What would you like to know?
Share this Story

5 things I never understood about menopause – until they happened to me

Mary Hill


Faith & Spirituality

I am a retired educator, journalist, and stay at home mom. For more than 20 years, I worked as a newspaper reporter, an emergent literacy specialist, and a school librarian. I am also a published editor of anthologies on prisons and the ...

I never thought the menopause hype was real until I got my first mood swing

Menopause is upon me and I have recently stopped having periods. While it does mean no more worries about that monthly friend surprising me when I don't have pads, I didn’t realize this new phase of my life would take me on such a roller coaster. Everyone told me to what to expect, but somehow these symptoms snuck up on me anyway.

1. Hot flashes

I heard discussion of hot flashes. I thought, OK, so I’ll get a little warm. No big deal. Now, I really know about hot flashes… like it is 30 degrees outside, and I feel like wearing shorts and a tank top and putting my face into the freezer. In the middle of the summer, I strip and stand in the cold shower for an hour.

2. Fatigue and memory loss

My mom used to forget stuff when she went through menopause, but I forget everything. If I didn't have a calendar that dinged for important appointments, my life would be chaos. I even forget to enter some appointments and had to call and apologize: "Hi, I forgot. So sorry, I am going through menopause." I can sleep standing up at the grocery store. I will look at a person and fade them out as I take a minute nap.

3. Weight fluctuation

I hate the weight gain and loss. One day I am up 20 pounds because of water retention. The next few days, after sweating and constant visits to the bathroom, I lose all the weight. Then the vicious cycle starts all over again.

4. Dry skin

Somewhere in the back of my brain, I know all these changes have to do with hormones and lack of estrogen, but when I am slathering the lotion on five times a day because my skin is cracking, I don't care why. Just give me some relief.

5. Vaginal dryness

The worst part of all these changes that I only read and heard about is the dryness in my womanly areas. Sex is something I think little of these days. It seems to be absent because, well, it can hurt sometimes and I am so moody. My poor husband gets to hear me whine and cry. "You don't find me attractive anymore because I am fat, ugly and dried up." So when I learned about a new product that may help with this issue, I did a little menopausal happy dance with my face stuck in the freezer.

Vagisil has great products that I have used at various points in my life. Now, they have a new product: Vagisil ProHydrate, a vaginal moisturizer meant to feel like your own moisture. I have experienced similar dryness at other points in my life — like when I was pregnant or on my period. The emotional benefit of Vagisil ProHydrate is that women can feel like themselves again during any stage of life.

You can learn more about this great new product by visiting Vagisil’s ProHydrate page.

Share your own personal stories about perimenopause or menopause in the comments below. We can be a community and support one another.

This post is sponsored by Vagisil.

Follow Us

SheKnows Media ‐ Beauty and Style

New in Health & Wellness

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!