From The Confessional: Let's Talk About The 'P Word' (No, Not That One)

by Karen Johnson
Pheelings Media/Getty/Scary Mommy

Having ovaries and a uterus is a blessing. A beautiful gift, as these organs means we can bring life into the world. But they also mean we bleed for like 1/4 of our lives, suffer unpredictable cramping, mood swings, bloating, fits of rage, fits of depression, exhaustion, random acne, and nipple hairs that appear out of nowhere.

And, we’re super hashtag-blessed that these oh-so-pleasant bodily experiences start when we’re like 12 and don’t end until we’re in our 50s. Neat!

First, there are the terrifying initial signs of puberty, then the child-rearing years when we turn our bodies into baby factories, and pretty quickly after come the joys of perimenopause.

Perimenopause is extra special because in this stage, many of us are still wiping tiny asses and breastfeeding hangry babies at 1 a.m. Yet our periods have become irregular, meaning we are in a constant state of “Am I pregnant again or just old AF?” and we feel new waves of exhaustion that we can’t afford to feel because our families turn to dust without us.

46 and sprouting hair where no woman should have hair: a white whisker on my chin, dark hair round my nipples, and a faint moustache. Along with the incontinence, you gotta love perimenopause!

Confessional #25818547

It's so unfair that, after several decades of periods, PMS, childbirth, motherhood, cellulite and putting up with husbands, women enter perimenopause and receive wrinkles, fat, hot flashes, exhaustion, horrible periods and mood swings way worse than PMS.

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Perimenopause is nature's cruel way of stealing your youth and fertility and beauty, but first it will torment you in unfathomable ways for several years. When all is done you'll be ugly and unpleasant and nobody will like you. But no more periods so yay?

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Going through perimenopause hell at age 37. Headed for premature menopause like my mom. I have an 8 yo, 3 yo and full time job. So depressed, scared and above all, tired.

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The physical symptoms of perimenopause are… well, something else. I mean, who doesn’t want both teenage acne AND gray chin hairs to sprout off your face as you pit out through your shirt at work?

Perimenopause is a real asshole.

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Perimenopause can fuck right off.

Confessional #25811055

perimenopause can suck it. Here I am applying gold bond powder for boob and belly sweat multiple times a day or I get heat rash. My sleep is all jacked up too. Hormones are kicking my ass.

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Perimenopause SUCKS. I am still 45, I can't drink a coffee without wanting to take my clothes off, I am so fucking grumpy with my youngest, and I nearly fell asleep in a client meeting yesterday.

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Perimenopause makes us say words. And they aren’t kid-friendly.

New stage of perimenopause - itchy periods. I'm allergic to my own periods. Well, it's offical. New level of hell on Earth.

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My vagina is so itchy. Perimenopause just gets better & better.

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My doctor put me on 10 days of progesterone for my perimenopause symptoms and now I am SO constipated. I just want to poop!

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When I was nursing sex was painful so we got by on oral only. Now at 44 and perimenopause I am having the same problem but i REALLY don't want to give 2-3 blowjobs a week for the rest of my life

Confessional #13163167

And there are effects of perimenopause that no one talks about—well beyond mood swings, hot flashes, and irregular periods. Excessive itching, constipation, and painful sex get thrown into there too. Yay.

Perimenopause, politics and COVID do not mix. It’s like I ran out of patience and kindness.

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Perimenopause and toddlers do not mix well. All my patience has left the building.

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I have General Anxiety Disorder and I'm now in Perimenopause, basically everyday I'm dying of something...

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Perimenopause does not mix with… well… anything. But it definitely does not mix with COVID, toddlers, or anxiety.

Dear Mom, sorry I judged you so harshly for getting fat and raging at strangers during perimenopause. I get it now. I see you.

Confessional #19712677

Nobody told me perimenopause would be like having constant PMS. Moodiness, cramps, rage, cravings, bloating but without the period to take it all away. Who would have guessed that I would be looking forward to my period?

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When I breast fed I would have fits of rage. Doc said it was the hormone imbalance similar to menopause. Now 43 and in perimenopause and she was right! Knowing doesn't make it feel better but I can control it because I understand it.

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And then there’s the rage. Rage over dishes in the sink. Rage when kids can’t find their shoes. Rage when people chew too loudly. Or breathe too loudly. Or exist too loudly. Eventually, though, we boil over and return to human-like form, only to rage again the next day or week. Because here’s the best part—perimenopause lasts for years!

If you’re feeling symptoms like hot flashes, irregular periods, and weird bodily changes like vaginal itching and rogue nipple hairs, well, take comfort in the fact that we’re right there in the pit with you. Our kids and spouses don’t hang up their coats either, and we’re fucking pissed off about it and about to shred their coats into a pile of coat-bits with a kitchen knife.

So that’s perimenopause—just the latest chapter in the life of those of us who are blessed enough to have fallopian tubes. And for that, we’re grateful (we say through gritted teeth).