and career in flux. But healthy, happy and continuing to grow and learn. Hang in there, Ladies. Be kind to each other and always know you matter more than you think.

  30. april says:

    I read an article a year or so ago, and it was about how medical science in the U.K. has found a way to delay menopause in women up to 10-15 years beyond what it currently is. They have tested this method with young women with great results. This delay is not for vanity but for the health of your heart, bones, etc., which menopause affects. There really is no good thing about menopause and your body, but you can get through it and thrive.

  31. Giddy says:

    My female gyno said “Giddy, remember that stage of labor when you hated your husband and blamed him for the pain you were experiencing?” Yes. “Prepare to feel that way again, only for a longer period, and he will be responsible for everything, including bad weather! So here are your estrogen patches and we’ll get through this together.” Love her so much!

  32. Cate says:

    49 here. Last week was my 1 year without a period. I don’t miss it at all, I have fibroids and my cycles were heavy. I was told that night sweats meant you were in Peri. I wake up in the middle of the night (when I do actually sleep) in a puddle of sweat, soaked head to toe. After I rinse off, change my pillowcase and put a towel down; I wake up again in the morning soaked. I am so exhausted from changing my sheets and thirsty all the time.

    I have had some knockout drag out fights with my husband that scare me. He’s my best friend and I adore him but his inability to throw away anything (used paper towels, soda cans, cat food tins) has made me homicidal. We NEVER fought like this before. It got so bad I started throwing things and cussing like the raunchiest of pirates. I ended up going to a hotel for 2 days because I wanted to kill him.
    The rage struggle is real!

    Can we talk about the dryness? Everything is dry; my skin, my hair, my vag is like a desert. No amount of lube makes intimacy comfortable. I could care less if I ever had sex again and that bums me out.

    The weight gain has been beastly. I swim 4 days a week for an hour, use a rowing machine twice a week for an hour and lift weights every other day. I eat low carb and sugar free. ALL OF THIS and I steadily gain 1-2 lbs a week and it’s all in my belly. I can’t find the words to say how frustrating this is.

    My doc put me on a higher dose BC pill to see if it helps, otherwise it’s off to OBGYN to talk about HRT. I take Trazadone to sleep with Amitriptyline. I don’t feel like my fun loving self. I feel like everyone has an agenda and you could slice my patience with a razor.

    I feel all you ladies who are suffering. I’m grateful for your forthrightness and compassion.

  33. 2lazy4username says:

    I’m 53 and has my last period two years ago. Through menopaues and the only real symptoms were really bad joint pain. I had horrible bleeding leading up to menopause — like actual hemmorraging. I feel like perimenopause was worse than menopuase. But! post-menopause?I Ihave lost my ability to sleep through the night and am losing hair like crazy. Damn the stuff women have to endure.

  34. Amy T says:

    My Mirena IUD made menopause almost a non-event for me, and I dumb-lucked into it. I was looking for a different birth control device – I was 46 and my OB/GYN recommended it as a better alternative and said it would also help with menopause. It’s progesterone-eluting, so the hormone doesn’t go into the liver and stays local. I had it removed five years later and bloodwork done to find out where I was, menopausally speaking. I’d pretty much gone through it. My sleep was decimated, but that was pretty much my only symptom.