What some doctors don’t tell us about the menopause: 

  • The ‘menopause’ is a series of ongoing changes and symptoms that can last for a full decade.
  • No one knows for sure if a woman is menopausal – certainly not in the early stages.
  • No one (except the woman herself) understands what it feels like.
  • During the menopause our mind and body can experience a number of really weird changes, many of which aren’t in the reference books!

Examples of these weird changes

  • We start feeling fed up and exhausted a lot of the time
  • One day we feel completely ‘wiped out’ with fatigue
  • We get sudden pains in our joints (e.g. knee, elbow, thumb!)
  • We burst into tears for no apparent reason
  • We go upstairs for something and forget what we’re looking for
  • We develop a permanent headache
  • We have our normal couple of drinks yet suffer a huge hangover

How some doctors react

  • They ask: ‘are you still getting regular periods?’ When you say: ‘Yes, I am’, they tell you: ‘Well it’s not the menopause.’ or
  • They ask your age – you say you’re 40 years old and instantly they tell you it can’t be the menopause – not at your age! or
  • They do a hormone test – it’s OK, so they say: ‘No problem!’ or
  • They assume you’re depressed and suggest an anti-depressant. or
  • They suggest a pain-killer to relieve your joint pains.

What they don’t say
I’m sorry, I haven’t got a clue why you’re feeling this way. Even though your hormone levels are reading fine, it might be due to the menopause. To find out more, would you like me to refer you to a specialist?

The moral
If you are 35+ and you feel strange/ odd/ different/ can’t quite describe how you feel, you may be going through the menopause. But please don’t worry:

  • Just see your local doctor and explain your symptoms.
  • If the doctor isn’t sympathetic, don’t feel like a hypochondriac: Stand your ground!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask to see a specialist.
  • Whatever happens, you’re not the only one who is feeling like this. I know LOTS of women who have experienced all sorts of strange symptoms, due to menopause, long before their periods have stopped. So stay cool.