Sonia, a 50-year-old university professor, was running in the park when a sudden deluge of blood covered her shorts and legs:"I had to call my partner to pick me up in the car. Fortunately, this has never happened to me at work, but I often think about what I would do if it did. "
This has left others fearing a post-pandemic return to the office. Mona, a 46-year-old NHS worker, is relieved that her heaviest days have so far fallen on weekends: "I think I should call a sick person otherwise. I work with quite a few men. I couldn't be in a meeting that would last an hour and think: did I run away? I'm in the office, but god knows how people get along with a 12 hour shift. "
Some are reluctant to seek treatment for what Nicola, 52, still considers" an inconvenience rather than an illness Although she was forced to sit on blankets to protect her sofa. But others describe fighting withs unfriendly doctors. "I often see people who feel like there is nothing they can do," says Gunter, whose book includes an entire chapter on periods of midlife aimed at demystifying the problem. "But no one ever said erectile dysfunction is 'just a part of men's life', is it? We can say that this is a typical thing that happens - and there is treatment if you want it. "
Official guidelines from the National institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) is that changes in bleeding patterns beyond age 45 should be investigated to exclude conditions such as fibroids (non-cancerous growths in the uterus), polyps and, in rare cases, cancer. (Bleeding in womenmenopausal women whose periods have already stopped should also be checked, as they may be a symptom of more serious illness.) But Dr Paula Briggs, reproductive and sexual health consultant at Southport and Ormskirk NHS Hospital Trust, says that for perimenopausal women with heavy periods, a common culprit is fluctuating hormones. a logical reason n for that, ”she says. As the body tries to push the failed ovaries to release an egg, estrogen levels rise, causing the lining of the uterus to thicken; but women who no longer ovulate regularly do not always produce enough progesterone to balance this estrogen. The result is an unusually thick uterine lining that chaotically deforms. The fWomen can transmit large clots or sudden jets of blood, causing them to double their sanitary protection, or change it every hour or even more often.
Treatment options include regulating hormones with a Mirena coil, or the combined or mini birth control pill, but there are also non-hormonal alternatives, including endometrial ablation (surgical removal of the mucous membrane). uterine) drug tranexamic acid, says Briggs. Some women also find HRT helpful. But the first step, she says, is to help older women realize that "it's not taboo, it's perfectly okay to talk about it." Arguably this same openness could help in the workplace as well.