Updated: Nov 11, 2020
‘Mama Lunar Meets’ is our monthly Instagram series where we speak to a variety of experts on topics that are related to holistic health with earth-minded small brands. Our October discussion was with the brilliant Jo from The Merry Menopause, discussing all things periods and menopause with the aim to break the age-old stigma.
Who is The Merry Menopause?
Set up by Jo Fuller whose aim is to open the conversation surrounding perimenopause and menopause so that those who menstruate can understand the natural processes occurring in their bodies. Jo experienced changes in her body in her 40s – they suffered from anxiety, brain fog and other symptoms. Other menopausal symptoms are:
Sex drive depletion
Jo was unaware that these distressing symptoms were related to perimenopause. Based on her personal experience, it was evident to Jo that most people are not in tune with their bodies. Most people believe that menopause only starts in their 50s, however, symptoms prior to menopause can begin in your 30s and 40s. Many people in this age group go to their doctors experiencing multiple symptoms related to perimenopause, who are then prescribed a pill. Instead, those who menstruate should be educated that what is happening is natural. The Merry Menopause is a platform which seeks to address this miseducation surrounding these natural processes so that people can be aware of their symptoms and address them accordingly.
What is perimenopause?
Perimenopause is the time before a period stops but where the body is preparing for menopause. As a result, many people experience multiple symptoms, from anxiety and depression, to aching muscles, headaches and brain fog. Jo wants to emphasise the importance of perimenopause because they believe that there is miseducation surrounding it. Perimenopausal symptoms can start as long as 10 years before periods stop and people should not undermine the significance of these symptoms, but instead should be aware of what is happening to their bodies.
How can you become more in tune with your body?
If those with periods tune into what is happening in their bodies, Jo believes that it becomes much easier to understand how hormones can make us feel and how to manage these symptoms. The best way to do this is:
Keep a track of your periods – be it through a handwritten journal or an app such as Clue or Flo.
By doing this, Jo states that we can better understand the impact of fluctuating hormones have on the body throughout the month. In this way, we can start to work with our periods instead of against them.
How does being in tune with your body help?
Learning to manage your cycle, helps you to manage stress.
Experts encourage this because learning to manage your cycle will ultimately allow you to manage your stress – meaning you can allocate time for your body when approaching your period. Jo divides a menstrual cycle into seasons at a method of understanding how we may feel at different stages of our period:
Spring – Oestrogen count is HIGH, energy increases
Summer – Ovulation occurs, expect a high sex drive and confidence boost
Autumn – Progesterone increase, can cause negative thoughts
Winter – This is when your bleed begins and your cycle starts again
Keeping track of your cycle can allow you to allocate certain work projects, presentations, difficult work conversations accordingly to ensure you are performing at your best.
We asked Jo if there was any material or influencers they recommend:
Period Power by Maisie Hill which Jo describes as the women’s health bible. Maisie is currently campaigning to get menstrual cycle tracking on the national curriculum. How amazing would the world be if those who menstruate are able to take back control over their bodies!
As well as Wild Power by Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Wurlitzer. Who are both the founders of Red School, with the aim to teach a radical new approach to woman’s health and wellbeing; creativity and leadership; and spiritual life based on the power of our menstruality consciousness.
Definitely worth checking these out if you wan’t to swot up on your period knowledge, and who doesn’t?
Please feel free to reach out to us at Hello@MamaLunar.co.uk or drop Jo a dm on her instagram @TheMerryMenopause