By Renee Smith
God is there in the panic, He is with us now, and He will be with us always – Lois Mowday Rabey
One night, I tuned into a segment on Facebook that was eye-opening for me. The topic was perimenopause as part of the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission’s Topic Thursday.
Though I am in my late 20s, I found the information valuable for myself. When that time rolls around I hope I may be prepared for a question I often hear older female relatives ask each other “What is happening to me?”.
It is interesting that many of the symptoms of perimenopause mirror the hormonal ups and downs of your teenage years like weight gain, irritability, insomnia and anxiety.
Pauline Phelps of the Billings Ovulation Method Association (BOMA-TT) led the discussion and shared that one of the first signs of perimenopause is a disruption of your menstrual cycle.
For many women, your period starts earlier or later than normal. For example, if your menstrual cycle has always been 28 days, during perimenopause, your period could come as early as 21 or as late as 35 days. Some women start skipping months entirely and then experience heavier-than-normal periods when they do have them.
Notably not every woman will experience symptoms and may “glide through the time”.
I appreciated that she described this period as a “great transition in a woman’s life” as it gives hope that there are ways to still enjoy life even though there are days you will feel miserably.
She urged women in this stage in life to “talk about their symptoms and feelings openly” not just to their health care provider but to their family even if they are males. “Men need to know about this too! Perimenopause and menopause symptoms should not be brushed off as insignificant”
1. Prayer – God is not exempt from this stage of our lives, call on Him.
2. Start by identifying what’s bothering you most and then working with a medical professional to address it.
3. Seeking advice can greatly improve one’s life which includes family life.
4. Get training – BOMA-TT hosts free online discussions. CLICK HERE