Advocate Persistently

Everyone tells you about the hot flashes. But no one, not even other women, tells you about all the other stuff that comes with perimenopause. The hot flashes are nothing compared to the increased anxiety, stomach issues, and mood swings. Those make me feel like a crazy person. They say the best way to determine when you’ll be done with this hellhole is by when your mother or sisters were done. Both my mom and my sister were done at 54. I don’t think I can do four more years of this!

Before you start quoting, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Yes, I’m aware, and believe me, I cry out to God frequently, but I wish people had told me about this. Is it because doctors just throw pills at you when you mention your symptoms but don’t explain why you might find yourself seriously anxious even though you did not struggle with it through most of your life? Not that pills are bad. I highly suggest pills if perimenopause is disrupting your everyday life, but no one says, “Based on your age, there is a strong possibility this is being caused by perimenopause.” My female doctor never even said the word, and even to this day has not mentioned it. I had to google it like a 5th grader curious about where babies come from.

I started reading about all these other women who were experiencing the same symptoms and the same noninformation from the medical professionals. I went for two years experiencing intense depression and anxiety before my periods to then just kind of experiencing it all the time on a lower level. I started having acid reflux. I started lashing out one minute and feeling like crying the next. I brought these issues separately to my doctor, and not one mention of perimenopause, which makes me wonder if this is not taught in medical school.

I actually do love my doctor so I won’t switch, but I will look for a gynecologist who recognizes perimenopause symptoms and encourages solutions. As women, we have to advocate for ourselves loudly and persistently in order to be heard. So it’s high time I do so.


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