Posts tagged #menopause

World Menopause Day

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October has been dedicated as Menopause Awareness Month and today, October 18th, is World Menopause Day.

Menopause is defined as the absence of periods for 12 months and the average age for a woman to go through it is 51 but just as the age for menarche (first period) varies from woman to woman, so too does menopause.

I personally am experiencing what is known as perimenopause - this is the transition stage before menopause where a woman can still get her period but it is erratic. It is a whole new can of worms and the irony of it is I created and market a product that assists women in tracking their cycles when I never know when Aunt Flo will show up or indeed if she ever will again. One of my best friends is in her mid to late 50’s and still get her period like clockwork whereas one of my sister-in-laws went through menopause at 35, one at 42 after she had her tubes tied after giving birth via Cesarean and one at 53. You just never know!

Some women go through menopause very early on; one in 1000 women will go through menopause before the age of 30 and you can read about one woman’s experience with that in this article from the BBC.

Like pretty much everything surrounding menstruation, menopause is a female condition that is not talked about openly or often enough and when it is talked about it is frequently regarded with negative connotations much like periods are.

Fortunately we live in a world full of educated and passionate activists who wish to change the conversation on all things menstrual related including menopause and what better day to catch up on what is happening in that regard than today?

Did you know that there was a slew of ‘Menopause Cafes’ held across the UK in 2018? The purpose of these cafes is “to increase awareness of the impact of the menopause on those experiencing it, their friends, colleagues and families, so that we can make conscious choices about this third stage of life.

A Menopause Cafe is a group directed discussion of menopause with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a support or counselling session. We usually split into small groups and you are welcome to just listen, although we hope you will join in on discussions.”

And building on the popularity and need for such events, there is actually going to be a Menopause Festival in 2019 also in the United Kingdom. It seems many activists live and work in the wonderful UK and if you do , and you think this is something you would be interested in, or know someone who would be, check it out here.

The Become company has created some awesome under garments that helps reduce hot flashes in 95% of women.

“Every single body that has ovaries is going to go through menopause. That’s just a fact.”

So say the remarkable duo of Sasha Davies and Nancy Nowacek who have created a guide to menopause because they realized that most of us have not been educated of this certain eventuality. You can donate to their kickstarter campaign and get yourself a copy.


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If you are in, or approaching, menopause I highly recommend this book.

It is a very witty and funny romp through one woman’s experience with “the menopause” that will find you laughing and commiserating with in equal measure.

Pick up your copy here.

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This helpful nonfiction tome

is written by a female doctor and the suggestions and information she provides promises to help you “breeze through menopause the natural way.”

If you like a great deal, this book can be had for less than a specialty coffee at your local coffeeshop by clicking here.

 


I learned about this special day, along with so much more, from my involvement with the Menstrual Heath Hub. If you world like to join this amazing organization I encourage you to watch their brief video and join us!

Well, the day is almost done but I hope you had a good one. I’ll leave you with this little joke that made me chuckle. It reminded me of a line from the above mentioned book ‘The Madwoman in the Volvo’ which I will paraphrase.

Menopause isn’t all bad. Now I can be just as selfish as everybody else!
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Menopause the Musical

I was fortunate enough to go to 'Menopause The Musical' this weekend and I enjoyed a laughingly good time. 

Before the show even began the producer, Mark Zimmerman, came onstage and asked if any audience member would be willing to share an antidote about their experience with menopause and if so, they would be rewarded for their fearlessness. One woman up on a second tier balcony close to where I was sitting stood up and shared that it was the unpredictability of her moods that most annoyed her, although she added the hot flashes were also bothersome. For her trouble, Mr. Zimmerman promised her a Menopod, an invention from an Ontario couple that recently was on Dragon's Den and won a deal with Arlene Dickenson (although it was later rejected by the entrepreneurs as not occurring at the right time). The Menopod is a computer mouse shaped device that cools down a woman suffering through hot flashes and has gained international sales and attention. It retails in Canada for $229.99 so this woman's fearlessness was generously rewarded. 

As you can imagine, the majority of the audience was comprised of women in their 40's and 50's. There were a few brave men there but they were greatly outnumbered, although undoubtedly learned a thing or two about the silent passage. 

