It’s only menopause

Hot flashes. Night Sweats. Mood swings. Weight gain. None of this sounds especially comedic to me, nor to the millions of women that have, are, or will go through “the change,” a.k.a. menopause. According to the Mayo Clinic, menopause actually occurs once women miss a full year of their menstrual cycles. Until then you’re “pre-menopausal.” And yes, you will live through it.

It’s a normal passage of life for all women, usually beginning in the mid-40s with perimenopause – the early symptoms of the reproductive organs shutting down for business. Night sweats are one thing, but one not so nice side effect is a decreased libido – which may make you feel guilty, or depressed, or put a strain on your relationship.

Hundreds, or maybe thousands, of websites tout “natural” solutions such as black cohash, and other alternatives to hormone replacement therapy; others push bioidentical hormones (safer?) or meditation as means to cope with the myriad symptoms. Do these remedies help? Perhaps. Some women swear by them.

One thing I can swear by is this: women, it’s gonna happen sooner or later. So go with it, and laugh about it (hey, it beats crying about it). I was fortunate enough to laugh until I cried last week while attending Menopause, the Musical at the Landmark Theater in Port Washington, NY with some friends. The actresses were terrific, and the script was dead-on – I nodded my head in agreement at nearly every line.

Gals, go see it. If you don’t live near New York, check the tour dates or other companies’ productions. Leave the guys at home  – they won’t get most of the jokes anyway. Make it a girl’s night out and laugh your head off. While you’re waiting for the play to begin, go visit beauty-and-the-bath or for some more lighthearted looks at what us women must put up with…and smile. It’s only menopause.