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Could “Manopause” Really Just Be Sympathy Pains?
February 25, 2022 – The Fifty-Fourth Official Friday Night BeerBlog
As I know that you know, I am 53 years old. And unless you have lived your life under a rock, you know what normally begins to occur to a woman that has crossed that 50 year old barrier. Peri-menopause and all of the symptoms we’ve heard about, but not experienced, start knocking at the door. Ladies have been dealing with visits from Aunt Flo for years and years, but now Old Lady Edith from down the street has decided to move in, take off her shoes, and make herself comfortable.
I’m not sure how hot flashes happen for other women, but this is how they happen for me. It’s almost like my body knows what is happening before it happens. There is feeling in my chest, like the fuse of a stick of dynamite being lit. My brain screams, “Here it comes, get ready!”
The feeling grows, the fuse is lit and travels from my chest and down my arms and up my neck and into my face. Sparking and setting everything on fire. Like I am going to die if I don’t immediately remove whatever stands between my skin and cool air type fire. It doesn’t last long, usually about a minute or so and then I immediately overcool and start get cold. Every. Time. When they happen and how often are not nailed down variables. I’ve been trying to figure out if there is rhyme or reason, but so far that has alluded me.
Yeah, yeah. You’ve heard of night sweats. You may have even had a few here and there. And maybe you don’t see what the big deal is. I’ve been having an occasional night sweat the last couple of years, and they are tolerable, but in the last couple of months, things have escalated to the next level.
I am a sleep solid 7-8-9 hour a night gal. Like for real. I take great pleasure in my sleep and in my ability to sleep because it seems a lot of other people have trouble in this area. Well I could brag on that until recently. Once these intense hot flashes started, my body’s warning system has decided to pull that fire alarm every hour. Every single hour.
It s a cycle. My body wakes me up, the hot flash comes, I throw off all the covers, the hot flash goes, I get cold and crawl back under the covers. And the cycle continues again in an hour or two. All night long. Do you know what happens to a women who is used to getting 7-9 really good hours of sleep in a row to 7-9 hours of hourly interrupted sleep? Let’s just say that I am the new owner of a whole set of Samsonite luggage that I keep packed under my eyes.
My hot flashes are definitely not saved up for sleep time. My day is not immune. I have literally had hot flashes while taking a walk in 25 degree weather. How is that possible? But the worst had to have been while I was in the dentist chair earlier this week.
I was there to get a temporary crown put on #15, which has been a process in itself. Anyway, I was there on the chair, all leaned back and the dentist and the hygenist were working on said tooth. They were making sure that the bite with my temporary was a good one and had my mouth propped open. Drill type instruments were in there smoothing down some edges.
Again, I was pretty strapped down with instruments in my mouth when that feeling in my chest started. “Oh no, oh no” I thought. Here it comes. The heat spread across my upper body like a wild fire, but I couldn’t do anything about it, except lay there. The fire reached my face and my forehead exploded in a waterfall of sweat. The dentist stopped and asked if I was okay. With all the crap in my mouth I attempted to say, “Ep, ust old.” She understood.
Mike swears that some of what I’m going through he is going through too. Sleepless nights? Check. Night Sweats? Uh Huh. Irritable? Well, he didn’t mention that one, but I concur. Check. In my head, I know he just doesn’t “get it”, but he swears he must be going through Manopause. Manopause, what the actual hell? That is totally made up. Are you actually trying to steal my menopause thunder?
“Manopause” to me sounds like men’s way to make sure that the attention stays on them. There is no way they could ever be experiencing what the things that Edith has moved into my house. Honestly, men are truly just babies at heart and if they ever truly experienced one of these hot flashes, they would assume death is imminent.
Maybe Mike just wants to share this experience with me and those perceived moments of manopause are just his way of sharing in the experience. They must be menopause sympathy pains.
I recorded a podcast this week with urologist Dr. Kelly Casperson on Sexual Health Over 50 and I asked her if manopause is a thing. I was hoping for a laugh because it seems ridiculous to me, but she didn’t ha-ha like I thought she would. In fact, she didn’t poo-poo it at all.
In fact, men do experience a decrease in their testosterone levels in midlife, which can give them a lot of the same symptoms as menopause. They, in fact, can experience mood swings, loss of muscle mass, experience fat distribution, have difficulty sleeping, and brain fog. Who knew?
The thing about “manopause”, which actually has a name – andropause – is that routinely men who suffer are often given the option of testosterone hormone replacement therapy. But women aren’t as often given the same option of estrogen HRT. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s that if you are suffering, you don’t have to. Be the boss of you and your body and get educated on your options. My menopause education has definitely started.
Good luck to all you ladies – I feel what you’re going through. And men, remember that although you may be going through your own midlife “stuff”, don’t ever compare yourself to what we’re going through in menopause. Because that will be losing game for you.
FNBB Link to Podcast: