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BBC Radio Kent/Sussex – My lockdown and journey with progesterone sensitivity.

Progesterone sensitivity?

I for one, was not expecting this to happen to myself during lockdown.

A trip to A&E with regards to my hormones!!

It came all of a sudden and was a big shock which has really derailed me, physically and emotionally.

After trying various forms of HRT, last year I was fitted with a HRT implant. It appeared to be working, I had a feeling it had stopped working and was told it had not been working since November 2019.

I had taken a break from HRT to reset my body as advised by my Consultant. This was manageable, albeit with some minor symptoms. It was just before the time that lockdown arrived that my insomnia and various other menopause symptoms reappeared. It was agreed that I should start with some HRT again. A regime of patches and a new progesterone that I had not tried before called Provera.

I had been experiencing spotting since November 2019, which I had been relaying all my symptoms with my consultant,

I then started with HRT and all seemed well, I could feel some improvement.

I felt good and I could feel a difference to my overall wellbeing.

Everything appeared normal, the spotting had stopped. After taking the progesterone, there was no bleeding. I simply put this down to having had so much spotting of blood previously that there was going to be no bleed caused by the progesterone for the month of April 2020.

A week or so after taking Provera, I suddenly became very cold, I could not get warm and became white in colour. The following day I was extremely tired and feeling out of sorts, not myself, but I put this down to the current lockdown environment of being stuck at home and the stress affecting me.

I was awoken during the early hours of the following morning with the most excruciating pain along the right side of my body that radiated down my right leg. The pain came in a crescendo of waves and was making me feel physically sick. I immediately took strong painkillers to ease the pain. This took some time to work and I then felt ok to carry on with my day as usual.

By mid morning around 11am I was unable to stand, talk or think the pain again came in waves of incredible pain. I called my Doctor to ask what was happening to me? I had never experienced so much pain and the bleeding which had now started was becoming very heavy.

My Doctor arranged painkillers and medication to help me with the pain and bleeding. I was exhausted and weak, I could not think straight, concentrate or move around. I remained in bed for three days. I was totally bed ridden by this sudden traumatic pain and heavy bleeding.

After four days the bleeding subsided as did the pain and I was starting to feel somewhat better. Later that day during a phone call to a friend, I became very teary and emotional. Very sudden and unlike me? After our conversation ended I stood up from the floor and there in front of me was a puddle of blood on the floor. I had started to bleed and had soaked through my underwear, sanitary ware and clothes.

I immediately went to the bathroom to change, at this stage I passed a large clot which then put me into a state of shock. What was happening to me?

Thankfully my friend called be back to check in on me as it was very unlike me to get so teary. Once I told her what had happened she told me to call 111 straight away.

After talking to the Nurse during my phone call with 111 I was advised to go straight to my local A&E dept. I could not make sense of what was happening to me at all. I was coping ok the best that I could considering lockdown and in the midst of the pandemic. How could my hormones be doing this to me now?

I felt so dreadful that I knew I had to go to hospital to be checked over. It was a very strange journey as I was not sure if I was going to be kept in hospital, if I needed an operation if I would come out of hospital? What if I caught coronavirus? How could my body be doing this to me at this time.

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You can only enter A&E on your own currently because of covid-19.

I was feeling so weak and very unwell that I felt I needed someone with me, I was treated very professionally and with care from the health care professionals.

My blood was taken and tested, I was asked if I was pregnant!

To be pretty sure this was not on my radar!

I had a stern talking with myself during my journey to the hospital, that if I needed to have an operation that night, then so be it.

My blood count and blood tests came back ok, I was not allowed to be admitted to hospital because of Covid-19. I was told that the HRT implant had made my womb lining very thick and that I was possibly sensitive to progesterone.

I was relieved to be leaving hospital and I just wanted to be rid of the heavy bleeding and just to feel better again.

I felt that my body had really let me down and I still have no idea as to why it has decided to do this now especially during corona virus.

I was then actually terrified of taking any more tablets/HRT to ease the bleeding. I had to take it to help me feel better. It has made me feel better.

I do not know where my menopause journey will now take me, whether it will be a mirena coil or a hysterectomy. I had never heard of progesterone sensitivity before and do not know how it is treated for women and I wanted to share my story with you and to raise more awareness for women about this symptom.

