Life, Menopause, My Book, Writing

Not My Mother’s Menopause- Appendix


I haven’t had a yearly physical since I was in the thick of perimenopause in 2018. My new doctor (who works for the same health system as my previous one) was listing all of my old symptoms from my chart:

Do you still get vertigo?

No.

How about panic attacks?

No.

Heart palpitations?

No.

Migraines every other day?

No.

Chest pain?

No.

She made eye contact with me, and I responded, “perimenopause,” to which she nodded.

Two days after my appointment, I stumbled upon this article:

Menopause: Bereaved husband urges men to spot mental health signs – BBC News


Linda committed suicide because of fear about the pandemic, but menopausal depression was at the root of it all.

Her husband said, “I didn’t know there were all these other symptoms…I honestly thought the menopause was you got a bit warm and had a few moods and then when I saw the program highlighting suicide it all came together.”

It’s embarrassing how many articles popped up when I entered menopause and suicidal thoughts into my search engine. Why aren’t we talking about this more?

If you are nearing the middle of your life and are having suicide thoughts, you are not alone. I urge you to discuss this matter with someone. There is no shame in having these feelings, especially considering the shitshow that is our current existence in America. 

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

In The Lead Up To Menopause, Depression And Anxiety Can Spike : Shots – Health News : NPR

Perimenopausal depression: we really need to talk

Perimenopause Shouldn’t Feel Like Dying: 11 Tips for Relief

Perimenopausal depression – an under-recognised entity

I’d like to add that magnesium is an underrated resource for menopausal relief. I cannot encourage magnesium supplements strongly enough, so talk to your doctor about which type and dose would be appropriate for you.

As always, here are some interesting reads:

12 Magnesium Health Benefits

Hormone therapy: Is it right for you? – Mayo Clinic

Women are unprepared for menopause and want more education

Male MPs recreate menopause in hot flush vest – then can’t wait to take it off

What Happens to Uterine Fibroids After Menopause? – Cleveland Clinic

Once a Taboo Topic, Menopause Is (Finally) Having Its Wellness Moment

Menopause is not a disease. Experts call for new narrative for this natural stage of a woman’s life – CNN

And here is the Appendix to my book:


APPENDIX A

Questions to ask your gynecologist as you approach PERI-menopause

-Can I get pregnant during perimenopause?

-Do I need to continue using birth control throughout perimenopause?

-(If applicable in your state) How does the Roe v. Wade decision effect me and any future procedures I may have?

-(If you are not on birth control) Can birth control help with perimenopausal symptoms?

-How do birth control and hormone replacement vary in terms of alleviating perimenopausal symptoms?

-How would Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) affect my perimenopause if I have it?

-Is hormone therapy right for me? 

-Are there any natural supplements I could use if hormone treatment isn’t an option?

-Will perimenopause affect my anxiety and depression?

-Do you have a list of therapists you might recommend?

-Do I still need to see a gynecologist once my period has ended? 

-Can you recommend any perimenopause support groups?

-When am I officially in menopause? 


Appendix B

Questions to ask your gynecologist as you approach MENO-pause 

-What symptoms might I anticipate to have once I enter menopause? How long can these symptoms last?

-What menopausal symptoms might I have if I’ve had a hysterectomy?

– Can I still get a period during menopause?

-How long will my perimenopause symptoms continue now that I’m in menopause?

-Can I use any non-traditional medications to help me feel better throughout menopause?

-Can I stop using birth control now that I’m in menopause? Is there any possibility I’ll become pregnant?

-Will I still require pap smears?

-When can I stop seeing the gynecologist?



Appendix C

Where to find a Menopause Practitioner or Specialist

If you are in menopause and searching for a new gynecologist, I recommend visiting the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) website and looking for a Menopause Practitioner. They are menopause-specialized gynecologists or physician assistants. Go to the website and search for a Menopause Practitioner near you by entering your zip code.

*For convenience, I linked to the precise section of the website. This was written for a book that didn’t allow for a link. 🙂


Appendix D

Where to find support during perimenopause and menopause

Meetup.com 

-Groups on social media- Look for phrases like “menopause support” or a specific symptom you’re experiencing.

-Find a local group near you by talking with your gynecologist or therapist.

North American Menopause Society website

Menopause Chit Chat

Peanut (an app)

Red Hot Mamas

Menopause Matters Forum (based in the UK)

Side note- The UK has THE best supportive network for menopause. America needs to take a hint. They conduct genuine in-person gatherings where people may meet and discuss their menopausal issues. Almost every support group, article, and so on is from the United Kingdom. We are so far behind.

