Aunt Flo. Time of the month. Shark week. Got the painters in. Code red. Girl flu. Leak week. Call periods whatever you like … I’m over the whole thing. I’ve had enough now. I just want perimenopause to be over. It’s not funny anymore.
Back in the day, my periods were like clockwork. I was perfectly aligned with the full moon. Yes. The night sky could tell me where I was in my menstrual cycle.
I remember the moment mother nature’s clock failed me. I was standing in a crowd of excited people on the south bank of the Thames in London. It was 2012, the city was gripped with Olympic fever and I was cheering on Team GB the night we won 3 gold medals in 44 minutes.
As I looked up at Tower Bridge proudly displaying the olympic rings, I spotted the full moon. Super Saturday will forever be etched in my memory as the moment my periods stopped arriving like clockwork. From that moment I have been firmly in the grip of a cruel, irregular perimenopausal cycle that makes me want to scream with frustration.
If you have ever visited a funfair, you will be familiar with cheeky chaps and lasses encouraging us to scream if we want to go faster. And we did, knowing that in a short while the exhilarating ride would be over. Well I want this ride to be over.
My period can be every two weeks, or it can stop for 3 months. It can be so light I begrudge using sanitary products or so heavy that I seriously consider sitting in the bath for a day. My tampon collection is wide and now compliments the full rainbow of colours. My sanitary towel stash is rather bulky and industrial.
My little pocket in my handbag that could quite happily cope with 2 spare tampons now strains at the seams. It’s unable to cope with what I need to carry just in case I get an unexpected visitor. In the boot of my car is an emergency change of outfit.
Still childless, it breaks my heart that my local supermarket thinks it makes sense that the baby aisle is the place to store their sanitary products. At a time in my life where I feel emotional, drained and a failure, I have to stand reminded of everything I’m not, screaming inside for this all to be over sooner.
After checking I wasn’t finally pregnant, even though I knew I couldn’t be (you never totally lose hope), I accepted this was it. I was finally on the road to menopause. Cruelly, I had 9 months to go and could then enjoy my one day of menopause.
Yes. You read that right. Menopause technically only lasts for a day and marks 12 months with no period. From that point you are post-menopausal and all our perimenopausal symptoms start to fade away. Bring it on. I’m so fucking ready now.
When my gap between periods got even longer than usual, like any woman, I checked my diary. That’s when I spotted it. There sat an appointment looking back at me. It was my COVID-19 booster jab. My previous jabs had been the AstraZeneca vaccination, but this time I was given the Moderna vaccine.
Was this a coincidence, or was this just another bump in my road to menopause? The BMI have said there is no significant impact on women’s menstrual cycles, with other reports saying that the vaccines could possibly extend periods by up to a day. But many women are reporting a missed period after their booster jab before returning to normal.
And return to normal, whatever that is at the moment, it did. My menopause clock has been reset and is now counting down from 12 months again, much to my dismay. After my 3 month break I had a relatively non-dramatic period which has appeared to kick-start my oestrogen levels.
Good lord! This month I’ve been extremely emotional, tired and hugely forgetful. Super-sensitive boobs are telling me that a visit from Aunt Flo is imminent. After a 3 month trial run of post-menopausal life, I was feeling unprepared and unwilling for this backwards step.
Give me the fun of the fair! Give me a cheeky chappy with a glint in his eye telling me to scream if I want to go faster. I’ll scream alright… the sooner I get off this ride, the better.