March 25, 2018
The top two things are hormones and digestion.
Apart from doing actions and movements that are not good for me to do, I’ve come to the conclusion that those two factors have the largest impact on my symptoms, for better or for worse.
The topic of this post is hormones.
My situation right now is that I haven’t had a period since January 1st of this year (such a nice, neat date to remember!). I hear that menopause doesn’t officially start until it’s been a full year without a period. However, I’m pretty certain that I’m month 3 into that year. I’m 46.
Before this “road-to-menopause” phase, I estimate that I started entering peri-menopause in the year before I got unexpectedly pregnant (when I was 42). Before I was pregnant, my menstrual cycles were regular but I had some unusually long ones (hence, the pregnancy). After my son was born, I never regained any regularity.
I’m looking at the menstrual calendar app on my phone, with data going back to August 2016. Here are the lengths of my cycles, starting with most recent and going back in time:
22, 23, 43, 22, 33, 27, 23, 54, 24, 24, 21, 48, 38, 27, 42, 37
Before I stopped having periods, I definitely felt worse in a cyclical pattern. I wrote about that in my post, “Cyclical Patterns” on November 4, 2015. Leading up to this road-to-menopause, I had a curiosity and suspicion that my symptoms just might get better with the drop in estrogen that accompanies menopause.
I do think my suspicion is true because I’ve been consistently feeling on the ‘better’ end of the spectrum, and I’m not noticing the highs and lows any more. The improvement has come from what I’d describe as a lack of hormone-based swelling. You might visualize that the prolapse “is what it is” at baseline, but then the hormones add a component of swelling on top of the baseline. Extra swelling in the vulvar region made the bulgy feeling worse. On top of that, there was a hormone-based pain, right in front of the pubic bone. The combination was unpleasant. Now, it appears that those days are over! Therefore, I’m feeling noticeably better.
This means one thing: I’m healed.