I’ve read what the clinical stages of menopause are – perimenopausal, premenopausal, menopausal, and post menopausal. When this happens naturally for a woman varies based upon when she started her first menstrual cycle or based upon when her mother went through it.
For me, it’s unknown. My mother had her hysterectomy at age 41 due to a rather large benign cyst that overtook her uterus. They recommended taking everything – ovaries and all, so she did. She was immediately went through physical menopause as they adjusted her artificial hormone replacement therapy.
No one thought to ask her mother when she went through menopause before she died at the age 82.
I had my hysterectomy last year – less than ten days before my 40th birthday. Long story behind it, but I also had two other surgeries at the same time to repair some damage from having children. The doctor recommended that I keep my ovaries and I did. He assured me that this surgery would not trigger menopause and has run blood work that seems to indicate that my hormone levels are fine.
Then why the hot flashes? Night sweats? Super-inhuman mood swings? Either total insomnia or nearly falling asleep in the restroom stall at work when I get a few moments to myself? And other symptoms that are unexplainable and remind me of being pregnant again? Severe lower back pain? Charlie horses in my calves? Tender breasts?
Clinical stages verified by specific blood work results my ass! Keeping your ovaries a sure-fire way to avoid early menopause due to a hysterectomy – bite me!
Let’s not forget the rage against the machinations of my own brain. And the lingering ache from one of my surgeries that does not seem to want to go away. And the entirely new way I had to learn to pee from the other one.
TMI? Maybe, but dump all of that in a blender, pour in a dose of children being angry for not taking them out to dinner on a Friday night, a handful or two of happy Christmas versus new air conditioner, drop in some chopped up pieces of whatever the dog has chewed up today and pack in some not-so-random emotional angst until full. Sprinkle with overflowing laundry, dishes, unscooped poop, and any minor misstep made from throughout the day. Flip the switch to liquefy and let run from 6 a.m. to about 10 p.m. and if it hasn’t blown itself to bits by then, transfer contents to air tight ziploc bag and hide in the deep freeze until there is a free day to thaw it out and pour down the drain.
Or buy yourself a great handbag on e-bay that you neither need or can afford.
It is my currently preferred form of HRT – Handbag Replacement Therapy.
As for whether or not I’m actually in a phase of menopause – I wonder how many HRTs it will take before I am sure?