What You See Is What You Get. This is a journal blog, an explore-blog, a bit of this and that blog. Sharing where the mood takes me. Perhaps it will take you too.

Menopolyxinaemia - The Thing That Turned Tail

Okay, peeps - and particularly those of you who have either not yet reached this point in life - or who have wives and daughters that you love - YES, YOU MEN TOO!!! - today's post is part of raising awareness around that thing which I have never been able to name, so I made up my own lexicon around it - but today, it will be faced head-on... 

"If men had to undergo menopause, 
it would have been 'fixed' by now!" 
(Baroness Sayeeda Warsi)

Kate Muir in The Guardian.
DO NOT RUN AWAY!!! Those of you who have been around long enough know the origin of this blog as a release valve for the pressure from menopolyxinaemia (I know, I know, but the menoctionary is my baby now...) I was deep in menosoup and having menoloopals and menodropsicals and aarrrrggggggggggghhhhh.


The start of this blog was almost precisely at the point of menopause. However, that term is used almost exclusively, and the concept of perimenopause is rarely mentioned. Menopause is described as when blood flow ceases, and no further flow appears for at least twelve months. There can, occasionally, be a 'show' on or around the year, just to - you know - keep things fretting, but it is usually just a one-off. The last hurrah, so to speak. I was 52. The time generally accepted as appropriate for menopause. 

However, there had been an excruciating twelve-year lead-up... and an equally befuddling eight or nine years after, which count as perimenopause. That's the place where the majority of the multifarious symptoms reside and it is these symptoms that mainly require treatment - not the actual cessation of flow. A lucky few women truly do not have trouble over this time - or at least very minimal. A whopping <>80% of the world's female population, though, do suffer and some 25%, like myself, undergo every possible variation and manifestation that is written about and even a couple that aren't. 

From "Sex, Myths and The Menopause". If at all you can obtain access
to this excellent documentary, I highly recommend it.

I want to tell you that I was prompted to this post due to an email from blogpal Hilary Melton-Butcherwho kindly forwarded the link to this short TED talk. Go on - it's only eight minutes.

The Guardian
is a matter that is starting to be recognised globally. I do take issue with the bracketing of time that is so often presented, though. A recent article in my newspaper of choice (clip to the right) has a statement that symptoms can last one year to eight years - where the heck did they get that from??? There is also a presumption (and this can be among doctors too, who have no specialist knowledge) that meno can only occur in a woman's fifties. There are plenty much younger women who can hotly debate that one!

What is more, bad enough that the other half of the planet's population is ignorant of what goes on for a woman in her 'change'... many women are equally ignorant. A case in point is the statement by a woman senior manager in that same newspaper excerpt. That article is about the same subject as discussed in the video above. Similarly, last year, concern was raised about the loss of medical expertise due to older female doctors having to step back from their roles as a result of the ravages and misunderstandings around menopause. If such Victorian standards are held even within the profession that ought to be sorting things out, what hope is there?! Even treatments can be a problem and although largely proven otherwise now, the 2001 report about the connection of HRT with breast cancer continues to haunt matters. Nowadays, HRT includes body-identical hormones produced from soy and.... yes, oh yes!... Wild Yam!!! (See the bottom of my bio/contacts page.)

I am no longer in the workforce. I took early retirement due to a turn of events in life that have been largely responsible for keeping me sane. I am sure that I would not be sitting here typing to you about this now if I remained fighting to keep my health practice running. There were some very, very dark days.

I hope that there is a genuine opening up to discussion and changes in workplace management around menopause for all current and upcoming women with ambitions for their careers. Or even if they simply wish - or need to - keep working, albeit at the supermarket. A new charity has been set up (although UK-based, has global intention) to help educate and support anyone and everyone who cares. YES, BLOKES, THAT INCLUDES YOU. As partners, as bosses, as colleagues, as friends and brothers... you too have a role to play in supporting your womenfolk. 

So my dears, I ask that you reference this post in a post on your own blogs, that you spread the word about the charity and share that TED talk widely. 



  1. I am so glad you speak so openly about this. We have made women's health a taboo. May the generation of women behind us have better health care which may lead to true equity.

  2. Glad more things in the open.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

  3. if man would get it would it be called man-o pause?

  4. i was luckier than ladies now because when I started Meno, my doctor gave ne a once a day pill called primerin. and I was able to work without throwing tantrums, although it did not help with the hot flashes. then THEY decided it was dangerous to take those hormones and I was taken off of them. mine lasted 10 years, went away and came back when bob had his stroke, due to stress. when i was a child, i started the monthly periods in 5th grade and started praying to turn into a male. did not work

  5. A good post. In our house we talk about menopause openly - Jane has (still has) symptoms much the same as you describe. It's important I think to talk to the younger generation about this too and not shield them from what's going on - as we should with other aspects of ageing. Perhaps because our first son was conceived thanks to IVF we have always been open about these sorts of things. One of the essays in my first book describes the events surrounding a miscarriage and the emotional trauma from the often 'closed and/or forgotten' perspective of the man.

    1. Hari Om
      Thanks for joining the conversation of women's health, Mark - as it does indeed very much have an impact on the men in our lives - in whatever capacity they stand. There has been such a history of social denial of most things 'womb related' and a sense that it has nothing to do with men - which clearly it does, for ALL sorts of reasons! Yxx

  6. After reading this and listening to the TED talk I can see how this related to some life events for me too. Although I didn't have many recognizable physical symptoms I do believe I had some of the emotional ones. Thanks for keeping the conversation going.

  7. Standing ovation YAM!! Oh my friend you hit the nail on the head with this post.
    Been there done a lot of it too. Insomnia will not let go of me either.
    Hugs Cecilia

    1. Hari OM
      ...and that's the thing, isn't it? This idea that there is a defined period of time to undergo symptoms is spurious, to say the least. Pre-menopause is also much more recognised than post-menopause, although the entire perimenopausal state really ought to be acknowledged. What is more, that it starts earlier than recognised till now (with all those nefarious little symptoms that have docs handing out anti-depressants like candies because 'what else could it be' ???) and lasts far longer than currently accepted officially. As you say, some symptoms set in and that is it - just as I too still suffer chronic sleep disorder (menosomnia &*<) and some dreadful mental moments (menosoup 8`{}) and some very curious, out of context brainstorms (menoloopals !*#)... sigh... however, I have been prepared to say that I came out of perimenopause prior to all the C19 nonsense... now it's just the CFS and long-covid to deal with! Yxx

  8. Thank you so much for doing this post Yami...I have been thinking on the subject since reading yesterday

    I sure wish someone had explained to me what I might go through when my time for Meno had come. Women's health was barely talked about in our house growing up. So, when my turn for Peri-Meno came, I didn't know if the depression, moodiness and so many other emotional feels, were coming from hormone changes...or my own mental health. Thanks so much for opening up about such an important part of Women's Health!!

    1. Hari OM
      When I wrote about this in MacHistory some years back now, I mentioned that I had no idea I was even being affected as such - it was mother who wondered why I, the generally quiet and polite YAMster, was so angry all the time... "could it be menopause dear?" Then she went on to tell me she never had any symptoms!!! ggarrkkkk... no, it's as bad as when that first blood showed and we hadn't been informed this part of the deal of growing up! Yxx

  9. My sister's husband said sometimes he was pretty sure he needed to just tie Sister into his truck bed standing up and drive to the doctor's office. There to remain safe the doctor could use a dart gun to administer a heft shot of vitamine B. Ha. namaste, janice xx


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