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Hot Mess Mom » Fabulous & Frightening 40's, Products & Reviews » Today, we talk Menopause. Come on, you know you want to.

Today, we talk Menopause. Come on, you know you want to.


As you know, I have recently turned 40.  The majority of my friends are between the ages of 42 & 49.  There’s some weird stuff that happens when you turn 40.  And I don’t mean “in your 40′s”.  I mean like THE DAY you turn 40.  So, I’m taking it upon myself as a public service to create a new category on HMM for issues and topics that don’t matter until the fateful day you leave your 30′s.  {You’re welcome;}

Today, class.. we are going to talk about Menopause.

I’ve been hearing about this menopause thing for awhile now.   When I was 35, I thought I was pre-menopausal based on the insane, irrational, and unrelenting mood swings I was having.  Lucky for me, that passed.  Many of my friends aren’t so lucky.

One of my girlfriends (48) sweats all day and night and cries at every commercial, good grade, bad grade, victory or defeat.  For two years I’ve begged her to get medicated.   She has not.  Another girlfriend (43) about blasted me out of the theatre the other night fanning herself with the program and kept stealing my cocktail napkins to wipe her brow.  This CANNOT be the next decade of my life.

If you’ve been an HMM reader for a while, you know I suffer from terrible insomnia.  I have for years, but it’s always come in bouts.  A month here, a week there.. ..However, since turning 40, it has been unrelenting.  And, of course, as luck would have it, on the nights that I do manage to fall asleep, I’ve begun to experience night sweats.  Between all that, my immediate need for glasses, the peach fuzz that has magically appeared on my face, and my horrific periods, I decided to learn all I could about menopause and find a magic pill to fix it.  (Y’all know I’m a fan of magic pills.. I’ll try anything, but I want it to be natural.)

The first thing I learned is it that I’m an idiot and it’s not called “pre-menopause”, it’s called “peri-menopause”..  So, see…now we are all smarter.

I remember when my mom went through menopause, but all I specifically recall was that she got real bitchy and broke out like a teenager.  Apparently there was a lot more going on “behind the scenes”.

I have visited countless websites, WebMD, Wikipedia, and more reading up on the inevitable.  I’m going to plagiarize a bit from a site that I believe to have  very clear and concise information and explanations of how menopause effects us and why.  (Don’t worry… I checked with them and I totally have permission!)

According to , “many women misunderstand the process of menopause. Though the term “menopause” is often used as a blanket statement referring to all the stages of menopausal transition, menopause technically isn’t reached until periods have fully stopped for 12 months. Most women enter menopause between the ages of 40 and 55, as their bodies approach the end of fertility and ovulation ceases.”.   So that’s great..we get to enjoy this special hell for 10-15 years.  Super.

Knowing the symptoms:

Among the most common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, low libido, weight gain or joint aches. Menopausal women may also experience other symptoms including sudden or rapid mood swings, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, brittle fingernails, anxiety, bloating etc.

I’m not going to talk to you about my sex drive or my vagina (I did that last week).  But the rest of it… Lord help me.  And Lord help my family.

clinical explanation of Hot Flashes:

Hot flashes may be one of the most common and troubling symptoms of menopause and perimenopause.  Hot flashes and night sweats occur in more than two thirds of women in North America. Hot flashes occur when the blood vessels near the skin’s surface dilate in order to cool. This gives a red, flushed look to the face. A woman may also perspire to cool down her body. And some women experience rapid heart rate or chills.

My explanation of Hot Flashes:

Kill me now.  For the love of all that is holy, make it snow in Florida (in April) so I can frolic naked in the cold.

But listen y’all.. it’s not all bad..  You can also look forward to weight gain.  So, there’s that.

The clinical explanation:

As you enter menopause, your ovaries produce less and less estrogen. Since estrogen is vital to many life-sustaining functions, the body looks for other places to get needed estrogen from. Fat cells can produce estrogen, so the body reprograms itself to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels.

My explanation:

WHAT. THE. HELL?   My pants fit when I was 39.  I’m not eating more.  I’m not drinking more. (as if THAT would be possible;) WHERE is this belly blubber coming from??

I want to be pro-active.  I want to identify practices, products and life-style options that will benefit me for the long term.  I know that I have to take better care of myself now that I’m 40.  I know that women’s health after 40 is a huge topic and even huger market. I’ve read up on pharmaceuticals, hormone replacement therapies, holistic remedies and everything in between.  While, technically, I do want a “quick fix”, or even better, a quick “make this not happen to me at all..well, except for the periods.. the periods can dry up, but let’s avoid the rest”…  clearly that is not going to happen.   It is important to me to identify products, practices, etc. that not only treat the symptoms.  I want something that will contribute to my overall health and well-being while keeping me half-way sane and fitting into my pants.

Whilst researching how to address the symptoms of menopause systemically, I found the website for Amberen.  {This is not an infomercial folks… I’m just sharing what I’ve learned}.   I’ve only begun recently and will later update on my experience.  Wish me luck and after conducting your own research, see if you think it may be a good fit for you as well.

And since I’m lucky enough to have the symptoms of menopause while still enjoying the special hell that is my period, I’m off to eat a candy bar, donut,    apple.  Dammit.

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17 Responses to "Today, we talk Menopause. Come on, you know you want to."

