Menopause

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Rosa Cabrera RN

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ask: Do women smell different after menopause?

By Michelle King Robson Expert HERWriter

Do any of you who have gone through menopause think you smell different than you did before? By that I mean the way your body smells to you, not that your nose is working differently. I always thought it was just me that felt this way, but tonight I read an article about someone else who thinks she also smells different now that she's post-menopausal.

Add a Comment61 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Latisha)

I feel so sad for all the ladies out there trying to change how they are aging. I, as you sound like you are, are in bracing our 50s, Life is getting better! My only question is, WHY did I take so long to enjoy life? I awake up each morning with a smile on my face ready to start a new day.

April 10, 2011 - 12:53pm
Maggiemay

Reading a good book called the "Female Brain" loaned to me by a friend when I brought up the other menopause phenomena... 'ship jumping.' Women around the 30 years of marriage mark, or more accurately 50+ years old are bailing out of their marriages, or maybe out of their skin. Is all the physical pain we've been experiencing, shifting hormones, or depression? Do hormone shifts require a self-love journey that allows us to focus on our own health? Because alkaline producing foods, no grains, lots of fresh honest foods has reduced my discomfort immensely.
Are we being pushed to live for ourselves (which may include family and lover) as our hormones are no longer driving us to protect our young, or ourselves as a mother?
So for some, "goodbye to the so-called-protecting-male", who was a primitive part of the whole child bearing thing might make sense. But not for those who had a friend all this time. :) Because, besides the shifts in the body, which I also have experienced without much guidance, I'm also looking (so it seems) for friendships like I had before the kids, warm, validating, silly, artzy, grounded, a little dangerous (lol). Maybe it is a birthing we're going through? :) Either way, I have figured out a couple of things...healthy natural simple foods (maybe a lot more raw), and deep listening to your new voice and letting go of the old one. Ya, it's a sort of a birth, :)

April 6, 2011 - 6:22am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Maggiemay)

I do believe it is a sort of rebirth. I also am eating different. Lot more soy base food, more veggies, less meat and nothing from a can or box. My hubby is my best friend. He has a hard time with all this but he is a saint. He truly helps me. That is why I believe I have had such a positive time. I am not saying it is easy, or even fun. It truly sucks to go through menopause. But I can honestly say, Love who I am now! I Love my new body. I love not having to worry when I make love to my hubby if I will get pregnant. (yes we used birth control) Just the funny in it now. Wanting to take the time to please each other. Life is good in the 50!!!!!!!!

April 8, 2011 - 8:51am
Latisha

WHAT MY MOTHER NEVER TOLD ME ABOUT MENOPAUSE:
Its geat to read other womans stories about their experience of menopause. I recently (past 4 months) noticed I was getting hot flushes which have coincided with my periods stopping. I have also noticed that I now have difficulty achieving an orgasm.

I knew the hot flushes & loss of periods were associated with menopause, but was not prepared for the changes in my sexual function. It was only in doing some research about changes in sexual responsivness that I started to understand the link betweeen menopause & changes in sexual function. This is the part about menopause that my mother never told me.

Suddenly I became acutely aware of how little I actually knew about this very important stage of my life. I've since began reading & learning more about what to expect during & after menopause. Its not all doom & gloom, & reading other women's experiences has been very reassuring. This journey, although uniquley mine, is being shared by millions of other women throughout the world.

Finally, I discovered tonight that the changes in sexual function that I am experiencing can probably be treated. So I'm off to have a chat to my GP about it. So will keep you posted about how I get on.

Letisha.

March 30, 2011 - 12:43am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Latisha)

Good for you, Latisha! Menopause is not the end of our life, it is the start of a new chapter! At 52 I would not want to have a baby. I want to enjoy the changes in my life. I want to spend time with my hubby of 30 years. I want to travel and such.... All the things you can't do when you have young children. Don't get me wrong. I loved that part of my life. It has made me who I am. But I welcome this part. You have to discover the passion in love making with your partner. That is how I got through the lack of interest in sex. We laugh more now. Play more. Enjoy our selves more. We take our time. Life is different. I think menopause has freed me, in some ways. I love who I am and I have more acceptance for things. Just enjoy life. Get a little fan for when you have a hot flash. They are wonderful!

March 30, 2011 - 11:53am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I am age 38,and I have fibroids,I would trade with anyone of you to smell a little different than to bleed all the time,I have been around a lot of older women and I haven't smelled anything different about any of them, as for me I would welcome menopause with open arms right now, when my mother went through menopause she was her normal self to me,she is 65,she went through menopause in her 50's,I wish that I could go through it right now,I have bled heavily since I was 11 years old 7 days a week,that is 27 years of unnecessary bleeding in my opinion and then 2 be diagnosed with this, how much more blood do i have to give?

January 18, 2011 - 9:45pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

There are different levels at which different women are affected. From barely noticable to your life changing quite drastically from what it has been in the past. OK, change is one thing but drastically is another. I don't even recognize myself anymore, not just physically but I'm just not me anymore! I am older & wiser & loving that, but I don't like how I've lost interest in things I used to love, energy level - gone, just when I figured out how to get organized & the importance of it, I have to force myself do those things. I was happily doing these things when suddenly I completely stopped. I used to be an excellent house keeper, filed important documents, paid bills, took care of things properly, even took care of myself. Now, these things that used to be simply a daily part of life have become like a mountain to climb, a high one. This just isn't me or if it is now I am very unhappy with it & I try hard to change it but can't seem to. I am so miserable & frustrated. I've always been a happy person & I still want to be. I've just turned 53 & I have 2 grown children & 4 beautiful grandchildren & I want to make wonderful memories with them. Also the man in my life for the past 20 years is sudenly mistified that sex is a thing of the past. Not interested, it is not the same-it just isn't, which makes me sad but it is like you are not in control anymore. It is bigger than me & I can't seem to overcome it no matter how hard I try. I keep hoping it will pass in time.