I will keep you updated of my journey and share with you my findings and information if you suffer from progesterone sensitivity also.

Talking to BBC Radio Sussex & Surrey with Allison Ferns radio presenter – Lockdown and managing perimenopause/menopause symptoms.

I was asked to join Allison Ferns to talk about managing perimenopause and menopause symptoms during lockdown. Allison and the team made me feel very welcome and it was good fun to join in the conversation, helping to make a difference to listeners.

You can listen in to the interview on BBC Sounds now before it disappears on there, or you can read the transcript from the interview below and on our website https://perimenopost.com/

The advice I gave to the audience and to yourselves also ;

Aim to get outside in the fresh air each day for 20/30 minutes to get some vit D, exercise is good for your mood, bone health and wellbeing.

Keeping socially distant at all times.

A healthy diet, try to be mindful of what you are eating. No cakes and sweets as much as they are tempting, avoid! Eat plenty of green vegetables, fruit and lean meat. Drink plenty of water, keep hydrated. Avoid alcohol too if you are experiencing anxiety or insomnia symptoms, alcohol will add to this during your sleep. Try to limit alcohol to once or twice during the weekend?

Keep a journal of your symptoms, a diary of how you are feeling and the duration of symptoms.

I mentioned a symptom chart and tracker that is available from https://perimenopost.com/ to download for free.

This will help you to keep a track of your symptoms during lockdown, you will be able to use this tracker to help you to discuss with your GP/HCP to plan your course of treatment and to monitor how you are feeling.

Lockdown has thrown us all into a busier lifestyle with a full household, adults working from home, home schooling, a much longer day with no privacy.

Before lockdown you maybe managed your menopause symptoms by choosing to exercise each day, meet friends for support, alternative remedies such as yoga/acupuncture/aromatherapy to help aid your symptoms.

You now find yourself in a place where everything is intensified, that also includes your menopause symptoms. Be honest with your partner and children tell them if you are experiencing symptoms and that you need some space, ask them to help you around the home if it is all overwhelming. Try and incorporate into your day some quiet time for you to rest, recharge and practice self care. If your symptoms are affecting you seriously do not suffer in silence, contact your GP/Doctor there is help out there, as I have stated above personally with my recent trip to A&E.

Call 111, your GP or contact your Consultant by email. Doctors can make contact with you via zoom/video calls there is help out there.

I would like to say a big thank you to Allison Ferns, the producer of the afternoon show and all the team for a great time talking to your listeners.

Below is a link to the transcript of the radio interview with Allison and myself.

7/5/2020 – BBC Radio Sussex/Surrey Afternoons show.perimenopost-bbc-radio-sussex-surrey-7-5-20-2-1Download

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE 34 MENOPAUSE SYMTPOM TRACKER TODAY
https://perimenopost.com/

Download your free 34 menopause symptom chart and tracker today, to help you keep a journal of your perimenopause or menopause symptoms during lockdown. https://perimenopost.com/

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Menopause Symptom – Anxiety

This one came as a bit of a shock!!

I’m not preaching that I’m a 100% confident person, but then is everybody that confident?

Yes, I have experienced nerves just like you all and the whole population. Taking my Driving test, going to interviews, personal life events, even starting this blog! You can learn from them and cope with it as best as you can at that time.

But this symptom literally hit me like a bolt from the blue, it came with no warning and no trigger. At first, I thought I was having a stroke or a heart attack, the mind already going into overdrive! Thankfully, I now know this was not the case, it was just our old friend, anxiety.

It can come to strike, well for me, at any given moment. It then floors you at that time and leaves you feeling, a sense of panic and paralysis of one’s actions for that moment. I was fortunate that my Consultant explained that anxiety is a very common symptom during the menopause and if you were lucky to have not had this before, you may well experience at this stage of your life.

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Seek medical help if you are feeling that you cannot cope and if this symptom is affecting your quality of life, there is help. @westkentmind @mindcharity @menopausesupport @menopause_doctor Or talk to your Gp.

For myself, I found if I counted to ten immediately and took deep breaths it helped to ease the feeling. I gave myself a mantra too, some positive self-talk!

“you can do this – it will all be ok, it will go as soon as it came”

Give it a try ! it works for me.

