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Tenuously linked to the menopause…more the whole female hormonal journey malarky!

This morning I was chatting to a very old friend who I did my nursing training with many moons ago. We have several children between us two of which are girls, now both in sixth form. A topic which comes up time and time again with many friends who have daughters are the differences between ourselves and them at this stage of life!

This morning the chat, due to it being prom time, was focussing around the seemingly endless preparation for nights out, not just the ‘preeing’ (will come back to that later) but the whole caboosh of tanning, make up, hair and nails, there’s the numerous dresses being ordered…then sent back…with the chosen one being discarded after only one outing! Sound familiar to anyone?

All I can say is boy oh boy am I pleased my two older kids are boys when it comes to prom prep as it all gets ramped up a notch…!

So, the last couple of weeks doing menopause talks here, there and everywhere have been interspersed at home with prom preparations culminating in the main event tonight. There has even been a schedule written up…I hazard a guess for my benefit, many references to my forgetfulness having been made…my daughter obviously doesn’t trust my perimenopausal brain cells!

Can I just ask one and all please…this obsession with tanning … why oh why oh why?

Residing in Scotland I have to say that my daughter and fellow female friends although looking absolutely gorgeous did look as though they had come over for the event from a different continent, with the boys looking rather pale in comparison! Tomorrow morning everyones tones will be somewhat diluted in shade with the inevitable trails left behind for collective mothers to clear up in various showers and on bed sheets…I live in hope that some new research comes out which speculates about it not being healthy long term, nothing serious you understand, but enough to put all these girls off! Plus hello, cost wise…complete waste…flip I’m starting to sound like my mother!

We both agreed, during our chat this morning, that we hadn’t even done as much prep for our wedding days! A token pluck here and there, a shimmy of make up and maybe a splash of nail varnish, with the only big expense being the buying or making of a dress…we all did our own hair and make up and when did it come into vogue to have these talons of gel nails?! Ah and then there’s underwear shall I venture here…oh I have to…what a variety in my wash basket when everyone’s home, from mens boxers down to the tiny strings of my daughters (I'm somewhere in the middle) I mean call me middle aged (which I am) but is there really any point in putting them on at all, you would be hard pushed to even use them as a catapult they’re so tiny! Were these about when we were that age…no, we don’t remember them either…or maybe it was being from Yorkshire, committed to good old M and S for our undies who, at the time I don't think would have stocked them either, but even they seem to have now been swayed! We both agreed we don’t feel deprived, comfort being our main focus these days and to be honest they look flipping uncomfortable! OK, I know too much sharing.

What hasn’t changed though is the female anatomy and today with raised awareness and knowledge there really is no need for any girl moving through puberty and into her reproductive years to not be more fully informed. It still however, unfortunately, remains a challenge to try and get all that beneficial information through to them before they leave school.

Having recently talked to several teenagers I have to say that their knowledge of their own anatomy, what to look out for and be aware of, the function of their pelvic floors, when to go and seek medical advice…I could go on… all remains somewhat of a grey area, having only received minimal education on STI and contraception at school. I am however pleased to say though that they were genuinely interested and appreciative after going through some basic necessary advice which to be frank all teenagers should receive.

Doing what I do I have in the past tried to tentatively suggest to my daughter that I could come into her school to give everyone a talk on the effects of hormonal fluctuations throughout life, needless to say, unsurprisingly, she most definitely banned me from coming in to talk vaginas and pelvic floors whilst she was still at school! On that note you will be pleased to hear when all her friends gathered pre prom and then en masse in the village square it was the last thing on my mind to start spouting about pelvic floors and the seemingly increasing incidence of labiaplasty operations…once she’s left school though…

Oh and 'preeing' come on girls call me old fashioned again but there is nothing more unappealing than seeing a gorgeous girl, beautifully turned out (albeit a little tangoed) staggering around swigging from a bottle, what on earth is the point in spending all that time and money getting ready when by the time you reach the main event you're either hammered, staggering around or have to leave early! And think of your livers...!

So I’m now sitting here contemplating if I should really go and get waxed, trimmed & dyed …. oh flip far too much effort … think I’ll age gracefully … maybe the odd splash of hair dye the odd tweak to the eyebrows so I don’t resemble Dennis Healey…but seriously anyone who’s had a Brazilian or a Hollywood, it has to be one of the most painful things to endure (again too much oversharing) waxing legs is one thing but there are some areas that seriously should stay fluffy, especially with older fragile skin lacking in oestrogen, life is just too short…!

Essential reading for any female but especially from a younger age please have a look at the booklet which the RCOG and the British Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology (Britspag) have jointly produced in response to the increasing number of girls and women with cosmetic genital concerns requesting surgery despite having normal anatomy. The booklet is an absolutely brilliant resource but only available on line. I still come across many women my own age who don’t really understand what their pelvic floor does or which ‘bits’ are classed as your vulva.

On that note all females should download the squeeze app, learn how to do a perfect pelvic floor at puberty so going through into those reproductive years it stands them in good stead not only pre and post natal but going into the perimenopausal years it obviously improves everyones chances of staying fully continent…better orgasms aswell…win win!

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RCOG & Britspag booklet :

ps don't forget my book...


Any information is as accurate as possible at time of writing and is for information purposes only. The information and support that Let's Talk Menopause provides is for your own personal use. It is not intended to replace or substitute the judgement of any medical professional you may come in contact with. You should always seek advice from your healthcare professional regarding any medical condition.


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