November 15, 2010 - 7:52am
Latisha (reply to Anonymous)

I too have noticed similar changes in my ability to complete domestic tasks that I previously did without effort. I often feel like I am in a sort of fog & can't get grounded & focussed enough to take care of sorting, organizing & completeing things that need doing around the house. I have to force myself to get those things done now & I've given some jobs over to my partner that I once did with enthusiaum & energy.

I've felt like this for a while now (2years). I never associated it with menopause. I thought maybe I was a bit depressed. I have also lost interest in the things I used to love doing like gardening & snuggling up @ home with my partner on a weekend & reading or watching a DVD together. I have a sort of restlessness that @ first was quite unsettleing until I decided to embrace & enjoy it. Since then, I have developed interests in other things & a have real energy for play. When the weekends come, I seem to prefer getting out & about more. Going for a walk or a coffee with friends & out dancing with my partner. I've noticed too that I need my interactions with others to be more deep & meaningful. I've also noticed I want a lot more sex with my partner now (like when I was younger). I want more of that intimacey & connection that sexual expression provides.

As a result of all of this, I feel kind of liberated from the chains of domesicity that I had come to identify with so much during my years of motherhood. In some ways I've regressed back to my pre motherhood self. The self that didn't focus on being super organized around the house & getting dinner cooked by 5.30pm etc.

I still do those domestic things because they are a neccessary part of life. But I feel like my priorities have shifted markedly. I have lowered my standards & shifted my focus (ie we have dinner when it's ready now, not by 5:30pm!). Somehow none of that stuff seems as important as it once did.

As I write this, I remember when my son was little & I was a stay at home mum, & how I came to make a carreer out of running the house as part of my role as a mother. I also remember my son as a teenager, when I would nag him to do his share of the dishes & he would look @ me with total disbelief & say "they're only dishes mum!". In those moments, I would wish he could appreciate it from my point of view & understand why getting the dishes done mattered so much. Well rigth now I am appreciating it from his teenage point of view, they are only dishes & there are other things that perhaps matter more sometimes.

So what am I trying to say? Well I think I'm saying that maybe this fog I experience around running the house, is my body's way of letting me know that as I lose my capacity for baby making through menopause, I no longer need my capacity for nest making to the same extent. Well this is the way I am looking @ it for right now anyway.

April 22, 2011 - 5:40pm
hnwhitlock2000 (reply to Latisha)

OMW! I'm so glad that I am not the only one. I am only 35 and have 4 kids. Last year I lost my mother and have now become the caregiver to my 96 & 87 year old grandparents. I know that part of my not wanting to to things, is depression. I was diagnosed with it several years ago and it runs in my family. And, I am wanting sex and more affection than ever before. I think this is do to not only the passing of my mother, but also the fact that I tend to read a ton more now and have realized some of the things I've never had and would like to have them now. The intimacy and affections being the main.

I love my kids, hubs, and grandparents, but feel as though nothing I do is enough, nor is it ever right. It's really unsettling and very upsetting.

I've never associated any of this with menopause. It might be partly due to it, but my surgery was in 2004...I think I'm beyond it now. But, who knows.

April 22, 2011 - 5:50pm
Latisha (reply to hnwhitlock2000)

You sound like an amazing woman. A real giver to others. You are the best judge about what is going for you @ the moment. I was sad to read that you feel that nothing you do is ever right or enough. You sound like you give such a lot. (and maybe thats the deppression causing you to think that way about yourself).

It's great though to read that you are giving to yourself in the form of sex & affection. You deserve to be nurtured. You have a huge workload from the sounds of it. My experience with running a house (with just 2 adults & one child) was that the workload can be endless. You have so much more on your plate than I did, & you are grieving the loss of your mother to boot. It also sounds like you hit menopause young with having an operation in 2004 (I'm assuming this was a hysterectomy??). If my theory about the nesting instinct declining in menopause has some truth in it, then you might also find it a challenge to keep the nesting thing going. But who really knows exactly why these changes occur in us though. The important piece I believe is getting through the difficult bits in a meaningful way that helps us grow & live well.

You sound like a strong woman, who takes her responsibilities seriously. Just don't forget your needs in all of it too. I believe it's ok & normal to have limits around how much we give out in our role as mothers & carers.
I came to that awareness the hard way when I hit burnout in my 30s. I was a partner, a mother running a house & all that entails, studying partime, working partime, & looking after my mother who had developed alzhimers & my aunty who had cancer & demintia. As I write this I see what a huge workload I had back then. No wonder I eventually burnt out! The road back from there taught me about the importance of my limitations. It was a painful journey to make. I had invested a lot in being a super mum, partner, daughter niece etc.But life is so much easier for me as a result of that journey.

Sometimes as woman we overidenify with our ability to care for & nurture others @ the expense of ourselves. We all have to find our own way with these issues & it sounds like you are working on yours at the moment. I wish for you to find the balance you need to keep joy & confidence in your life & yourself. You deserve your love & concern as much as your family do.

Take good care.

April 22, 2011 - 6:51pm
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