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?
How about panic attacks?
Migraines every other day?
She made eye contact with me, and I responded, “perimenopause,” to which she nodded.
Two days after my appointment, I stumbled upon this article:
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.
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:
And here is the Appendix to my book:
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?
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?
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. 🙂
Where to find support during perimenopause and menopause
-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.
Peanut (an app)
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.
Here are a few legitimate sites for finding medical information online, courtesy of Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
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