I was chatting with a new business owner and I had mentioned something about feeling ill and not knowing what it could be. She said she felt the same way, and then we realized we were both the same age, 51.
Is this the onset of menopause or long-Covid? Are we depressed or are our hormones fluctuating from menopause or is this attitude a legitimate and natural reaction to all of the social and political problems and bad news we are having? We laughed the laugh of gallows humor as we waded through all the dreadful possibilities that were equally likely for explaining our experience.
What a time to be a 50-something year old woman. If you have kids at home, like the business owner I met, then you get to add raising kids in the time of Covid to the mix.
It is tough to be a woman in a culture that is squeamish about understanding the female body and in a society that makes torturous demands on the female psyche. How can it prepare us to enter the phase of life only people with uteruses get to experience? Well, buckle up buttercup, because society has bupkis for us.
That's why we have to figure it out for ourselves. A great way to start is to get the body and mind to communicate better. Fortunately, Kegelbell helps us connect with a part of our body that we disconnected to years ago. This could be due to trauma, neglect, culture teaching us to ignore and even have disdain for our pelvic floor and what it does (pee, poop, orgasm, birth babies). They're all essential to a healthy life and when they go wrong, we suffer, not just physically but also mentally.
Menopause is tough on our mental health for so many reasons, and we're going to explore some a few of the main reasons this month. This is primarily due to the fluctuation of hormones can cause changes in our feeling and outlook.
Some of the symptoms can include:
- Lack of hormones means we have to work out more often to get the results that used to come more easily.
- Laxity due to being pregnant and changes in muscle tone.
- Vaginal dryness due to weak pelvic floor muscles.
- Leakage due to muscle weakness, resulting in less muscle control. This can result urine, gas, or feces leakage.
Any one of these symptoms can cause alarm, and during menopause women can experience any number of them. We eventually avoid doing things we love for fear it could trigger an accident. No more drinking wine and dancing with the girls? No more laughing hard at jokes? No more exercising in public? No more romantic dates? These are things women tell me they stop doing because of pelvic problems related to menopause, and having these dramatic changes in lifestyle is upsetting.
That's why we need to focus on fixing the root cause of symptoms and connecting with our bodies is the best way to approach menopause. While there are support systems, menopause is a deeply personal experience, so you have to depend on yourself to get through it the best way possible.