Has the change in women’s roles over time altered how women cope with the menopause?
I have written about menopause in the past, and there seems to be a strong appetite for information on this subject. Women in perimenopause are searching for answers, despite the information available.
So why does perimenopause take over so much of our life? Is it due to fundamental changes in women’s role in society?
Some of us hear from our families how granny or mummy breezed through their middle years with little, if any, symptoms, leaving us who are not so lucky to wring our hands in despair.
If you look at most women’s roles from granny’s era, they were most likely homebased, focused on cooking, cleaning and taking care of the family. Very few were in full-time work, commuting while still take care of the family. They were most commonly in one relationship for most of their lives.
A lot has changed.
Many women in the forties and fifties now find themselves in new or second relationships, working, juggling family and keeping a new relationship interesting and spicy. This may or may not involve a second family.
Add into this mix perimenopause, hot sweats and the resulting lack of sleep, it’s no wonder that we are searching for the holy grail.
A light at the end of the tunnel
It is now thought that some 75% of women suffer with severe and sometimes debilitating symptoms that can last for a period of 5-15 years. A lot of women are listless, pale, grey and in a fog during the worst of the symptoms. Many will visit their Doctor or GP for assistance, but most will not continue to take the Oestrogen replacement that often accompanies these visits.
Research shows some 50% may end up on anti-depressants during this stage of their life in order to function in some orderly fashion. What is less well known is the impact antidepressants can have in terms of weight gain, reduced libido and reduced bone density.
The last thing you need when you feel overweight and unsexy is a treatment that can make you look and feel worse about yourself. But that is not to say this treatment should be dismissed.
Worth a read: Help! The Menopause is killing my skin
A very careful, frank and open conversation should be undertaken with your Doctor or gynaecologist to evaluate in the short term which treatment would be suitable to sustain you through your worst symptoms. It is worth trying different options to see which your symptoms respond best to.
Everyone is different. If you are sleep deprived and the menopause is getting in the way of your ability to cope, remember there are options. Seek help from a medical professional who can discuss your feelings, symptoms and hopefully provide a light at the end of the tunnel.