Ivonne’s story: Life doesn’t end with menopause

Lots of things happen to women and sometimes we don’t even know why. I’m a nurse, which has helped a little. That’s how I knew it was menopause when I was 50.

It began with irregular periods: two months on, one off. Then came hot flashes. I felt like I was burning, drenched in sweat! I lived in the tropical, seaside city of Zihuatanejo back then, so the weather wasn’t helpful. I spent many a night glued to the A/C. By the time I went to bed, I was frozen, but felt no cold.

I didn’t become irritable, like many of my friends did, but my libido dropped. I also experienced vaginal dryness. My gynecologist prescribed a supplement to ease my symptoms.

Far from creating more problems, this new stage helped reframe my relationship with my partner. We discovered all that united us, beyond sex. I love that things are different now. Before, we used to think life ended when menopause began. Women used to change the way they dressed and became matronly. Not now.

When our ovaries stop producing certain hormones it doesn’t mean that we are in decline; it doesn’t strip us of our feminine essence. I learned that when I was young. I had friends twice my age. Their full and active lives taught me that life doesn’t end with menopause. It’s not a time restricted to babysitting grandkids.

We sometimes look for any excuse to be unhappy. I didn’t let menopause become one for me. I’m still working and I feel full of life, ready to begin new projects.

Ivonne, 60 – Saltillo, Mexico | Find her story at page 37