Here is one example.


Appendix E

Here are a few legitimate sites for finding medical information online, courtesy of Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Medline Plus/ medlineplus.gov

Center for Disease Control/ cdc.gov

Mayo Clinic Health Information/ mayoclinic.com/health-information

Merck Manuals/ merckmanuals.com

National Network of Libraries of Medicine Consumer Health Outreach Resources/ nnlm.gov


Appendix F

Recommended Books on Perimenopause/Menopause

The Menopause Manifesto: Own Your Health with Facts and Feminism by Jen Gunter, M.D.

The Slow Moon Climbs: The Science, History, and Meaning of Menopause by Susan P. Mattern

The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing During the Change by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Flash Count Diary: Menopause and the Vindication of Natural Life by Darcey Steinke


The end.

Phew.

30 thoughts on “Not My Mother’s Menopause- Appendix”

  1. So interesting, my OBGYN just suggested that I take magnesium. I haven’t gotten around to picking any up, but I just saw her in early June. I’m a slow learner, or slow responder. Note to self: put it at the top of your Amazon list. The story of the woman who ended her life is so incredibly heart breaking.

    You’ve done so much research, Kari. The book looks great. I love the title and the cover art. Best of luck getting it published.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I have another benefit of taking magnesium. During perimenopause, I began developing a lot of cysts and calcifications in my breasts. Went through numerous ultrasounds over the years, until after I hit menopause, it grew worse and I had microcalcifications, which are considered highly suspect for cancer. I had to have 4 core needle biopsies in 2019, which thankfully all came back benign. The doctors all told me there was nothing I could do to prevent getting the calcifications. . . .

    I turned to the internet, which for the most part agreed with the doctors. But I did find in the comments somewhere along the way that a few people mentioned taking magnesium. I’m NOT a supplement person, having researched what a scam most herbal remedies are, as well as most people just having expensive urine after taking vitamins. However, I was desperate.

    I began taking 300 mgs magnesium per day and would you believe I’ve had 3 years of totally clear mammograms??? It’s possible it’s coincidence, but I’m not taking any chances, so will continue my regimen.

    Thanks for your wonderful list of resources!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s fascinating because I have “lumpy” breasts, which are inherited from my mother’s side of the family. As a result, I had to get my first mammogram at the age of 38. I’ve had so many scares and biopsies; my grandmother had to have a breast removed! So it sounds quite similar to what I have. I realize how terrifying that must have been for you, but thank God for technological advancements over the years.

      I’m not a supplement person, either; magnesium is the only one I take. 🙂

      You’re welcome! ❤️

      Like

  3. Giggling at your PHEW.
    You put so much heart into this book! Bravo to you.
    I had no idea about the perimenopause/suicide connection. That is terribly sad.
    I visited a few of the links; well done my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😂

      I heard about a woman who’d never had mental health issues talking about how her hormones provoked suicidal thoughts around the time I started writing my book. Perimenopause was such a dark time for me (mental health wise), and I never imagined it was caused by hormones. I assumed it was due to anxiety and depression. I never thought about my hormones…

      That was the beginning of my book-writing journey, and it’s also the reason I’m so passionate to share it on my blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such an important conversation, thank you, Kari.
    Magnesium really does help so many things! I noticed a difference after supplementing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so well researched and written! I wish I had’ve known a lot of this before I was menopausal, so I’m sure you are going to be a big help to other women out there. Magnesium definitely helps with a lot of things, including sleep. I’ve been taking it for several years. There’s different forms of it though and some aren’t easily digestible. I take the malate form as that tends to be the easiest form to digest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I’d known all of this while I was going through perimenopause. 😂

      Magnesium information can be really confusing! I’m glad you discovered what works for you. I know that seeing results takes time. Did you find this as well?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Honestly, I don’t know if magnesium has helped with my sleep and other things, too. I take other supplements as well, plus Prozac.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ll chime in with others who’ve commented: You’ve done so much research and have put together such good resources. I’m wondering if you’ve ever read What Doesn’t Kill You by Tessa Miller? It’s her first person account of dealing with her chronic illness. She’s not a medical expert; she’s a writer first. It might provide a helpful model for a way of combining personal experience with useful information, without anyone expecting you to be a medical expert. Just a thought…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never heard of it, but I’m going to add it right after commenting. Any book written from the standpoint of a chronic illness warrior has my full attention. Thank you so much for introducing me to her. 😘

      Liked by 1 person

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