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Self-care is important and support around you is vital, surround yourself with kind, fun people who have your best interest at heart. Call a friend, go for a walk, find your happy place, exercise, lose yourself in a good book, maybe try an online mindfulness class, a new hobby you are keen to try. Keeping socially distant.

Shoutout to the women who fix another woman’s crown without telling the world it was crooked.

@thegoodquote

Try to not think it too much, keep yourself busy and distracted. It is just what your body is going through and if you need some help, talk to someone and as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved.

Let’s support one another, women to women, as we are all either going through or will be going through this stage of our lives at some point.

@megsmenopause website has a wealth of information detailing the menopause, I have found her site to be a personal lifesaver!

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@sonyateclai

Have you listened to PeriMenoPost Podcasts during lockdown?

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Have you listened to our podcasts?

Season one, currently published episode 6. Talking to Rebecca Smith, Editor and Founder of Goldie Magazine, an online digital magazine. We discuss life, lockdown, fabulously simple solutions during lockdown. Rebecca also shares her own personal journey with menopause and raises awareness for post menopause with her infectious energy and positivity!! Instagram @goldie-magazine

https://anchor.fm/dashboard/episode/ebl6qm

Ep 1 Sam Palmer @MidlifeMakeover

Ep 2 Sue Blair @change_n_thrive

Ep 3 Petra Coveney @menopause_yoga

Ep 4 Nicky Phillips @Niix.fit

Ep 5 Naomi Murray @botanica_health

Ep 6 Rebecca Smith @goldie-magazine

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Stay safe, connect with one another via technology and be kind to yourselves.

Have a great week Menos.Advertisements

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MEN-o-pause – Men how much do you know about perimenopause or menopause?

I think any man who has experienced and watched their partner go through the stages of perimenopause and menopause deserve a medal too!

It cannot be easy for Men and also family members to watch as their loved one begins to change because of symptoms of menopause.

It comes as a massive shock to us women, so how do men cope with this change also?

Is this why the Mans cave becomes a retreat for many? To create some space for men to take stock and to have somewhere to escape too?

How can we help men to understand what is happening to our own bodies if we are not informed and supported ourselves within the health profession? Within the workplace is also another issue too. Many women are afraid to talk to their male work colleagues as they are too ashamed and feel uncomfortable to talk to a male about their symptoms that maybe affecting their work and capabilities.

It is important that our generation is open and honest when talking about Perimenopause and Menopause to help other generations and importantly for men to also understand.

The average age for menopause in the Uk is around the age of 51. Perimenopause can begin much sooner as early as mid thirties to the age of 45.

If a woman is under the age of 45 and has experienced menopause this is called an ‘early menopause’

A condition that can also occur much earlier in a woman is POI – premature ovarian insufficiency.

Medical or surgical treatments for the treatment of cancer, radiotherapy or can also result in an early menopause or POI.

Not every woman will have all 34 symptoms but here is a list that may help if you are noticing a change in your partners/colleagues wellbeing and personality.

The 34 symptoms of menopause are;

  • insomnia
  • brain fog
  • joint aches/pains
  • headaches/migraines
  • hot flushes
  • night sweats
  • fatigue
  • lack of libido
  • vaginal dryness
  • dry hair
  • brittle nails
  • dental problems
  • anxiety
  • weight gain
  • dry skin
  • osteoporosis
  • panic disorder
  • depression
  • irritablity
  • body odour
  • irregular heartbeat
  • allergies
  • stress incontinence
  • bloating
  • dizzy
  • tingling
  • muscle tension
  • digestive problems
  • electric shocks
  • tender breasts
  • burning mouth
  • mood swings
  • irregular periods
  • memory lapses
  • difficulty concentrating

PeriMenoPost has a downloadable symptom chart tracker to help keep a track of symptoms. If your partner/colleague can keep a log of their symptoms, then take the chart to her doctors appointment. This will help create conversation and also show a pattern of symptoms for the GP to see, making the best form of treatment if possible to help aid her perimenopause or menopause journey.

Helpful tips to support your partner during perimenopause and menopause.

Just to be there, to listen and to be understanding. Be patient, be loving and supportive. If you can make your partner feel special, loved and to remind her how fantastic and attractive you still find her.

Women need to hear this at this stage of their lives even more so!! Self confidence and low moods can be present and with hormones spiking up and down from one minute to the next, it’s exhausting for us girls!

