Women's Menstrual Flow in Your 30s
As a 36-year-old woman, I think it's safe to say that my period isn't what it use to be. What would once flow in my 20s and even early 30s, is now more of an interruption. In fact, even as I write this I find myself struggling with fatigue thanks to my hormones spiraling in the wake of an ever-changing menstrual cycle.
Frustrating to say the least.
Mother Nature certainly provides its challenges, but what is it about our period in our 30s that has so many women (myself included) struggling with the monthly foe?
Speaking from my own personal experience, I would like to share with you my own period journey in the hope of starting a dialogue for all women.
My Period Can be Longer Than Usually. Since turning 36 I have noticed that my period can sometimes last for 8 or 9 days. It's not heavy the entire time. However, it is persistent! Regular but relentless. I find the months where my period is longer than the usual 5 days (in my 20s it would be done and dusted by day 4), I need more sleep the days leading up to the flow and feel fatigued toward the end. Thank you hormonal fluctuations!
My Body Aches. Toward the end of my flow, my body sometimes aches. Before the age of 36, the last day of my period often had me feeling like a cold was brewing only to have me waking up the next day completely energized. That's no longer the case, the brewing cold has turned itself into lingering muscle aches and fatigue which, can last up to 3 days.
Frequent UTIs. This is one change that I've really noticed. I am one of those women who has always been prone to UTIs. However, now I often find myself taking extreme precautions to avoid a dreaded infection with my hormones failing me anyway. Even the smallest glass of champagne or slither of cake consumed before menstruation can trigger a UTI. My vitamin and probiotic game are strong but, mother nature is even stronger.
Dull, Tired-Looking Skin. Before I reached my mid-30s there was nothing that a good vitamin C serum, water consumption, and some concealer couldn't fix. Now, hormonal fluctuations, particularly the drop in estrogen levels play havoc with my collagen production throughout my flow and literally drain my skin of its moisture. After almost a year of dealing with dullness every month, I refused to settle and have recently started a botox and filler regime - sparingly might I add as these procedures can be pricey and I am always striving for a natural look. After all, our face sheds light on our character, which is why it deserves to glow.
Food is a Must. I can no longer deprive myself of food. I have never been one to eat breakfast, opting instead for a coffee, and the occasional banana with my vitamins. However, recently, I have found that a healthy breakfast of oatmeal, acai, banana, and blueberries is vital for maintaining my blood sugar levels while also helping to regulate my hormones. The bottom line, it's energy and I have never needed it more.
The more I age, the more respect and admiration I have for women, particularly women of older generations when there was little known about women's health. In 2021, there is still so much to learn but, I believe that continuing dialogue will help raise awareness so that women can freely share their own menstrual experience, and perhaps one day our monthly friend will no longer be our foe.