Menopause – what we don’t talk about but should!

talking about the menopause

50 per cent of the population – assuming we live that long – goes through this. And yet we don’t talk about it much. Amanda Blanch is here to start the conversation…

So it was when I was so rudely awoken at 6.45 am with the mother of all migraines, aching joints and a sudden lack of willingness to participate in this menopause lark any more, that I realised I wanted to put pen to paper (how very old-fashioned of me. Okay, fingers to the keypad), to express my feelings.

Because I know that despite 50 per cent of the population is having to go through, or is in the middle of, or has finally come out the other side; that I am not alone and bloody hell why is there not more written about or said about the MENOPAUSE?!

I am still, after four years, peri-menopausal, and month by month I have no idea what is happening with my body. Will it stay, will it go (oh I do love the Clash). Do I need pads, do I need tissues as I will be crying at a drop of a hat or a picture of a cute kitten, or will I need to warn everyone that I am coming so they can duck or hide?

My husband doesn’t know if he should kiss me or just back away into a corner every morning, a difficult situation I’m sure.

I used to be a vivacious, party loving raver. Now I’m just a fed-up, angry, confused ranter. My confidence has all but disappeared into the abyss and there are days I can’t leave my bedroom. Then there are the days where I want to take on the world and their army. I’ve always been a bit emotional when talking about politics, or women’s rights. But now I am a frightening non-stop aggressor if I am provoked. However, other times I could just cuddle kittens and eat chocolates, watching a weepy film.

“My confidence has all but disappeared into the abyss and there are days I can’t leave my bedroom. Do you see the problem? I am no longer me.”

Do you see the problem? I am no longer me, I have no control over my mind or my body and that, dear friends, is a very difficult place to be. None of us know how the menopause will affect us; my Mum went through a terrible time, and I feel so bloody guilty now that I wasn’t there for her. And of course now it’s too late and she isn’t here for me. But as each of us goes through an entirely individual set of hurdles, we all feel very alone with this sudden new stage of our lives and no one talks about it.

We need more openness, more support, more help, more awareness. Not that long ago women were classed as hysterical and shoved in a lunatic asylum. The word hysteria originates from the Greek word for uterus, hystera. Hysteria was often and still is used as a political tool in the media to impede women’s rights movements and invalidate their arguments and desire for equal rights. The most vehement negative statements associating feminism with hysteria came during the militant suffrage campaign, and they are still being widely used today.

Amanda Blanch taking on the menopause

Amanda Blanch taking on the menopause

And if I see another bloody article about what I should be wearing in my 50s I swear I will be arrested. No-one will tell me what I should or shouldn’t be doing! At 53, I have a jolly good idea, thank you very much. So although I have very rough days indeed, I have also dyed my hair pink, started wearing mini kilts with my leather jacket and I just don’t give a monkey’s what anyone thinks. That is one of the (very few) up-sides of going through this nightmare.

Come on girls, let’s get talking and doing, ranting not raving. Although frankly both ranting and raving is all good by me… Where are those Clash tracks again? Oh yes – the memory is going too. I’m thinking of starting a blog called ‘Menopausal Mandy’ to get the conversation going… who is with me?

Things we should be taking about…

  • Our feelings whilst going through the menopause
  • How to get through the day without killing anyone, or at least how not to offend everyone you meet.
  • How to stop having a dry ladygarden and what to do to keep the spark lit in your relationships.
  • It’s ok to hide away if you can’t face the world.
  • Be kind to yourself, it’s the only way to get through this.
  • Getting the facts about HRT or complementary medicines.
  • Sharing advice of what works and what doesn’t with other women.

Things we shouldn’t be doing…

  • Being embarrassed about what is happening to us.
  • Being shy about asking for help.
  • Forcing ourselves to do things we just can’t face.
  • Becoming invisible.
  • Anyway, just a few thoughts from me today … I’m off for a lie down in a dark room. Please comment below if you’d like to start a conversation about this!

Read all about it

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  1. Brilliant article, I’m 37 and in my 2nd year of the Menopause following a complete Hysterectomy at 35 years old. It’s horrible, it’s the Ugly sister of PMT. Thankfully I have fantastic Hrt or I would have been a total mess. Definitely need more women to stand and speak honestly about the menopause and take away the shame surrounding a perfectly normal part of a women’s life.

    • silvermagazine 05/05/2017 at 7:26 pm

      Thanks Kat. We’re definitely finding that more women want to have open communication about this issue!

    • Thank you Kat, you are so young to be going through this, I’ve just had lunch with a friend who has had to go through the enforced menopause the same as you. Yes lets irradiate the shame that seems to hang around ‘Women’s problems’ and talk opening about what we are going through.

  2. Rebecca Pearson 30/04/2017 at 8:49 pm

    Not sure if I’m on the edge of the menopause. I really don’t know what signs I’m supposed to be looking out for. Do have quite a lot of emotions fighting to get out. I would love to know more and talk about it.

    • silvermagazine 05/05/2017 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Rebecca. We’re considering creating a forum on this site for people to chat. We’ll give you a shout about this because that’s probably a really good place to share information!

