MY PRE-MENSTRUAL IRRITABILITY and irrationality gets worse. My memory fails me. My sex life disappears. My relationship with my partner is not good. I can’t help crying, a lot. What is this that is waking me at night on a regular basis? I am hot, sweaty and possibly a newly-diagnosed insomniac. Sleep, or lack of it, is no fun. I am tired all the time.
My period still arrives every month. Not sure if it’s heavier. Not sure if it does arrive every month.
Might I be menopausal?
Failing ovarian function anytime in the mid to late forties and early fifties can present all of the above symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms can be worse just before your period as this is the time in your cycle when your oestrogen levels are at their lowest. Sometimes they just happen all the time. Lower oestrogen can be associated with lower levels of serotonin (the happy hormone your brain produces). And so the problem is complex and it can be no fun being a woman! Not after years of dealing with contraception then perhaps trying for a baby and then maybe even having a few. And then more contraception issues of the older woman and now what?
It’s support we need. It’s sometimes hormones, sometimes low-dose antidepressants which can up your serotonin levels. We do need someone to listen to us, understand us and empower us to be fabulous again.
Dr Sophia Khalique