As pre-teens we are taught about puberty and are prepared for it, but menopause is shrouded in secrecy and a stigma of aging and is rarely talked about. When we do hear about it, often people only talk about the symptoms, but there is so much more to menopause then what your body is physically going through. Check out how we are busting the aging stigma and sharing our 6 positive effects of menopause below.
Disclosure: This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own
Family History of Early Menopause
My parents have always been the “young” parents…10-15 years younger than most of my friends parents. My mom told me that she knew she wanted to have babies early because in her family, the baby having years are very limited and I should keep that in mind. I think I pushed that to the side and honestly, didn’t think much of it until I was 28 with 2 kids and starting to notice some bigger issues with my body then I was used to.
I always had heavy periods. When my friends would have 3-5 day light periods, I would have 7-10 day ones and they were heavy and awful, but for me that was normal. After having our last child, my body never recovered. It was almost like my postpartum bleeding never stopped and that is when my mom’s voice and words of wisdom about baby having years came to mind.
I began talking with my mom, my grandma, my aunts and realized quickly that what was beginning to happen to my body was going to be a VERY long and rough road of menopause. My mom and grandma were done with menopause at 39 and 40 respectively. I was 29 when my body began pre-menopause. At 32, at the advice of my OB, I had a full hysterectomy and with that my body quickly began menopause.
Positive Effects Of Menopause
When women begin researching menopause, often they search the symptoms (currently I am dealing with 25 of the 34 most common) and then they start focusing on all the negative aspects to menopause and dreading this phase. Well, let me tell you, menopause has honestly been great for me and many other women who are going or have been through it. Here are the top 6 positive effects of menopause that you can look forward to.
1. No More Periods!
Obvious right, but seriously, the most free I have felt in my entire life has been these years where I have not had a period to deal with. I lived my life by my horrendous cycle prior to menopause and now, I hardly bat an eye at wearing certain clothing, going to places with an eye on the restroom and making sure my purse was big enough to hold an army’s supply of feminine products. My periods used to dictate my life and I regained that control and it feels amazing.
2. Money Saver
Periods are expensive and you guys, I spent money on every period product out there. Pads, tampons, cups, period panties, you name it, I had it and I was spending a small fortune on that. Well, no more of those Pink Tax products for me, money saver!
3. Self Care Focus
In these menopausal years, I have found that I am focused more on my personal self-care. In talking with other menopausal women, they also feel this way and we are all taking more active roles in our health care and routine visits. I feel healthier and more in tune with my body and my emotions now, then I felt since I started my period at 12 years old. I am more in tune with my body, what it needs, how to address it and I am keeping up on those routine appointments and make sure that my body is prepared for this next phase of life.
4. Pregnancy Fears Gone
Yup, I said it and I mean it. My kids are 6 and 9 right now and the thought of having another baby is far far far from our minds…thankfully no pregnancy fears here and you have no idea how awesome that feels. 100% confidence that I am not going to be pregnant makes sex much more enjoyable and there is no stress following.
5. Adios PMS
Sure the insomnia and fatigue suck, but NOTHING about menopause sucks as much as PMS did. One of my students today actually commented about how she had to be hospitalized for her cramps and and all I could think was, I have barely any recollection of how horrible PMS is because I have had 2 blissful years sans, cramps, bloating, muscle aches, back pain and other awful PMS symptoms.
6. Mood Booster
I am in such a better mood then I ever was before menopause. I feel sure of who I am, what I am doing, what I want in life and living with the fact that I do not have to plan my life around a period or pregnancy has done wonders for my psyche. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that I had cycles that allowed me to have children and those babies are my world, but my periods were awful and I was firmly done after our 4th pregnancy but only 2nd live birth. I am happier than I have ever been and menopause truly has been a lifesaver for me.
Menopause Awareness Month!
September is menopause awareness month and coming up on October 18th is World Menopause Day. As a “young” woman going through menopause and having this platform to share with other women, I feel that is is so important that we support each other and talk about the stigma around aging and the shame and secrecy around menopause.
Menopause is not scary, it is not something to hide. It is something we should flaunt. It does not signify that we are no longer youthful, in fact it gives us more power and control over our lives and allows women to feel free and empowered. I hope more women feel this empowerment and that we are able to change the conversations around menopause to ones of positivity and excitement. It truly has been a life changing and wonderful experience for me and many others that I know.