A Personal Journey of Strength and Transformation Beyond Menopause
By Rebeca Scorza
While menopause is a natural process that every woman must go through, there are still many taboos surrounding it. We often perceive it as the beginning of the decline of our lives, feeling that we are getting old, and our bodies start to change. We experience various symptoms that we often don't associate with this process.
Sudden hot flashes, mood swings, mucosal dryness, vaginal dryness, skin changes, joint pains, and many other symptoms arise. Although there is no fixed age at which it occurs, the transition to menopause often begins between the ages of 45 and 55. Typically, it lasts for about 7 years but can extend up to 14 years until menstruation ceases, which is the determining factor for entering menopause.
My Personal Journey
In my case, all of this began around the age of 34. I started experiencing abrupt changes in my menstruation, but I couldn't relate it to menopause due to my young age. So, I went months without a period, and sometimes it lasted only two days, which I must admit, seemed great to me. I had always had very painful, heavy periods every 25 days. I had undergone surgery for endometriosis about 4 years before, and I thought that maybe all these changes were related to that.
At the age of 35, I became pregnant with my daughter (I had genuinely believed that I couldn't have children, so I wasn't taking contraceptives). My pregnancy was wonderful with no discomfort, cravings, or aversions. My daughter was born via cesarean section, and everything went well. I breastfed her for a year, and my periods continued to be highly irregular. If it weren't for my husband's vasectomy, I might have thought I was pregnant again.
A Shocking Diagnosis
During a gynecological consultation, I shared everything that was happening to me with my doctor and told him when it all began. He decided to conduct some special tests and informed me that I was in menopause. He prescribed very mild pills to help control and stabilize my hormones. I took them for about two years, and I felt fine. However, I decided to stop taking them, and the following month, I no longer had my period. At that time, I was almost 40 years old.
That's when my rollercoaster of intense symptoms and sensations began. I went through hot flashes, dizziness, weakness, depression, muscle and joint pain that was already limiting my daily exercises, extremely low libido, and uncomfortable dryness. Nevertheless, I tried to manage it and downplayed its significance because I truly didn't realize that I was already in menopause.
Additionally, I underwent laboratory tests and received a diagnosis that was entirely unknown to me: an autoimmune disease called Sjögren's syndrome, which included pain and dryness among its symptoms. That was when I hit rock bottom and felt literally like a raisin.
For me, it was tough because I didn't have anyone around me going through the same experiences. All my friends were my contemporaries, and of course, none of them showed signs of pre-menopause.
I visited many gynecologists and underwent various treatments, including hormonal therapy and vaginal creams, among others. It was tough to hear things like what a gynecologist once told me: "If I didn't have you in front of me, I would think that the woman I just examined and who has these lab results is around 80 years old." That was devastating, and I left that consultation in tears, feeling completely lost.
Fortunately, all of this made me react and realize my strength. I understood that I could handle this and move forward with my head held high, fully committed to finding natural solutions. Thus, I began my transformation process, both internally and externally.
Changing my Lifestyle
I focused on changing my eating habits, resumed doing pilates (which I had previously abandoned), continued playing tennis, and nourished my inner self. Today, at the age of 56, believe me when I say that I feel better than ever. I'm living my best moments, feeling healthy, beautiful, strong, and confident.
I'm doing what I love—I'm a model for a boutique—and I'm becoming more active in the world of social media. I don't take medications; I eat as cleanly as possible and supplement with natural supplements, vitamins, and minerals. My staples include magnesium, Omega-3, collagen, turmeric, vitamin C, among others that I alternate.
You Are Not Alone
In conclusion, I just want to tell you that you are not alone in all of this. Nowadays, thankfully, there is a wealth of information and alternatives that help us understand all these changes and allow us to lead a truly enjoyable life in every aspect.
We are alive; we just no longer have our periods. It doesn't define us; we are much more than a menstrual cycle.
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