    • Hi Rebecca,
      I am reading ‘The wisdom of the menopause’ by Dr. Christian Northup and finding it very helpful indeed. Hope this helps in some way to give you a better idea of what it is and if indeed you are at the start of the menopause.
      Amanda x

  3. Completely agree, we should talk more openly. Not quite sure what is the menopause and what is my bodys reaction to stuff going on in my life – just know I am me more than ever in my fifties and I will get through with a smile (grimace perhaps 🙂 x

  4. Actually there’s a brilliant forum on Menopause Matters. I agree this should be ought in the open.

  5. It’s feeling so bloody hot all the time I can’t cope with!! Been going through this for 6 years now!! And the girls in my office just don’t understand that having hot air blown at me all day is unbearable

    • I know how you feel Sam, my life has improved so much in stress terms since moving to our gorgeous island of Hvar in Croatia, however it is very hot sometimes and the night sweats can be terrible in the middle of the summer. I find not drinking any alcohol helps (which is a shame as that is exactly what I want to do during a bad day). Also eating a very healthy balanced diet with no sugar helps too. Good luck and buy a big fan. (actually top tip from a friend who suffers with the hot flushes really badly, buy a fan from Mulji, I don’t know if its because of the fabric but it seems to work better than other hand help fans, I don’t go anywhere without one now. x

  6. Thank you for this article. I can so relate to everything you say. I am three years into the menopause and it is a really though, I just don’t know myself anymore. It is such a shame that no one seems to talk about it as at times menopause is a really frightening and lonely place to be.

    • Thank you Claire, I’m so sorry you are suffering too, it can be very frightening and lonely, try to talk to your friends about how you are feeling, no one should suffer this alone. x

  7. Maria Italiano 06/05/2017 at 10:10 am

    Loved your article, I’m in my first year of Peri-M and along with a condition I have called Fibromyalgia it’s a nightmare. In the last year my body temperature is so high and unbalanced that I have extreme heat from my neck rising up to my ears and skull. I’m unable to lay on my side at night cause I have an inferno in my ears…

    However, I’m a great believer of positive thinking ,exercise , and a good diet.
    I’m under a Chinese herbalist and have had acupuncture which has helped but it’s a slow process, from which I’m running out of patience!

    Deep breaths ladies and focus on what makes you happy, it’s here, so let’s accept it and work with it not against it.

    • Thank you Maria, you are right it is important not to fight it but to go with it, a good diet is key, as is exercise and also complimentary medicines really do help. I am a firm believer of taking 3 magnesium tablets every night before bed, we all need it in our bodies and it does aid sleep. Acupuncture does appear to work on many women but yes it can be a slow process.

      Positive thinking, being kind to yourself and listening to your body and feeling what it needs is vital. x

  8. Jules McDonald 07/05/2017 at 1:40 am

    I’m 4 years in and still have real trouble sleeping, which makes work a real effort. There is so little support in the work place for menopausal women!

    • I totally understand, Sleep deprivation is in fact one of my biggest problems which leads to many more difficulties, especially in the work place. It affects my memory more as well. I do find that a cup of Yogi organic bedtime tea helps as does lavender balm rubbed into my temples, a lovely lavender filled eye mask (I have one from Liberty’s but also the treatment rooms in Brighton do a super silk one) and ear plugs help enormously as well……… as does kicking my husband out of bed when he stores !!!! And when its really bad I take some natural Valerian plus tablets or Lemon Balm tables which helps with the anxiety which I am getting on a regular basis now, which is most frustrating as I have never been an anxious women in the past. The Bach remedy nighttime spray is another good one and if I have had enough and its been too long without sleep I take a melatonin, that always does the trick. But I have to get those from a friend in the States. Still natural, but not sold in the UK. I have tried sleeping tablets from the Dr. however they make me too slow and unconnected the next day so I avoid them.
      I do hope things improve, but yes what we need is more help in the workplace. x

  9. What a fabulous article! Lovely to meet you all.
    My story was ten years of hell – everything described here and more. But do you know… we are actually creating a rising tide of information through sharing. I, for one, have been banging on about the subject for over ten years now and even created training programmes aimed at managers in the workplace. And, guess what? I have only ever had one MALE manager contact me; it’s always femail managers that get in touch and then they have to bow and scrape to those above to get some information in-house.

    Did you know the menopause falls within the bounds of the Disability Act? Yep, and when taken to tribunal, guess who wins? Yep, women!!

  10. Brilliant article. I’m 50 and I feel as if this peri menstrual period will never end. I can cope with all the physical aspects but the mood swings are serious. I swear I could kill if I could be arsed.

  11. Hi ladies I’m 59 and think I’m finished with period since last Aug I think I did it without to much probs but now I got hot flushes worse and temper it’s like I’m outside watching myself then I laugh till I cry talk about roller cistern lol

  12. Omg sorry Ment roller coaster bloomin txt lol

  13. Judith Pacella 20/10/2019 at 4:40 am

    Oh wow. Just read this to my husband and his jaw dropped. He said, wow? So it’s not just You? Hell yea we need to talk about your words

  14. I’m 51 and hit enforced menopause after full hysterectomy in 2019 coped for a year Then had to go on hrt as emotions completely all over the place , so low moods hot sweats out of control . Now I have a huge belly from nowhere feel like I don’t often feel like me . Hate my body and wanna know what to eat to get rid of this . I would do anything just don’t know . Hrt took aching joints away and flushed but weight gain really gets to me

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