Periods And Menopause - What You Need To Know by Eleanor Luxton
Recent years have seen a boom in period activism and positivity, but it sometimes feels like we haven’t seen a comparative shift in the taboos surrounding the menopause. Although it’s becoming more socially acceptable to discuss, aided by the likes of Davina McCall, knowledge about the menopause can be rooted in shameful images of sweaty women, tossing and turning at night, as they undergo the mysterious “change”. Therefore, in this article, we discuss indicators that the menopause might be on its way, what to expect from your new menstrual cycle, and how FabLittleBag might be one of the solutions you need.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause
The key thing to mention when talking about menopause is that it can feel different for everyone. Much like with periods, whilst some women may exhibit multiple symptoms, others may feel relatively unaffected. Symptoms can last anywhere from months to years and may change a lot over time – they tend to start between the mid-40s and mid-50s, but some women experience them much earlier or later. The first sign of the perimenopause – which occurs as your body and hormone levels slowly transition into menopause – is usually increased irregularity in your periods. You might notice this naturally, or track it with the help of an app.
Perimenopause And Mental Health
The perimenopause is therefore synonymous with what most of us consider to be the menopause, with notable impacts on sleep, memory, and concentration. It’s vital that we highlight the mental health impacts of the perimenopause, since it often occurs at a time when women are bearing the demands of children leaving home, ageing parents and increased responsibility at work. As a result, anxiety, depression and mood swings may be more likely to occur. This means that it is vital to speak to your GP if you’re suffering from these symptoms, as options such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), antidepressants and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help. For some women natural options (like altering diet) can help with symptoms, for others, they don’t touch it!
What Are The Last Periods Like Before The Menopause?
We can’t be prescriptive when talking about the perimenopause, but there are some changes to the menstrual cycle which women can look out for. Whilst spotting between periods may become more common for some women (as it is for many of us prior to perimenopause), others suffer with abnormally heavy or long bleeds. The colour and texture of menstrual blood and discharge may change as women’ hormone levels shift too, as may the length of your cycle (whose cycle is exactly 28 days long anyway?!). Indeed, some women miss cycles altogether, or may exhibit all these things during their time in the perimenopause.
These symptoms are also likely to look different if you are trans, or suffer from conditions like endometriosis and PCOS, and those using hormonal contraception which stops periods may be unaware that they are entering perimenopause at all. If you’re concerned about your bleeding pattern, consider keeping a period journal, as this will help your GP to work out what treatment you need, and check out our previous blog post on managing heavy periods here.
How Could FabLittleBag Help Me During Menopause?
The uncertainty of menopause can be incredibly difficult to deal with, but FabLittleBag provides a reliable solution for hygienically disposing of pads and tampons, or storing used period underwear and menstrual cups until they can be cleaned. Our discreet and sustainably-sourced bags can be tucked away in a pocket until needed, providing a more eco-friendly and mess-free solution to your inconsistent menopausal bleeds. You can even use our bags to store emergency supplies of medications or sanitary products, just in case. If you encounter heavy periods, and are having to change tampons and pads very frequently, FabLittleBags is there to make binning better.
FabLittleBag helps to make your menopause journey just that bit calmer and more relaxed, allowing you to feel in control.
By your friendly fabber