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A quiet night in! A good netflix box series, healthy food and an early night is now a womans new friday night! Early nights and the occassional drink is much better for women at this change of their lives. Why not encourage a friday night to be your special date night. Just the two of you, netflix and maybe a G&T! Cuddle up on the sofa and enjoy being together. Just knowing that your there for your partner will help your partner to feel good about herself and to will help to unwind.

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Communication is key! Keep all lines of communication open and talk with your partner about how they are feeling, can you help around the house be gentle and kind. This will be appreciated, without the pressure of having to ask you. Which can present as another issue, pressure and overwhelm. As women we feel the need to be wonder woman! We feel it is our role and our job to run everything! Try to talk without coming across that your noticing things which are not being done. This could result in a meno rage explosion, so drop into conversation that you could help with the weeks shopping trip, ironing or sometimes just the offer a cup of tea can be all that we need!

Try to not snap back at your partner also, if you find you are in heated exchanges. The up and down of oestrogen and progesterone plays havoc with mood swings, try to be undestanding and patient. If you feel you may say something unkind or untoward take a step away, breathe and try not to take things too personally.

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Find out as much information as you can to educate yourself about perimenopause and menopause. You can visit your GP or try some of these helpful sites to help give you more information and support.

https://www.newsonhealth.co.uk/

https://thebms.org.uk/

Try to encourage your partner to exercise, maybe you could work out together. This will help to give your partner a lift in mood, all those endorphins and for that all important feel good factors for well being. Exercise really helps to alleviate symptoms during perimenopause/menopause. A gentle jog, a cardio class or a yoga class. During Lockdown there has never been a great time to experience new classes, you could try a class together.

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Love and sex during this stage of a woman’s life can be a sensitve time, as you both crave love and affection from one another. She will feel unattractive and low in confidence and you will begin to feel ignored and maybe unloved? Sound familiar? Women at this time are going through such big hormonal shifts mentally and physically sometimes the last thing on a woman’s mind is sex. I can assure that as a woman of forty something we do want our partners, it just takes time for the feelings and changes occurring to a woman need to be accepted and embraced before you can feel comfortable. We all age, all change is anothers factor of ageing, it can arrive as a big shock for women. We have to deal with the big slap in the face that you can no longer have children, you no longer feel feminine and a another reminder that we are ageing and that youth is slipping away. Reassure your partner that you still find her attractive and that you are looking forward to the rest of your lives together and that you have so much to look forward to together!!

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What a book!!!

Once I started I could not finish PERIMENOPOWER by Author Katarina Wilk, Orion springs Publishing.

I throughly recommend reading this book!! A MUST!

If you are looking for clear, honest and helpful supportive advice during perimenopause. This is your BOOK!

Katarina talks about her own ups and downs with insomnia and her perimenopause symptoms that you can relate too.

Her writing style is informative, helpful and positive! Urging you to regain your PERIMENOPOWER!

Fourteen chapters each detailing separate issues and topics including katerinas story, terminiology help and advice to see you through tese stages with lifeestyle changes, exercise, diet and HRT.

katarina had a particularly difficult time with insomnia and she explains the lacks of sleep so accurately the merry go round of brain fog that ensues with thius symptom. Shje also details hwo the lack of sleep can seriously affect your whole well being, I for one can relly realate tothis.

When insomnia strikes it can really unbalance you and derailyour joie de vie!

How many women have been told this when visiting their GP with symptoms unaware of perimenopasue?

I don’t want to take anti – depressants I’m not depressed, I just want to sleep

Katarina Wilk, Author- PERIMENOPOWER

Katarina’s helpful book with medical information broken down to understand in a way that you feel immediately comforted safe in the knowledge that these symptoms are natural and help is out there to get you through!

I want to clarify once again that the perimenopause isn’t an illness but a phase that most women go through. SOme of us suffer more, others less and sometimes it’s hard to say which came first, the chicken or the egg.

Katarina Wilk – Author – PERIMENOPOWER

Katarina chapter on HRT is really helpful and goes into detail about the viewpoints previously about HRT and how HRT research shows that it is important for women to use HRT during perimenopause and menopause. The benefits for your heart, bone and well being are mentioned by Professor Tord Naessen at Uppsala University. She also brings to our attention an OEstrogen pioneer in swedish gynaecology, Mirjam Furuhjelm who believed that a womans life should be lived for as long as possible and as healthy as possible. Mirjam true to her belief took oestrogen in her midlfe and lived to the age of 94!

