I’m late to the menopause party


Lots of people ask us to blog more about menopause since we’re at that age.

And it’s true I’m at that age. But I’m not yet menopausal. Indeed, my last period started on the first day of the bike rally. Of course it did. Perfect timing, as always.

Menopause is starting to feel like something all my friends talk about but I haven’t much to contribute. It’s a bit like back when in grade six all my friends seemed to start their periods. They talked about it a lot. I didn’t start that much later but by the time my period began it was old news. Yawn.

Some days I feel like the person perimenopause and menopause left behind. No hot flashes here.

The average age of menopause is said to be 51 so I’m not technically “late” yet. Two weeks to go!

But perimenopause is supposed to begin much sooner.

Here’s what Web MD has to say,

Perimenopause, or menopause transition, begins several years before menopause. It’s the time when the ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in her 30s or even earlier.

Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last 1 to 2 years of perimenopause, this drop in estrogen speeds up. At this stage, many women have menopause symptoms.

So far, other than the dreaded age related metabolism slow down, I’ve had none of this. Even perimenopause seems to be passing me by.

I know there are some health risks to late menopause besides being late to the party.

So I was happy to read in the New York Times that there’s some health benefits to late menopause as well.

There’s actually some very good news for you if you went through menopause later rather than earlier: You may live longer.

True, late menopause is associated with an increased risk of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers. But “on balance, most of it is good news: Later age at menopause is associated with better health, longer life and less cardiovascular disease,” said Ellen B. Gold, a professor emeritus in public health at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine and principal investigator of the university’s Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, or SWAN.

Those who go through menopause later are at lower risk for heart disease and stroke, and also tend to have stronger bones, less osteoporosis and fewer fractures than those who go through menopause earlier. The average age of menopause, when a woman has her last menstrual period, is 51, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Save a party hat and a cupcake for me! I’ll be there eventually. Just fashionably late.

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