Blood, Sweat and Tears…. I have chosen this name for my blog because it really is like this at times, especially this week. Some of the subjects I may cover in this blog may seem a little ‘out there’, but there is no point sugar-coating the truth. At times I feel quite vulnerable and embarrassed about what’s been happening during this menopause. But do you know what? I shouldn’t be. This is real, I am real.
HRT, I cannot begin to describe the rollercoaster this has been over the last month and a half. During the first week I had never quite felt pain like it. The discomfort in and around my womb at times seemed ridiculous. It can only be described as the devil playing ping-pong between my ovaries and in between them my womb is trying to push its way out of me in fear. It bloody hurt! I took a trip to the pharmacy where the pharmacist had never heard of the HRT I am on (helpful..) and recommended ‘Feminax extra strength’. So £5 later I leave with what I am hoping to be my saviour, they worked briefly and then just completely wore off. Hopefully they work better for others.
Other side effects I have had are extremely sore and swollen breasts. I am sure a lot of women would love to have swollen bigger boobs, but when they are so tender it makes simple things like wearing a bra and lying down quite difficult trust me it becomes a real burden. The one side effect I possibly hate the most is the water retention. This makes my whole body feel bloated, my legs in particular, they feel heavy, like I have weights strapped to them all of the time. My appetite too has changed a lot, I do not look forward to food and I don’t feel like eating all those foods that usually I love so much, like nachos! To be honest, this may benefit me in the long run regarding my weight (hopefully) however, I have also been informed that oestrogen is stored in the fat in your body, so If the body isn’t producing it naturally it may store whatever it can, thus making it difficult to lose fat. At least I have had many answers now, for all of those unanswered questions I had regarding my weight etc. But, studies also show that HRT can make you put on weight. FML.
You have got to be kidding me?
Guess what happened to be on Tuesday. I started my period. I finished work at 6 having put up with pains all day, came home to get ready for rounders and boom there it was. WTF. I was a little shocked to say the least because obviously menopause usually means that periods stop, mine actually did. The HRT I am taking is manipulating my body into having periods, it does suggest this may happen in the information booklet that comes with the HRT, but I don’t want it. I know there are other types of HRT that do not give you periods so I will soon be requesting that, which is a shame because the rest of my symptoms are much better.
So, what is so bad about having a period? Don’t all women have them? If I did not have menopause and premature ovarian insufficiency, then I would still have them anyway right? So what’s the problem?
The problem is this, for me personally seeing the blood from my period has sent me into this downward spiral of emotions. It’s fact that the uterus lining gets prepared for a fertilised egg ready for when a woman becomes pregnant. If the egg does not get fertilised then the blood gets released, therefore women have a period. I am not producing any eggs, my ovaries aren’t working and I am infertile. In fact during my last examination I was told that for some reason my left ovary wasn’t visible and my right ovary is extremely small measuring around 12mm, 12mm! The average size of an ovary is 3.5cm. Also, the average size of a woman’s womb is similar to the size of a pear. Mine is the size of a prune, which the specialist explained is not normal and is no way a suitable environment to conceive anyway. It appears to be shrinking so I am still awaiting tests and results to find out more.
Anyway, the reason that I don’t want this period is because it reminds me of all of this. It is a visual of all of the internal problems that are happening. It’s my body saying “Hey you, you know you can’t have kids right? You know that you have all these symptoms going on right? Well it is your lucky day because on top of everything, we are going to give you a period, along with really painful cramps and guess what, it doesn’t mean anything, the function of your period means nothing, but have a good day”
I hadn’t really processed the never being able to have children part of all this, mainly because I have not settled down and in that stage of my life yet. But the option is gone and when this period came it was like a kick in the teeth. My body is faking a preparation for something that can never happen and it is sad. Who would ever chose to have periods anyway? They can represent so much for women I know, but they are also a burden and I have always said that if there was one good thing to come from all of this, it is that I don’t have to have a period ever again, hence my shock when I discovered otherwise. Isn’t it interesting though that some women long for their periods to end whilst others may pray for their periods to continue, due to fear of the ‘change’ and all that comes with it.
I am still trying to seek answers as to why this has happened to me, both medically and logically. Maybe I will never know. All I do know is that somehow I still have to try to embrace this journey in my life. And if I can raise awareness or even just support one other person who may be going through this or similar, then that is enough for me.
On the plus side the hot flushes have significantly reduced, hooray! And I haven’t long returned from a fabulous holiday that was much-needed!
Please keep in touch, let me know what you all think of the blogs, if they help, if they don’t, if they make an interesting read or not etc. If there’s anything at all you want to know more about or would like more info about HRT or the menopause please ask.
And of course, all advice and words of encouragement are welcome!
Until next time.