Katarina’s sleep solutions

1. Avoid caffeine

2. Exercise

3. Yoga

4. Acupressure mat

5. Evening bath

6. Natural supplements

7. Melatonin

8. Atarax

Katarina Wilk, Author. – PERIMENOPOWER

PEIMENOPOWER is available to buy on amazon and to buy direct from https://www.orionbooks.co.uk/

Season one of PeriMenoPost Podcasts has now come to an end, todays episode 10 with Breeda Bermingham is the last in this season’s pods. I am midway through recording season two with more guest speakers talking all things perimenopause and menopause.

It has been great fun recording the podcasts with women who truly want to help other women and help to create more awareness surrounding perimenopause/menopause stopping the taboo and stigma. I hope that during lockdown the pods have helped to support followers and raise awareness.

You can find the pods on itunes, spotify and anchor fm.

PeriMenoPost Podcast – Season 1 Episode 10 Breeda Bermingham, Founder of Midlife Women Rock Project.PeriMenoPost

PeriMenoPost talks to Breeda Bermingham,  Founder of Midlife Women Rock Project,  a Midlife  Women’s Health Advocate and Researcher. Breeda is a mum of four children and lives in Ireland.  A previous nurse and midwife, Breeda later qualified as a public health nurse.   Following the birth of her fourth child and deciding to work part time.   She enrolled into full time education and studied a degree in psychology.  Her thesis involved researching midlife and menopause. During her research her findings became clear that the cultural beliefs of female ageing has to change and she believes in a positive approach to menopause and is on a mission to change this mindset.  Her three top issues to highlight are fear, shame and denial, she believes these are all the top main feelings women feel during this stage of their life and wants to change this. She also feels that the next stage of menopause should be talked about, for women to come forward to discuss their journey of post menopause and relay any fears to younger women. Breeda is currently finishing her masters on menopause and she holds regular MidlifeWomen Rock cafe’s each month for the women in her surrounding area of Waterford.  Held at the Waterford Health park, Waterford city for support and conversation surrounding menopause.  She would like MidLifeWomen Rock to be available for all women of Ireland and to have access too. Midlife Women Rock project is a continuation of a 60 day facebook posting to change the narrative for midlife and menopause.  Her research found that women collaborating together becomes a powerful force and can achieve great change!  A must to break down the menopause taboo!!! Breeda is very passionate and genuinely wants to help women at this time during the stages of menopause, listen in to our conversation and enjoy.  If you would like to reach out to Breeda you can reach her at her website or on social media. https://www.midlifewomenrockproject.com  @midlifewomenrock -Instagram @midlifewomenrockproject – facebook  Breeda Bermingham – Linkedin Audio Player00:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.

Playlist: PeriMenoPost

Select an episode to play it in the audio player.

  1. PeriMenoPost Podcast – Season 1 Episode 10 Breeda Bermingham, Founder of Midlife Women Rock Project.
  2. PeriMenoPodcast Episode 9 – Bea Marshall Founder – Yes Parenting and EFT
  3. PeriMenoPost Podcast Episode 8 – The Mamapause – Blogger
  4. PeriMenoPost Podcast – Episode 7 Sarah Kern Real Life Meno Warrior
  5. PeriMenoPost Podcast – Episode 6 – Rebecca Smith Editor & Founder of Goldie Magazine

PeriMenoPost has launched it’s very own PeriMenoPost Members Club for brands.

If you are a retail brand or retail service that can help women through the stages of perimenopause and menopause we can help to represent you and be a part of our membership club.

PeriMenoPost members club promotes brands and menopause services to a bespoke audience of customers.

Ensuring help and empowerment to women during all the stages of menopause.

Email me today hello@perimenopost.com to find out more about how PeriMenoPost Members Club membership today.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Today is 1st July 2020 not long until 4th July, super saturday is nearly here and we will slip back into a some what normal way of life again. Please remember to stay safe and to follow government guidance rules and most importantly to look after yourselves Menos!

Stay strong and stay safe Menos

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