  1. Celia says:

    It is a special hell. I can remember having only 2 armpits. Now I have sweaty places everywhere flesh touches flesh. Good times! I just cleaned out my closet of the fine fashionables that will never fit me again.

  2. Kirstyn says:

    I just ordered Amberen this morning! I’m doing the herbs from the acupuncturist, but they are too fracking slowwwwwww!

  3. Julie says:

    I’m only 36. My hot flashes started when I was 33. Not to mention the sauna nestled between the blimpy dimply sausages formerly known as my thighs. I wear a damn pantyliner all day, every day, on the OUTSIDE of the chonies, just to soak up the flop-sweat and avoid extra chafing.

    We won’t even talk about how much anti-perspirant and paper towels go into my armpits…Another 15 years of this? Shoot me now!

  4. Leslie says:

    I’m 38 & reading all of this fantastic news is making me look forward to turning 40, I’m already a nutcase, so here’s to turning 40 soon~~thanks ladies, thanks :) :)

  5. Melanie says:

    This was brilliant. I’m 45 and have been in peri-meno (you’re definitely not an idiot, even some doctors call it “pre”-meno) for years. Did you hear that people…FOR YEARS. LOL. Okay, so…it’s not so funny. Not on the receiving end, anyway!

    I have a weird granola-crunchy-hippie-esque theory that the hormones in our dairy products and meat are encouraging this process to last a looooooong time.

    Great post.

  6. Stacey Briscoe says:

    I have a neighbor in her 70′s that has a wonderful understanding of “home remedies” and was married to a pharmacist for forever,…She asked my hubs a few years ago if I was “gettin bitchy”. He of course responded no while shaking his head yes. Next thing I knew, I was taking calcium pills and magnesium pills. They helped with the hot flashes but not sure how much with the rest :-) and I tend to not take them regularly, if ever now. I also found opening the freezer and standing there a minute or two helped. My wiring has felt fritzed for a good 5 years…at the least. Chills, hot flashes, night sweats…I watch NOTHING that stands the slightest chance of making me cry. That includes sentimental laundry commercials. This has gone on for years!!! Peri started in my late 20′s…no lie…I am 44 and haven’t seen aunt flo in at least 3 years. I will not do hormones…though I probably should! I’m open to ideas though so will check out this wonder pill!

  7. Tina says:

    Jesus god almighty, fucking shoot me now! 44 here…

  8. Laura says:

    My bed looks like a frazzled mess in the morning…covers on, covers off….I say take my uterus I sure the hell don’t need it anymore!
    My kids are grown and out in the world!

  9. therapydoc says:

    Let’s talk when you close in on 60. I was looking for happy blogs (my readers tend to be a little sad) and found yours. Can I link over? I’ll take that as a yes unless you email me :)

  10. RobininHouston says:

    I’m almost 52 and had my hormone levels checked two months ago since I had a partial hysterectomy at 28 and wasn’t sure if I was perimenopausal. Nope. Body is still doing its job apparently. So, I guess my mood swings and bitchiness from time to time is just my lovely personality! :-O

  11. Tammy says:

    Oh goodness!! This sounds like it should be added into a chapter of Dante’s Inferno. More power to you!

  12. Listen up Ladies :) — I have come back from the edge (peri-menopause and adrenal fatigue). I have never felt better (occasional can be done however, (Hate to tell you) it won’t be overnight. If you really want to discover the road to natural health it will be a journey with benefits that far outweigh the dizziness, sleepness nights, night sweats, weight gain, NO energy, low libido, swollen joints/weakness, all of it. I found a natural way and realizing every woman’s body is different, you can TOO! I now coach moms on the brink of insanity back to calmness

  13. says:

    GF, I KNOW…I turned 40 in feb and I also thought I was peri menopausal..could I possibly be this crazy for no reason?.why YES!! I got ,y hormones checked and all ok…never got my results back from my adrenal…I KNOW this mfers are BURNT….us 40yr old MILFS need to sweat together on this one

  14. amanda says:

    During menopause,my mom had irregular and continuous menstrual flow.It used to get bad sometimes.All of a sudden she would have a heavy flow.It got embarrassing when she stained sheets and chairs.Her friend suggested her use adira period panties.It prevented staining 100% and its cotton.Now even my teen daughter uses it.Women with staining issues should certainly give it a try.

  15. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the great article, thanks for sharing!

  16. cabeachbabe says:

    Don’t I know it. I’m 48, been going through the change now for the past 2.5 years. No menstruation now for the past 2 years. Thought it was great until the dreaded hot flashes started.
    I can be just sitting here, typing on the computer when all the sudden I am covered in sweat, I mean dripping down, clothes stuck to me sweat. With the air conditioning on, I lay in bed, clad only in panties and a tank top, all covered up and comfy. All the sudden I start to get hot, so out goes one leg, such relief, then that isn’t enough, uncover half my body, still not enough, fling the covers off, my bed is soaked, I’m soaked, my clothes are stuck to my body. Then after about 20 minutes, and changed sheets and jammies, all is well again.
    I’m a little sad that I’m growing old, my babies are grown, but its so nice to not have to worry every month about having a period. Now should we talk about the bladder that leaks every freakin’ time I move my body (and sometimes when I don’t even move???)

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