Sat with Nat

Nat is definitely experiencing peri menopause

A year ago I stood in the family planning isle of the pharmacy staring at pregnancy tests. It had been 40 days since my last period. For 4 years I had fastidiously tracked my periods in a phone app. They clustered tightly between 21 & 31 days. Oh to know then that those variations were a tightly clustered data set.

On the one hand I was 44 with a tubal ligation 17 years earlier and my partner had a vasectomy around the same time. On the other hand, statistically, it was highly unlikely I was pregnant but it wasn’t a zero chance so I needed to check.

I wasn’t pregnant but it was my first skipped period that signaled the start of a year where the time between periods oscillated wildly from 18 to 52 days. There’s no planning around that data set.

My mood started to mirror these fluctuations and my sex drive skyrocketed while I also was fed up with everyone and could cry at any moment. It has been tumultuous times.

The unpredictable periods, sometimes so heavy it interfered with exercise, activities or even leaving the house were coupled with many other symptoms.

I started laughing recently when a Canadian sketch comedy show Baroness Von Sketch posted a short about peri menopause. It’s hilarious. Also at many junctions the protagonist asks “I don’t know, is it? No, it couldn’t. I still <insert young life affirming thing>”

It basically narrates the past year. But nothing is more compelling or persuasive than the graph of my period frequency.

A line graph showing a big mountain of period variations after many years of tightly clustered data.

Oh yes, I’m definitely in the peri menopause now friends. Some great advice from my friend & colleague Patti was to embrace the tumultuous times, just like I did when I was pregnant.

I’m trying. 😀

And I’m letting go of any expectations that exercise will transform my body or make it youthful. It’s simply a way to support my health & mobility while sometimes allowing me to appreciate what my body can do.

5 thoughts on “Nat is definitely experiencing peri menopause

  1. Yes. I’m 42 and started noticing symptoms about a year ago. Sweating in a cold air conditioned room, moodiness (an understatement), itchy skin, dry eyes, and, in my case I call it skipped periods. After 30 years of being like clockwork, I missed about 3 periods last year. This year, it’s been back to regularly scheduled programming, but, we’ll see.

  2. The wild period ride was bad enough for me that I had difficulty teaching through some of them. I ended up getting an IUD to help even things out. It worked brilliantly. Definitely didn’t need it for birth control but if this continues you might want to chat with your doctor about it.

  3. I have envy of your ability to illustrate this. I am just now in the variant scenario, and somehow the apps I’ve been using tend to act as though I start my period every 28 days even if I haven’t recorded it, and I don’t always remember to go in and change it. So I literally have no idea, except that I have cramps and PMS and night sweats a LOT, and then boom, randomly I’m bleeding. It’s hard, and I feel for you.

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