The loose plot is simply four women of a certain age who meet during a sale at Bloomingdale's in New York City and form a bond over hot flashes and mood swings.  These characteristics are explored and celebrated throughout the brief 90 minute play.

The characters and actresses who portrayed them were:

                         Iowa Housewife, played by Janet Martin

                          Earth Mother, played by Nicole Robert

                          Professional Woman, played by Michelle E. White

                          Soap Star, played by Cherie Price

All the performers were fabulous although I most enjoyed the singing of Michelle E. White, especially her Tina Turner impersonation which was spot on and had me in stitches.

It is called a musical for a very good reason and that is that most of the time, apart from a few lines of dialogue that deftly transitioned between songs, the talented performers sing popular songs from the 50's and 60's with the lyrics changed to suit the theme. For example, they sing "In the guest room or on the sofa, my husband sleeps tonight" to the tune of 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight,  "My thigh" are the lyrics changed from that great Smokey Robinson song 'My Guy' and "I'm not a babe" instead of 'I Got You Babe' which was the original Sonny and Cher tune and addressed the menopausal women's relationships with their mothers. 

Most aspects of menopause were paid tribute to including the above mentioned mood swings, hot flashes along with weight gain, self-satisfaction (aka the use of vibrators), and memory loss. For the most part, these symptoms of the change were treated lightly and humorously and nothing in the entire performance was too serious. 

The ending was excellent, especially when the cast members went out into the audience and called for women who have gone through the change to join them in celebration onstage. Those who did were rewarded for their courage with a small pin to commemorate the occasion. I left with sore abs from laughing and a happy feeling of sisterhood which left me smiling, as did this t-shirt (pictured below) which I picked up from the merchandise table outside the theatre. 

If Menopause The Musical comes to a town near you, I would recommend it if you like musicals, laughter and female camaraderie. 

 

Menstruation in Game of Thrones

Like millions of people, I have recently become hooked on the formidable series 'Game of Thrones'. I find myself oftentimes amused at some of the menstruation references found therein. So much so, in fact, that I've made some GIF's to highlight their inclusion as major plot devices in this unpredictable and intense television show. 


 

This first set comes from Season 2, episode 5 "A Man Without Honor". 

In this episode Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) is mortified to discover upon waking from a nightmare that she has gotten her period for the first time.  Her mortification stems from the fact that now she is fit to be married to the evil King Joffrey. In medieval times, menarche was considered the turning point from girl to woman and thus once a girl began menstruating, she became eligible for marriage. 

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Sansa quickly jumps out of bed, nightgown stained with blood, to grab a knife from a nearby table.

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She then attempts to cut the bloodstain from the mattress. Her motive was to hide her blood from everyone in order to delay the marriage. It was all for naught though as the hound entered Sansa's room soon thereafter and saw the bloody evidence and quickly informed the Queen. 

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Later in the same episode, Queen Cersei (Lena Headey)  has a little talk with Sansa saying 

"You flowered my dear, no more."

"My mother told me but I thought it would be different."

"In what way?"

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Then, from Season 3, episode 7 'The Bear and the Maiden Fair' Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) are having a discussion as they walk towards the wall and Castle Black. Ygritte marvels at the masonry used to make a windmill. This prompts Jon to say:

"You'd be swooning if you saw the great keep at Winterfell."

"Swooning? What's swooning?"

"Fainting"

"What's fainting?"

"When a girl sees blood and collapses."

"Why would a girl see blood and collapse?"

"Well, not all girls are like you."

 

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In the same episode, Lady Olenna Tyrell (played by Diana Rigg) pays a visit to Tywin Lannaster (Charles Dance) to discuss the strategic wedding unions he has proposed between her grandson, Ser Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones) and his daughter, Queen Cersei. Tywin argues that he doesn't care that Loras is a "sword swallower". This prompts Lady Olenna to remark that Cersei is old.

"Old?" Tywin asks.

"Old." Lady Olenna responds. "I'm something of an expert on the subject. Her change will be upon her before long" she says, referencing the menopause. 

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Posted on May 12, 2014 and filed under news.