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    13 Older Women Are Sharing What It Feels Like To Go Through Menopause, And This Is A Total Learning Moment

    "To me, it felt like going through puberty backward as my hormone levels dropped."

    Most girls, at some point growing up, will hear an older woman in their family complain about the symptoms of menopause. It's like this dreary rain cloud that hangs above our heads before we even have our first period.

    Woman relaxing on a chair, looking up thoughtfully in a peaceful indoor setting

    So, when Reddit user u/Mysterious-Line-9906 posed the question, "What does menopause feel like, and what's the worst symptom that you experienced/are experiencing?" In r/AskWomen, I knew the conversation here would be extremely insightful to many women. Here's what they had to say:

    1. "It's going to vary WILDLY from person to person. Mine was pretty mild, starting in my late 40s with missed periods or only a couple of weeks between periods. It started ramping up at 49 to include night sweats, hot flashes, tinnitus, and occasionally, my skin itching so badly that I'd take Benadryl just to fall asleep. My last period was 590 days ago, and it has been smooth sailing ever since."

    Woman with glasses cooling herself with a handheld fan at a desk

    2. "Due to having a hysterectomy when I was 38, I had instant menopause — no easing into it for me. The worst were the hot flashes, mood swings, and chronic exhaustion. I'm 56 now, and all of that is in the past. Now I have thinning, frizzy hair and feel grouchy when there's too much noise. I make choices based on how much I hurt rather than how much fun I might have. My appetite is low, and I don't crave chocolate like I used to."

    u/SkStonePhoto

    3. "For me, it was like nothing was different. My period got lighter and lighter. Then a month was skipped, then a few months skipped, all the while less and less flow. Finally, it was like very light drops one day, and that was the last of it. I never had a mood swing or a hot flash. It just ended, and my life went on."

    Woman in pajamas smiles at her reflection in a bedroom mirror

    4. "I still have my period at 50, but I've been struggling with perimenopause for over a decade. However, I have no idea what my symptoms truly are because my doctors over the last decade have ignored perimenopause as a real thing, and I've been told to either eat less, move more -or- go to therapy, get on anxiety meds."

    "I will say that the issues I've brought to my doctors and have been gaslighted about include severe heart palpitations (lasting an hour or more), brain fog, anxiety/rage, joint pain, loss of libido, frequent urination, more frequent and extremely heavy periods, fatigue and trouble sleeping, and weight gain/difficulty losing weight."

    u/writergeek

    5. "My symptoms are minor. I had a Mirena IUD that suppressed my periods, so I was not even aware when they stopped. I had it removed at age 58 after the doctor confirmed I was in menopause. Now I have some night sweats, but nothing too bad. I can't lose weight, but I can keep it steady if I work at it. I keep hearing about how menopause kills your sex drive, but mine has increased. Not sure it's a cause or a coincidence, but I'll take it."

    Woman practicing tree pose on a yoga mat in a home kitchen

    6. "It feels like everything is off. They don't tell you about Hormone Replacement Therapy when you go to your doctor's office, but if you ask for HRT, they will give it to you if you go to a good doctor. Find a hormone specialist when you're in your late 30s."

    u/Kissit777

    7. "I got premature menopause due to being on Depo Provera for way too long. It started with wild mood swings and me just feeling uncomfortable and irritated all the time: short-tempered, emotional, crying one moment and angry the next. Then the sweats hit. Sweet Mary, Mother of God, it was awful."

    Woman looks tired holding a small fan

    8. "To me, it felt like going through puberty backward as my hormone levels dropped. The worst symptom for me was the loss of libido (although it eventually came back). I started at 49, and had symptoms for about four years."

    u/Intelligent_Put_3606

    9. "Every person's menopause will be different. For me, I get a tingling sensation around my eyes. I get tired very easily, and even doing the most basic activity results in a head sweat, and tomato face. I also get night sweats sometimes. My GP put me on HRT, and I'm on a 14-day progesterone, which means I get a cycle. It was the one thing of the menopause that I was looking forward to….. no monthly bleeds!"

    Woman at a table appears stressed or contemplative, surrounded by plants

    10. "Menopause for me was like an off switch. One day, I had my period and the next it was all over. No period, no hot flashes, no additional symptoms, it all just stopped. Now, I do have/had PCOS. I'd get my period two to three times a month. I'd then have extremely painful ovulation. It's been like that since day one of my period. So maybe there were symptoms in there that I missed but who could tell with having a period so often? I’m almost 53 and this happened when I was 51."

    u/funsk8mom

    11. "I never really started. When I was about 50, I missed my period for about ten months. Restarted, never missed another. I never had ANY menopause symptoms, including hot flashes. When I was 64, I told my doctor this couldn't be right. They sent me for tests: Stage 2 uterine cancer. I had a hysterectomy and radiation. I started getting hot flashes (I still do occasionally). I'm 66 now. Other than those hot flashes, I've been good."

    Patient having a conversation with a healthcare provider in a medical office

    12. "For me, I started having symptoms when I was in my mid-to-late 30s. The first symptoms were night sweats, and then it was radical mood swings followed by bouts of unprovoked rage. My whole perimenopause experience was miserable. I can't identify one worst symptom because I had so many, but I would say the relentless insomnia is the one that nearly broke me."

    "I finally finished the menopause process at age 57 1/2. For about 18 months after my final period, I could still tell you exactly when my period would have been in those months because I still got mild cramps, low mood, and fatigue. Post-menopause, weight gain has been a constant issue. I've always carried extra weight in my butt and thighs (classic pear shape), but menopause has changed my body shape, and now I have abdominal fat that I never carried before. Also, I always had minimal body hair and never any facial hair like a mustache or whatever. I plucked my eyebrows a few times as a teen and never again because the hair never came back. Early in perimenopause, all of my body hair below my neck went away. I would get the occasional random single hair on a shin, but otherwise, no hair on my arms or legs. Post menopause, it now seems I'm growing sideburns. Hormones are wild."

    u/Glindanorth

    And finally, this woman shared her menopause experience, and we can all only hope and pray to be so lucky:

    13. "I never had any symptoms. One day in my mid/late 50s, I realized I couldn't remember when I last had my period. That was it."

    Woman with glasses nad arms outspread expressing uncertainty

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Have you gone through menopause and want to share your own experiences? Let me know in the comments.