2 mins read
Pauline’s Perimenopause Story
Author: Jamie Braithwaite
October 13, 2023
My name is Pauline, I’m 57 and I’m post-menopausal. This is my story of my menopause journey.
Joining the dots
I initially realised it was perimenopause when my friend was joking about her own symptoms, and I made the connection.
We’re at the same stage in our lives, so I felt comfortable talking to her. I never went to the doctor for a formal diagnosis because my symptoms weren’t too bad, and I felt like I had a clear enough idea of what was going on.
My first real symptoms were brain fog, hot flashes, and weight loss.
Making lifestyle changes
I’m managing my symptoms through lifestyle changes. I’m a pretty active person and I think that’s really helped me navigate these changes – I do both cardio and weight training a few times a week.
I’ve also been doing intermittent fasting over the past few years, which I think helps clear my mind.
Decisions about HRT
I’m not currently on any medication like HRT. I decided not to go down that road because my symptoms weren’t bad enough.
I went to a menopause talk that advised women to do their own research before starting hormonal treatment. I’m not even sure where I’d go if I wanted more information on it – it seems like even the doctors can’t agree on the benefits vs the risks.
Getting GP support
I never went to my GP about menopause – partly because he’s male and I don’t think he’d understand and partly because I feel like GPs have so many other things going on, they don’t really want to be discussing menopause. I just didn’t think I’d be heard properly.
A positive new chapter
I’m actually happy about this stage of my life because it’s a new chapter. I think there should be more information about menopause from a younger age – for both men and women. It seems to have fallen in with all the things that should be taught in schools but aren’t. Even if men aren’t totally comfortable with the idea, it’s important to have that understanding of your partners’ experience and be able to empathise with them.
How Forth helps me
I’ve taken the Forth test that maps everything out – I try to do it twice a year. It just kind of shows me how healthy I am and what I should be focusing on.
My main concern is the HbA1c (the sugar levels) because there’s a lot of diabetes in my family. It’s useful to be able to understand the impact of my lifestyle on my body.
When you get tested at the doctors, they give you very limited information. I’ve got a thing about numbers and figures; I want to know the exact results.
That’s why the Forth test results are useful for keeping my own records. I even paid extra to have someone come to my home and help me do the blood sample. Everything is just so personalised – with Forth, I feel like a VIP.
This information has been medically reviewed by Dr Thom Phillips
Thom works in NHS general practice and has a decade of experience working in both male and female elite sport. He has a background in exercise physiology and has published research into fatigue biomarkers.
Dr Thom Phillips
Head of clinical services
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