Do you take hormones?
—But do you have any menopause symptoms or discomfort?
I had to admit I had them all, and because of that old study about breast cancer being caused by HRT (Hormones Replacement Therapy), I simply ignored them.
But that study has been debunked many times by now, and my friend suggested I go to my gynecologist and reconsider my decision.
Women have so much more control of their health than they think
This is the opening sentence of a podcast I listened to recently, where Professor Annice Mukherjee , a leading U.K. endocrinologist and the author of the bestselling book: The Complete Guide To Menopause.
I listened to it and found it very informative. I also dug a bit into recent literature and decided to go for a visit. In my case, HRT was the answer. But as you can imagine, there is no one size fit all answer.
The menopause paradox
On one hand, there has never been a better time in history to be a woman, with greater equality and better treatment options for symptoms, yet at the same time more women are struggling with their midlife health than ever before. That happens for different reasons. For example, we have children later than before, so we often hit menopause while they are teenagers. Or we have very demanding careers and family lives that keep us very busy. All that makes being a middle age woman challenging.
Personally I feel I am having a spiritual menopause: ageing is making me less interested in luxury and status symbols, or in the society rewards I always was interested in. I am starting to develop reverse bucket lists where I state what I don’t need anymore, I spend more time in nature, etc.
But if I also look at what I’m doing – managing a family of 5 to 7 people (depending on the presence of refugees!) and dog, running tough marathons, having a blog, writing for magazines, going to events, enjoying life with a lot of fun and meaningful moments and some personal growth, well, I have to admit I am doing great. When I go to a new hotel to write a review and check the site with staff members, for example, I often find I climb the stairs with no effort or walk uphill more easily than them. Or maybe I go to the supermarket and walk out carrying two packages of 6 bottles of water, my bag and some food with my hands, just to save time and not take the trolley, because carrying all this doesn’t bother me at all. Or I get in and out of the car with a little jump and lots of energy. Or I simply think that I love my life, my sexual life, and my friendships.
How to do it
Love, movement, natural light, nature, sleep, good food…these are all things I try to tackle as much as possible, without going crazy if one day I am doing it all wrong. I have two books to suggest for reading the latest research and findings about this subject, both in medicine and psychology.
The second one is From Strength to Strength, by Arthur Brooks.
These two books are obviously for men and women, especially for ambitious people (like me) that want to have a high quality of life.
So happy reading and happy badass years – I am sure that, if you made it that far to read this blogpost, you are a badass too!