My peri-menopause has definitely ramped up a few gears this year (OMG, when is it going to end?!). I’m getting some of the more common symptoms like dizziness, insomnia, emotional ups and downs and itchy skin but also things which aren’t much talked about, like what’s happening to my breasts.
When I was in my early twenties I wasn’t exactly well endowed, wearing a 30C bra size. I referred to them as fried eggs cos that’s just what they looked like – they were quite round but didn’t stick out very far, which was fine by me. I was a size 8 (US size 4), am 5ft 2″ and weighed about 7½ stones (105lbs) so they were in proportion to my small frame.
Fast forward to my early forties, by which time I’d been unable to exercise for 15 years. Inevitably my body shape had changed and I’d gained weight, now wearing a size 10 (US size 6) and weighing 8½ stones (120lbs). My boobs had also increased in size to a stupendous 30DD and I was into the realm of having to wear supportive (code for fucking uncomfortable) bras, with straps an inch wide and underwires so painful they were like a form of torture. Thank God the Belvia bra was finally invented without which I fear I would just have let the puppies run free 😉
Ten years on, and in my fiftieth year, my boobs seem to have taken on a life of their own. Pre-perimenopause I’d ovulate mid cycle, my breasts would swell and be achy and sore, I’d have my period and they’d go back to normal. Not any more. Oh no. They swell and are achy and sore, I have my period, and they fucking stay swollen achy and sore. I have what feels like two water melons on my chest which disappear under my armpits making waving impossible.
So I Google “peri-menopause + larger breasts” and discover, to my horror, that 1 in 5 women during their Menopause years get significantly bigger boobs. OM-flippin-G. At 5ft I don’t need to be bigger than a DD and simply can’t imagine having to wear bras to fit an E, or god forbid, EE or F cup. Gravity would pull me over and I’d end up flat on my face 😉 And if that weren’t bad enough breasts also start to sag in middle age, in some women up to 4″. When my floppy boobs meet my spare tire my belly button might disappear forever.
“Quit moaning” I hear you cry, “women pay good money for big boobs” and I’m sure they’d look fabulous if they sat above a flat stomach, lean thighs and a perky arse. But they don’t look quite so alluring sat above back fat, a muffin top and a tummy so swollen I look five months pregnant. No-sir-eee-bob. My scales no longer say 8 stone something they say 9 stone something and my size 10 clothes have been at the back of the wardrobe for so long they’ve been eaten by moths.
This peri-menopause malarkey is a right old carry on. I started off as Barbera Windsor and have ended up as Hatty Jacques. Ooo err Matron 😀