L is for late and I have done more pregnancy tests in the last 18 months of my life than at any other time in my life and I blame Peri-menopause
Before you think I am reckless or daft or possibly both let me offer some context.
I am not on any form of contraception. I was going to write hormonal contraception but clearly there is a type of coil that doesn’t rely on hormones and also technically condoms are a form of contraception too but we will get to those in a moment.
Every time I have given some soft of hormonal contraception a go it has not been good for me. When I was in my early twenties I tried various forms of the Pill. They all made me feel like shit in some way or other. Terribly headaches, weight gain but the real clincher for me was when they completely destroyed my libido. I have always had a very high sex drive and within 3 months of starting the pill I went from my usual horny self to mostly being…. don’t fucking touch me. I didn’t know who I was anymore and I hated it.
In my 30’s I tried to be sterilised. I had two lovely kids. I was divorced. I was done with the baby making but as many people with uteruses will tell you, getting a doctor to agree to this is not simple or easy. My doctor at the time, let’s go with the word, persuaded me to have a Mirena coil fitted. Assuring me that it was such a low dose of hormone that I wouldn’t have the same side effects as I had experienced on the pill.
She was wrong
Within one week I was back in her office asking her to take it out. She initially tried to refuse until I told her that I could clearly feel the strings and if she didn’t pull it out than I was going to squat down on her office floor and pull it out myself and she could clear up the mess.
Oddly that was enough to get her to agree to remove it.
After that I should have pushed harder to be sterilised. Although that sentence is and of itself should never have to be written because women should be able to make those decisions for themselves and not have to fight for them but here we are and I didn’t do it.
I was by this time in a relationship with someone who had a vasectomy. Contraception was no longer an issue and to say it was completely liberating and the most wonderful thing ever is possibly an understatement. I got to fully indulge my jizz fetish without a pregnancy care in the world. Being absolutely freed from that worry was an amazing gift after years and years of condoms all the time (apart from the 2 times I got pregnant). I loved it.
If you are a man who has completed his family or knows he does not want a family I can’t urge you enough to gift the women in your life with a vasectomy. Trust me, she will have spend ALL her adult life worrying, planning, taking pills or whatever just so you can have a sex life. Not having to think about that is amazing.
But I digress
Sadly that relationship came to an end. Officially 18 months ago but we had not had sex for most of the previous year so it has been more like 2 year.
Suddenly contraception was, in a tiresome turn of events, back on the cards. But if you think getting steralised is tricky in your late 30’s it is absolutely impossible in your mid to late 40’s when Peri-menopause is on the horizon and therefore eventually the menopause is your near future and you don’t need it. Why not have a coil? They say. Sigh!
So here I am. Contraception free, relying on condoms which I dislike. There are reasons that I am not going to go into here but I use them because there is no alternative but I would rather go with the, let’s get tested and be honest about who are sleeping with option and you just don’t come in, well in my cunt. *grins
Totally doable. It has worked just fine but then throw in the curve ball that is being Peri-menopause and suddenly I am taking pregnancy tests like they are going out of fashion.
After I went to Miami I came home and my period just never showed up. For 2 weeks I was chill about it and then my breasts started to get sore and I freaked out. Spoiler; I was not pregnant and sore breasts are a symptoms of Peri-menopause too.
Then last year, I spent (naked) time with The Gentleman on 3 occasions. After two of those my period did a vanishing act afterwards. Both times I was like, hey ho, just my new random cycle shit, but after a couple of week my lizard brain won’t hush and I find myself googling, what are the chances of getting pregnant at 48. The answer is minuscule but someone has to be that tiny percentage and my brain starts telling me that it could be ME!!!
So off to the chemist to buy another fucking pregnancy test. I have stopped buying the ones with the little sticks and windows when I discovered you can just by the little strips on their own for a fraction of the price of one of the sticks and well, I am a fucking expert at this things now.
So am I telling you this? Well clearly I am a chronic over-sharer when it comes to sex etc but also I think there is a lack of honest talk about menopause but even more so about Peri-menopause. I don’t know about other women but I have been fairly fearful of the whole thing for a long time as I was scared that it would rob me of my libido. All you ever seen to hear are the symptoms like, lack of libido, vaginal dryness, weight gain, hot flushes, night sweats. I had no idea that the tender breasts was a thing. I actually kinda like that one. They are extra sensitive when they are like that. Also for some women increased libido is actually part of Peri-menopause which seems to be the case for me.
As far as the rest of the common side effects of Peri-menopause I have had none of those apart from that fact that my periods can sometimes just not turn up which when you are having sex and not on any other form of contraception can result in your taking more pregnancy test than you have ever done before whilst you stand in the bathroom thinking, I am nearly 50 fucking years old, why is this happening to me AGAIN!
But then you comfort yourself with the fact that your libido is raging and you have had amazing wild sex and the chances of your being pregnant are tiny and you laugh at it all while you waste yet another test stupid establishing that you are not pregnant and wonder if eventually your period might stop altogether so you can finally return to the days of being able to thoroughly enjoy your jizz fetish and have your lover(s) come inside you again and again and again.
Summery: Shedding the fear of pregnancy that you have spent all your adult life managing. controlling and trying to avoid is hard.