Katarina Wilk, author of Perimenopower: The Ultimate Guide Through the Change shares her story.
It started when I was 42 going on 43…
…but at that moment, I could not in my wildest dreams believe that my symptoms had something to do with the menopause. My doctors gave me a diagnosis of depression and tried to convince me that I was burned out, but I refused to listen to them. So, I started my own research which resulted in writing my book many years after my first symptom.
I couldn’t fall asleep. It was not that I fell asleep after two hours or fell asleep and then woke up during the night. I couldn’t fall asleep at all. I tried everything, even strong sleeping pills, but I got severe nightmares, so I stopped. I began with melatonin and restorative yoga and finally when I came back to myself, I found some conclusions. What about the brain fog that I had? The dizziness? The problems with my blood sugar? Eventually, when the hot flushes started a couple of years after that, I realised: “My God, I am in the perimenopause!”
I didn’t speak to anyone, I just kept it to myself. I was so young and so scared of everything.
As I said, my doctors wanted to diagnose me with depression. No one told me that what I was feeling was down to my hormones. That I had to find out myself. When I went to my gynaecologist after all the diagnoses from the medical centre, she said that my ovaries were still working so I was not there yet but the fact that my PMS was getting worse made me believe that something was really disturbed in my body. When I was 46, a combination of listening to my gynaecologist and conducting my own research made me realise that this was the perimenopause and that I had to make some lifestyle changes and eventually start HRT, which I did when I was 48 years old.
At that time, I didn’t speak to anyone, I just kept it to myself. I was so young and so scared of everything. But at about the age of 47, I started to talk about it, and realized that everyone was going through the same thing, but no one wanted to talk about it! Eventually though, we did. We spoke, we cried and laughed. I had thought it was something that happened when you are around 50. My mum said (of course) that she didn´t have ANY problems. She almost made me feel like it was only in my head.
There is so little knowledge, and everything is so confusing, so I wanted to help women going through this difficult phase in life.
I realised that if I was so confused despite being into health and medicine all my life as an editor and journalist, how much harder would it be for ladies with no experience of medicine? There is so little knowledge, and everything is so confusing, so I wanted to help women going through this difficult phase in life. When I was a child, I wanted to be a doctor or a writer, now I had the chance to REALLY help women all over the world. Knowledge is power and just being a woman is a superpower. My God, we bring babies to the world. We carry them in our bodies. It is such a miracle. I wanted to give women the possibility to regain their superpower which is a bit hidden at this stage. I wanted to gather everything you need to know about the perimenopause/menopause in a book, so that everyone could stop Googling.
Right now, there is a big menopause hype in Sweden. We discuss it on TV shows, podcast, books; everywhere. It’s like a storm and I can feel it all around the world and it might be an aftermath of the #MeToo Movement. We are no longer afraid to raise our voices. Or maybe, it’s just a coincidence…