#SexColumn: Menopause, a wild ride

Menopause graciously gifts women with selective memory. Picture: File

Menopause graciously gifts women with selective memory. Picture: File

Published Mar 8, 2024


Ah, menopause, the biological roller-coaster that takes women on a wild ride through hot flashes, mood swings, and an inexplicable desire to own more cats and eat your own children. It’s the time of life when your thermostat becomes your arch-nemesis, and chocolate becomes a legitimate form of therapy. Let’s take a light-hearted journey through the symptoms of menopause, where laughter is the best medicine (and sometimes the only one that works).

1. Hot Flashes: Forget about spontaneous combustion; menopausal women have perfected the art of turning into human torches. One moment you're discussing your lack of libido, and the next, you're shedding layers like a snake shedding its skin. Consider investing in a personal fan or carrying around a fire extinguisher for those unexpected personal summers.

2. Mood Swings: Menopause turns emotions into a game of hormonal roulette. One minute you’re singing along to your favourite song, and the next, you’re convinced that your house plants are plotting against you. It’s like riding an emotional roller-coaster, but without the satisfaction of a stomach-dropping descent.

3. Memory Loss: Who needs car keys, wallets, or the names of their children anyway?

Menopause graciously gifts women with a selective memory that rivals a goldfish’ attention span. It’s not forgetfulness; it’s just a convenient way to keep life interesting but as frustrating as hell.

4. Insomnia: Sleep? That’s a distant memory, much like the ability to eat an entire pizza without consequence. Menopause has a way of turning night-time into a battleground where the only victor is the pillow you stare at longingly, wondering when it will invite you to the slumber party.

5. Weight Gain: Menopause has a peculiar talent for redistributing weight to places you never knew existed. Suddenly, you're playing host to a spare tyre that seems to have its own gravitational pull. Thank you, menopause, for turning muffin tops into a fashion statement.

6. Hair Loss: Ever heard of the term “male pattern baldness”? Menopause thinks it’s hilarious to challenge gender norms and gift women with a surprise package of hair loss. Say goodbye to those luscious locks and hello to a stylish collection of wigs.

7. Lack of Libido: All of a sudden sex is very low on your agenda. In fact you’d much rather stab your partner than have sex with him!

8. Increased Cat Ownership: If you find yourself adopting cats at an alarming rate, blame it on menopause. The inexplicable desire to surround yourself with furry companions is a well-documented side effect. It’s not crazy cat lady syndrome; it’s just a feline-friendly response to hormonal chaos.

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. While it cannot be cured or reversed, there are various treatments and lifestyle adjustments that can help manage the symptoms and improve overall well-being.

It’s important to note that the choice of treatment depends on individual symptoms, health history, and personal preferences. Always consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate approach.

Here are common treatments for menopausal symptoms:

1. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT):

Oestrogen Therapy: This involves taking oestrogen alone for women who have had a hysterectomy.

Combined Oestrogen-Progestin Therapy: For women with an intact uterus, a combination of oestrogen and progestin is often recommended to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.

2. Non-hormonal Medications:

Antidepressants: Certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may help manage mood swings and hot flashes.

Gabapentin and Pregabalin: These medications, originally designed to treat seizures and nerve pain, may help alleviate hot flashes.

3. Vaginal Oestrogen:

For women experiencing vaginal dryness, discomfort during intercourse, or urinary symptoms, localised oestrogen treatments in the form of creams, rings, or tablets can be effective.

4. Lifestyle Changes:

Diet and Exercise: Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, can help manage weight, improve mood, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Stress Management: Techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep-breathing exercises can help alleviate stress and improve overall well-being.

5. Over-the-Counter Remedies:

Herbal Supplements: Some women find relief from certain herbal supplements such as black cohosh, red clover, or soy. However, their effectiveness varies, and it's essential to discuss these options with a healthcare provider.

6. Bone Health Management:

Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements: To support bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, especially if dietary intake is insufficient.

7. Counselling and Support:

Therapy: Psychological support, counselling, or support groups can be beneficial for managing emotional aspects of menopause, including mood swings and changes in self-esteem. I have found the funniest groups on social media.

It’s crucial to work closely with your healthcare providers to tailor a treatment plan that addresses their specific symptoms and medical history. Regular check-ups and open communication with healthcare professionals help ensure that the chosen treatments remain effective and safe over time and then don’t forget to take the medication.

In the grand comedy of life, menopause takes centre stage with its hot flashes, mood swings, and quirky side effects. It’s a time when laughter becomes the secret weapon against the hormonal onslaught. So, ladies, embrace the absurdity, stock up on chocolate, and remember, menopause may be a wild ride, but at least you're not going through it alone.

Saturday Star

Sharon Gordon