The True Purpose of Periods

What is the true purpose of periods? Many of us have reduced our idea of periods to mere function, a messy inconvenience whose only useful purpose is to reassure us that we are not pregnant, but there is so much more to our monthly menstrual cycle, which we are ignoring to the great detriment of all of us.

I recently read an article (1) by a physician on the benefits of taking the oral contraceptive pill continuously, rather than allowing for a monthly bleed, as has been done in the past.

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Premenstrual Syndrome – Prozac or making new Choices?

Many a conversation amongst women has been about Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). PMS is fairly common although exact statistics are hard to find as some symptoms of PMS are unreported. Women’s Health Concern (1) state that “One in three women suffers discomforting symptoms in the days before their period. For one in 20 the symptoms are bad enough to more seriously affect their lives.” Premenstrual Syndrome can have various symptoms (2) including irritability, tiredness, depression, mood swings, night sweats, bloating, anxiety, breast pain.

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My Journey with my Periods – Discovering Cycles 

It has been nearly 7 years since my first period at the age of 13 and since then I have been on an amazing journey in my relationship with myself as a woman. During those years there were many changes taking place – it is generally known and accepted that puberty is a big time for teenagers as their physical body and hormones shift, but with the support of Esoteric Women’s Health and Universal Medicine practitioners, this time has been far more than a biological change for me – it has been an amazing journey where I have blossomed from a girl into a woman. Continue reading “My Journey with my Periods – Discovering Cycles “

Finding the Gift in Menopause

Exploring how women in the past and in other cultures have approached menopause was fascinating to me, and I used it as a guide to open up and deepen my own experience.

Part of continuing to expand my understanding of menopause meant, for me, finding simple ways to keep it real and maintain lightness. I tend to learn more when I don’t get hooked into an intensity of trying to absorb knowledge and information. It has to make sense in my body so I can experience the feeling and mark that as a learning point to use as my guide to evolving. One of the examples of this was my choice associated with experiencing the hot flushes.

I decided to rename “hot flushes” as “my meeting with the Elders”.

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Menopause, Motherhood and Ageing: Discarding the Ideals and Discovering True Beauty

I recently became aware how the ideals of motherhood and related beliefs have an enormous longevity and persistence in women and girls of all ages, and can even affect how we enter and experience menopause.

I have observed girls and women from ages 12 to 50 make the possibility and reality of motherhood the focus of their lives: their sole purpose of being a woman. The number of women seeking fertility treatments has skyrocketed over the last two decades as the desire, and often desperation, to have a child kicks in, with the promise of motherhood and a complete family. In truth, and perhaps, surprisingly, this motherhood ideal continues after menopause.

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Menopause: a Deeper Connection to Myself as a Woman

My journey into menopause began as I started noticing and feeling certain changes in my physical body: my shape rounded slightly around my hips and lower abdomen, and there came a series of what felt like a volcanic heat erupting in my body, particularly from the chest upwards. These sweats would come and go quite quickly in duration but vary in their intensity as well as their frequency. At times the heat felt prickly and all consuming, and at other moments it was a feeling of letting go, with a quality of freedom. There were intermittent feelings of frustration, with a yearning to understand more of what was going on inside me. I found I experienced varying degrees of feeling light and heavy within my body throughout the months, and the cycles of no bleeding became longer and longer until a year had passed with no period.

What I am describing here are only some of the physical changes I began noticing. But there is more to menopause than just the physical symptoms.

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Me and my Menstrual Cycle: Connecting to my Body and Myself as a Woman

I am a 43 year-young woman and for most of my life I have had no relationship with my menstrual cycle. At some point, I found out that there was such a thing as ‘menstruation’ and at the age of 14, wearing white pants on that particular day (how convenient…), it started for me in the toilet at school. I had my first menstruation and I had no idea what to do. I felt awkward and embarrassed, especially because it was on a day that my father picked me up and suggested we go for a long walk with the dogs. That was the longest walk of my life. I asked my two older sisters for support and I was introduced into the world of sanitary pads. And having my monthly period.

And so my life continued…

At the age of 16 I had my first boyfriend and my mother suggested taking the pill. Not because I had difficulties with my period, but for birth control. After that, for many years to follow, and having several relationships, I took the pill, had my monthly ‘fake’ menstruation, put in a tampon (so much more convenient than those big sanitary towel ‘mattresses’), and I lived my life; A life without any connection to my cycle, my body, my uterus, my ovaries, my breasts, my menstruation, my ovulation – in other words, to the fact that I was a woman, with a menstrual cycle.

I never took a moment to ask myself what it actually means to be a woman, let alone what it means to live as a woman.

Continue reading “Me and my Menstrual Cycle: Connecting to my Body and Myself as a Woman”

Dysmenorrhoea (Painful periods) and the Joy of Coming back to Me

Dysmenorrhoea is a medical term used in association with periods to describe frontal low pelvic pain.

Soon after my first period started I began to get severe pain most, if not every month. Usually within 3 to 4 hours of starting I would be on the floor with sickness and diarrhoea from the contractions in my womb. It would only last a few hours but the intensity was crazy.

I would make noises like a woman having a baby; I would scream, shout, swear and I would roll about the floor like a possessed (mad) woman. I could quickly go from feeling boiling hot and sweating to freezing cold and hugging a hot water bottle – this between hugging the toilet and hugging a sick bowl. Continue reading “Dysmenorrhoea (Painful periods) and the Joy of Coming back to Me”

Menopause and Me – A New Chapter in life, Listening to My Body and Making Wiser Choices

I was truly inspired after reading the blog My Reincarnation through the Menopause by Susan Lee. I couldn’t agree more that there is definitely a life afterwards, and that older women are not ‘over the hill’, or ‘invisible’!

The Change

I am a woman of 61, and I went through the menopause about 9 years ago at aged 52. I am married and had my 2 children in my 30s. In my 40s I was very curious to know what to expect from both a physical and emotional standpoint, it seemed a rather bleak outlook with nothing much to look forward to after ‘The Change’. I even went to a conference on menopause with experts speaking on different topics, like HRT, and I reflected to myself asking, “Isn’t menopause just a natural and normal event in a woman’s reproductive cycle and not a disease?”  Continue reading “Menopause and Me – A New Chapter in life, Listening to My Body and Making Wiser Choices”

My Reincarnation through the Menopause

My menopause began when I was 47 years old and this was at a point in my life when everything was changing. My marriage had come to an end and my daughter and my son were preparing to leave home. Little did I know at that time that this was just the beginning of life, and that I was about to be reincarnated. I use the word ‘reincarnated’ because that is how it feels in retrospect – as though:

All that I had been before was a shadow of the woman I am today.

I am now 69 and the intervening years have been a gradual unfoldment from a point where I felt discarded and where:

I had no concept of how it would be to live life without the recognition of being needed. Continue reading “My Reincarnation through the Menopause”