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  • Writer's pictureNarelle

Weird things that can happen during menopause.



As if it’s not enough to have periods all over the place, live perpetually in a an uncertain internal climate, expel sweat in such copious amounts you wonder if you need some electrolyte replacement and have moods that move through irritability, to plotting murder only to end up with you sobbing at a toilet paper ad.


But wait! Just like a bad advertorial - there can be more.


Welcome to the weird world of less common and somewhat bizarre menopausal symptoms.


Lets start with formication (and no that is not sex between two unmarried people). Formication comes from the latin word for ant, Formica. It is the physical sensation of insects crawling on the skin or under you skin. Unpleasant, irritating and itchy it is a tactile hallucination with nothing to be done but try and find some peace knowing there are no physical insects (although maybe check occasionally just to be sure).


What about a burning tongue? A fiery, burning sensation on your tongue or in your mouth. It can be one specific area like your tongue or roof of your mouth, or it can be everywhere. There can be a sensation of dryness, tingling, soreness and a metallic taste. The sensation is best described as if your mouth is scalded, like you tried to take a sip of your cup of coffee and it burnt your mouth.


Who put that wall there? Clumsiness, bumping into things or tripping over. Altered spatial awareness means your usual grace and poise is replaced with awkwardness, clumsiness and all round just being a klutz.


Electric shock therapy anyone? Some women have the sensation of electricity passing through their body. Little zaps of electricity, like a rubber band snapping between the outer layer of the skin and muscle.


Can you smell yourself? And do you smell like a teenage boy who has been in his room for a week without a shower? Pungent body odour happens because we sweat more and that bacteria has a field day creating unidentifiable odours.


But it does get a little worse…


Your vagina can smell too. The lack of mucous, the declining oestrogen and that bacteria can grow creating a smell that is nothing short of funky, fusty and ripe. This is not a great one so keep that lady dry and clean and wear cotton undies to avoid at all costs.


Most women have hot flushes and they get hot. But some women get cold flushes and shivers, like a sudden chill where they start shivering, feel bone cold and struggle to warm up. That pesky hormonal change affects our brains temperature regulation and really can go both ways - one day Bermuda and the next Antartica.


And finally Hallux Rigidis…


This is not a side effect to overdosing on viagra, it is arthritis of the big toe, or more specifically, pain in the joint that joins your big toe to your foot. The changes in hormones cause cartilage, ligaments and tendons to become less supple, and reduces fat concentrations in out feet. To put this plainly, every time you take a step or “push off”, your toe can become rigid, brittle, sensitive and then lose its cushioning underneath. This creates, pain, inflammation and a sensation like we are walking on bone. And yes I am well aware of the irony of losing fat on your feet!


So there you have it - some lesser known symptoms of menopause. There are some joys of menopause - no more pregnancy scares, no more PMS, no more period surprises, and a chance to really step out and be you. It helps to remember the words of Margaret Mead - “There is no more creative force in the world than the menopausal woman with zest”.


Let’s just hope your zest is not electric shocks, a sore big toe and a smelly vagina.

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